Thursday, June 30, 2011

Asylum: Day 11 & Self-Talk

Well, here it is day 11 of this awesome program! I can't believe I'm almost 1/2 way thru!! This was a very busy and strange week for me. I saw, first hand, just how much of an effect my self-talk can have on my actions. Here is how the past week or so has gone:

Last Saturday, during my long run, my legs felt a bit tired and sluggish. During our conversations I was telling everyone what the Asylum sessions were like and how much I liked them. I also stated that I was semi-worried because I wasn't getting many breaks (between my group runs, the runs with the kids & the Asylum workouts). Then this week started: MD appointment on Monday, my parents took the kids Tuesday because I had jury duty (I had to then pick them up in the evening), dentist appointment Wednesday and and my hubby is off the rest of the week.

Monday I had a great workout. Tuesday I had a really good run but couldn't do my Asylum workout because of time crunch. Wednesday I had wanted to make up the Vertical Plyo workout that I missed on Tues and then do the scheduled Relief but I ended up doing the Relief workout and most of the P90X stretching workout. Today I did my long run for the week because most of my group is going away for the holiday weekend so again no Asylum workout. I will adjust my workouts for the rest of the week to make up some of these missed Asylum workouts.

Now here is the interesting part. I know, deep down in my soul, that a fair amount of this stress I've been feeling and the missed workouts has stemmed from that initial conversation on the long run. I got it in my head that I wasn't getting enough rest and then "The Beast" took hold. Up until that time, my eating was spot on and my workouts were great. Then all of a sudden I missed some workouts and my eating started to go downhill. It all started IN MY HEAD with my Negative Self-Talk! I made this happen and now it is time for me to use some Positive Self-Talk and get things turned around!

I think my plan is to switch today's workout with Saturday's workout. So, since my long run was today, I'll do the Game Day & Overtime workouts on Saturday. I'll keep Friday's workout as it should be - Back to Core. That will get me back on track in terms of my exercising. I will also get back into planning my meals. I definitely got off track on that one but not anymore!!!

Take home message here - watch what you tell yourself. Even if you know something isn't true tell yourself good things and positive things. Don't let that "Beast" worm its way into you head and lifestyle. Remember, "You Are What You Think About Most"! So when you tell yourself positive and healthy thoughts your body will find a way to fulfill those thoughts and wishes. Write yourself notes, recite mantras - find what works for you but do it! Without your head and thought processes being in synch with your desires and goals, your body won't follow through and it is HIGHLY unlikely that you will attain those goals.

You and I are worth a healthy body AND a healthy mind!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Asylum: Day 7

I've made it through my first week of Asylum - still loving the workouts! There is no question that they are hard as all get out but they are totally different from anything that I would do at a gym or out running on the roads and trails - I think that is what draws me to them most!

It has been a very busy weekend! Yesterday I went for a 10 mile run on a very hilly course. It is a course that I haven't done in a very long time and I'm happy I got a chance to do it again. I felt sort of heavy in the legs because of all the workouts I've been doing. I'm really going to have to pay attention to how my body feels in the upcoming days because I'm really not taking any days totally off. I'm not getting any days off because I'm combining the Asylum workouts with my running so even if there is a scheduled "off" day for the Asylum, I'm probably running. That is what happened yesterday. I put the Asylum rest days on my long run day - not going to be able to do both! My goal is to keep this going until our week at the beach and then not worry about structured workouts and give my body a rest.

Anyway, the run went well. We averaged a little under 10 minutes per mile and I'm quite pleased with that considering the hills on the course. I also made time to stretch before getting back in my car to come home and it made a BIG difference in how I felt. I usually stretch when I get home but find that I really stiffen up on the drive back (I do spend a few minutes stretching immediately after the run). This time I spent a good 15-20 minutes stretching on the adjacent tennis courts and it felt wonderful! I will make sure to do this whenever we meet in a place that allows me to put down a towel and lay down (not in a parking lot).

Then last night I went to a graduation party. I admit that my eating was spot on but I wasn't trying to hold myself to that standard either. I do think it is important to relax some of the time. I did allow myself a dessert even though I wrote in a previous post that I was doing "No Cheats" this week. To be completely honest, I had kind of forgotten about that until just now. Regardless, it was a great time and I feel good about my night. It did show up on the scale this morning but I knew that would happen.

Speaking of this morning....I got up and did my Asylum Strength workout. Last time I did it, I used 5# weights just to get a feel for the session. Today, I moved that up to 10# and I liked this weight better although it was still light for some of the exercises (but good for others). I love the "different" exercises in this session. During the warm-up you do something called a Halo Deadlift. On this exercise, you squat down, stand up and then twist the dumbbell around your head without moving your head. I love to feel the twist in the core area. During the main portion of the workout you do a series of exercises called Progressive Dumbbell rotations (too long to explain). The circuit is completed 3 times (8 reps in each progression) and each time you add something to the progression and by the 3rd rotation it is REALLY hard! I can't do all 8 reps at the speed they do it on the TV (yet) so I had a decision to make. The exercise includes push-ups and if I do the push-ups on my knees I would be able to go faster and probably keep up. However, I decided to not do all 8 reps but to complete each rotation with full push-ups. My next goal will be to try to get faster and faster (with good form of course) and eventually do all 8 reps on all 3 rotations. Finally, the end of the workout consists of chest exercises with your feet in the air to work on the core. They are really hard on the abs (10# is not enough for the chest press though) and boy was I shaking at the end. I did better than the last time though - my legs are higher than the people on the DVD but I was able to hold my legs straighter this time AND on the last exercise I kept my feet up for the entire minute.

Review of the past week: Nutrition - I did really well at the beginning of the week but faltered a bit at the end. I ordered out 1 day because of a long and tiring day and then there was the party food. It made for an OK week - the scale actually shows me up a pound for the week but I know that is water weight from yesterday. I'm keeping very clean today and I will most likely get a better indication over the next couple of days on my weight.
Training - was very good all week! There was only 1 workout that I missed (a run) and that was during a thunderstorm and I did get my Asylum workout in that day so I'm not worried about that at all! I feel like I'm putting in a great effort, on the Asylum sessions and I'm hoping to see a big difference by the end of this 30 days!

Goals for the week: I'm keeping my nutrition goals the same for this week.
  1. I will reduce my dairy intake to no more than 1 serving per day.
  2. I will avoid ALL fast food (if I go out, I will bring my own food).
  3. I will continue to drink 1 gallon of water each day.
Except for the couple of slips I mentioned earlier it was a good week so I will focus on fixing those slips. I falter with stress so that is where I will really buckle down and do what I know I should even when I'm stressed or tired.

Workout goals: I will continue with my schedule of Asylum every day with group runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and sessions (running or biking) with the kids on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing that scale moving downward!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Asylum Day 5

This will be a short one but I wanted to make sure to post something.

Yesterday was a tough day - our AC backed up and soaked our carpet so I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees trying to dry out the carpet with our little carpet cleaner. By the end of the day I was totally exhausted, ended up with subs and chips for dinner and topped it off with a small bowl of ice cream. Not my finest hour but it is over and I'm moving on!

I got up this morning to do my Asylum workout but decided to hold off for 2 reasons. One, my neck and upper back were very tight because of the carpet work the day before. The second reason was that I still felt exhausted from yesterday's work (2 workouts and the carpet). I did get out this morning with the kids for a bike ride. It was going pretty well until about the 4.5 mile mark. I heard this strange noise from my front tire. It sounded like a rubbing noise so I tried to move a couple of things to see if they were rubbing. When that didn't work I decided to slow down and take a look. Just as I was coming to a stop......the front tire popped. BANG! It was quite loud. That brought the bike ride to an abrupt halt - luckily we were only about 1/3 of a mile from the house so we walked the rest of the way.

Then, after a few errands, I was finally able to get to my Asylum workout. It was my second time through Speed and Agility. I felt a bit more comfortable with the actual exercises but I'm not sure I did them any better. I did, however, feel like I was able to start most of the exercises more quickly because I didn't have to watch the DVD and figure out what the actual exercise was. It still kicked my butt and I still needed to take breaks but I'm happy with the workout. I've decided to start keeping track of HR so here it is:

Avg. HR: 147 (included warm-up and cool-down)
Max. HR: 175
Calories burned: 657
Workout time: 46 min.

Pretty cool when you can burn over 650 calories in 45 minutes!

Tomorrow is my long run day so I won't be doing any Asylum workouts but I will start again on Sunday with the Strength workout. The one problem that I'm finding with my current program is finding time to work in some yoga. I know it is really important for my body and I need to find a way to work some in - even just 15-20 minutes would be great!

OK, maybe not so short. Off to get cleaned up. Until tomorrow!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Asylum Day 4: Vertical Plyo

This program is definitely living up to its name! Vertical Plyo is a bear and I loved every minute of it (well maybe not EVERY minute - LOL). I have to admit that I was having second thoughts during the "warm-up" because let me tell you it's NO warm-up. It's just plain hard all by itself! It consisted of a lot of bent leg exercises (lunge type position; squatting positions where you are jumping up and down or twisting side to side; squat hops with the ladder where you just don't come up and on and on). Your quads and hamstrings are just on fire before the workout even starts! At one point Shaun T says some thing like: "If you're tired now you should just throw in the towel now because it isn't getting any easier." I was a bit worried at that point because I was tired! It sure did feel good when the stretching started!

This workout is different in that you don't do circuits and then go back and repeat them. You pretty much just keep moving for the entire 40ish minutes. There are only a couple of breaks in the whole workout. Instead of water breaks, Shaun uses active recovery. These exercises are definitely easier but they aren't easy. The other thing I found very difficult with this workout was the fact that I was getting dizzy with some of the jump/twist exercises. You use the ladder and jump with a twist in and out of the boxes (different variations are performed throughout the workout). Usually you would do 1 direction for 30 seconds and then do the other direction for the last 30 seconds. I could not go in the same direction for a full 30 seconds so I changed the exercise just a touch. I ended up altnernating the way I turned and just kept doing that for the full minute. It allowed me to keep moving for the full time without falling down and breaking my nose or some such thing as that.

Speaking of that dreaded, oh I mean wonderful, ladder - this workout incorporated long jumps both forward and laterally. Shaun recommends shortening the ladder until you work up to the point where you can make the entire distance. So I did that! I shortened up the ladder 1 spot for the forward jumps but had to shorten it 2 spots for the lateral jumps. I'm not sure if the lateral jumps were harder because of my lack of strength or because they were at the end of the session (or a combination of the 2).

The session ends with some very high intensity jumping. There are 2 legged tuck jumps and a couple of different 1 legged jumps. Shaun also adds the ladder to these to make it that much more challenging. You would do part of the time out of the ladder and then move it into the ladder, obviously trying not to touch the ladder each time. It is absolutely amazing how much difficulty that ladder adds. Not only are the exercises hard but there is an added focus that you need to incorporate whenever you use the ladder.

In the end, the workout took a touch under 40 minutes and I burned 569 calories. It was an awesome workout - can't say I'm looking forward to doing it again (seriously though I am looking forward to being able to progress this workout). I have found, with all of these workouts, areas that I need improvements in - speed and agility being one of them and that is tomorrow's workout!

I'm also continuing my running both with my running group and with my kids. Yesterday (can't remember if I posted this yesterday) I went out with the kids and I ran 4 miles. The kids combined some running and some bike riding - we do two 2 mile loops and they run/walk the first one and ride the second one. Then this morning I ran with my group. We ran 3 miles and stopped with that because it was VERY hot and humid. I'm thinking about just riding tomorrow with the kids because they really struggled with the heat yesterday and because I want to keep it fun for them.

Last but not least - nutrition is still going really well. I need to start logging my food on MyFitnessPal though because I want to make sure I'm not shorting myself on calories. It can be a very fine line between reducing calorie intake for fat loss and getting too low and causing muscle breakdown. I also find that when I exercise intensely and reduce my calories too much I get sick. So far I've been doing well and I certainly want to keep that going!

Until tomorrow.....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Asylum Days 2 & 3

Just as I counted down to Baltimore, I'm going to try and blog about each day of Asylum. I will tell you right now that I did have to switch a couple of things to make sure I got my running in as well. I do my long runs on Saturdays and didn't want to do an intense workout and a long run in the same day so those are rest and relief days.

So far, things have been going very well! Day 1 was Speed & Agility, Day 2 was Strength and Day 3 was Back to Core. The Strength workout was very intense - I kept my weight light (only 5#) for the first time through just to get a feel for the workout. It was still a very hard workout and I definitely "felt" the burn.

I completed the Day 3 Back to Core workout this morning and I really think this is going to be one of my favorites. It is still really hard, as are all the Insanity/Asylum workouts, but there isn't the jumping and running around that most of the workouts have. It was very slow and methodical but the burn that your muscles get is fantastic.

As I become more familiar with the workouts I will try to pull out specific parts of the sessions that I found either really challenging or just plain fun and discuss them more. I'll be honest and tell you that I have troubles at times getting started with the exercises because I'm still trying to figure out what they are doing. I found this especially true during Speed & Agility. I don't have the footwork down so I had to figure out what they were doing before I could start.

Nutrition has been awesome as well. I've had 2 days now with super clean plans and I'm feeling really pumped about it. There have definitely been times when I wanted to have that cheat but I've stayed away. I've also read a great post recently about cheating on your nutrition plan. At least for right now I'm going to employ the no cheating strategy. I'm in the process of coming up with some new goals and I know that the better eating strategy will put me over the top. I know deep down that this has been the main thing that has kept me from reaching my goals.

I am looking forward to the next 30 days!Link

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving On.....

I would be lying if I didn't admit to still being a bit frustrated about this weekend's race. However, there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on things past. On we move!

Today has been AWESOME!!!! I started Insanity: The Asylum today and it was great! The first workout is Speed & Agility (which I have little of btw). It incorporates the agility ladder and boy does that make a huge difference. This workout uses some of the same ab exercises but you have to put your feet into different sections of the ladder. This made an unbelievable difference - really wakes you us to the fact that you were slackin' off as you got tired.

I just thought I sweated with Insanity. I was absolutely drench after this mornings workout. I did have 1 problem though - my room isn't really big enough. I had to move the ladder around in the room for some of the exercises. Like when I had to switch from my hands in the ladder to my feet being in the ladder. I don't have enough room on both side of the ladder to make the switch without stopping - truthfully I'm glad to get a little extra rest (LOL!).

I have also made a promise to myself - I am going to really focus on my nutrition. I'm taking this first week to really focus on a few points:
  1. I will reduce my dairy intake to no more than 1 serving per day.
  2. I will avoid ALL fast food (if I go out, I will bring my own food).
  3. I will continue to drink 1 gallon of water each day.
Today has been spot on! I'm still working on my water but the rest has been perfect. I am hopeful that this will make a huge difference in the progress that I see.

Tomorrow is a running day but I am also going to incorporate the Asylum workout. It is the strength workout. I'm not sure what amount of weight I'll use but I know I'm going to keep it light, at least for the first time through. I know this is going to be a really tough 30 days but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Here's to the next 30 days!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baltimore Recap

We (me and 2 friends) left for Baltimore at 5 am and it felt wonderful! There was a slight breeze and there were some clouds in the sky. We were hopeful that the heat and humidity would stay low. There was even some rain in the forecast so things looked really good.

The drive down was good - the traffic was light and we made good time. We got there with plenty of time to spare (a little less than an hour before the start). The sun had come out, even though we drove through some light rain on the way down, but there was a nice little breeze and it felt great in the shade. We made our way to the starting area and the temperature increased dramatically. At that point, my hope of a cooler run disappeared. I knew we were in for a tough morning!

I love this race because the organizers are always trying to make the next one better. Each year they ask for runner feedback and then they actually try to fix the problems!!! This year's big change was a wave start and I was very impressed with how well it went! The race has over 5,000 people and this was the first time I haven't felt like I spent the first 3 miles dodging people that had no business starting so close to the front. Now, don't get me wrong, I want people of all shapes, sizes and abilities taking part in these events (I get a great deal of inspiration from a lot of these runners and walkers). However, if you are a walker or are a runner that needs to walk within the first couple of miles - PLEASE start farther back! Race starts are crazy enough as it is! I also realize that there are people that use the run/walk method recommended by Jeff Galloway and these are good runners who can put up some really good times. But again, when there is a very finite amount of space it is really hard to get into a good rhythm when you have to weave in and out of slower runners (especially when the race uses chip timing).

Sorry - I'm off my soap box now!

Back to the race - this year's start was great! My wave started off well and it was quite easy to find a good pace. They also had pacers which was very helpful! I tried to stay with the 1:20:00 pacer and was doing very well until around mile 5. This happens to be a very sunny area where you run down the hill, around a lake and then go back up the hill. The hill is quite long and really doesn't offer much shade. Between the pace, the sun and the hill I hit a serious wall and had to walk. I felt VERY overheated and I knew that walking was my only option.

The water stations did provide some relief. I carry my own water, so I usually run right through the water stops, but I started grabbing 2 cups of water and dumping them on my head. This would cool me off enough to be able to start running again. The timing, of the stations, was pretty good - I would start to fade pretty close to the water stops, dump more water and start to run again. I used this technique for probably the last 3-4 miles of the race.

I'm proud of the fact that I never gave up - although the thought did cross my mind. I just concentrated on putting 1 foot in front of the other. I knew that I just needed to keep moving and I would get there. The funny thing is that I would look at my watch and knew I was still keeping a descent time. So I just kept pushing and before I knew it I was turning the last corner on the last hill. The finish was right down the road!

My Garmin clicked over to 10 miles a little before the race finish and the time read 1:29:32 - about a 1/4 mile later I crossed the finish line at 1:31:42. It's not the 1:20:00 that I had hoped for but I am happy. I left it all out on the course and that is all I can ask from myself!!

The other thing that really encouraged me was how well I recovered after the race. There were times, during the race, that I felt pretty darn crappy but within 15 to 20 minutes I felt really good! I drank my recovery drink, drank lots of water and had a few chips for the salt. But other than my legs being tight from the exertion, I felt really good. As I sit here Sunday morning, my calves are tight but overall even the stiffness isn't that bad. I can't even say that my legs are "sore" - it really is mostly calf tightness.

What have I learned? I really think the Insanity workouts have helped my ability to recover after an intense workout. I really like this and know that I need to continue with these types of sessions. I also realize that, over the past couple of years, the heat/sun has kicked my butt. I train before the sun comes up so my body really isn't used to running in the other conditions. Also, most of our training runs are done between a 9 and a 9:30 pace (I was shooting for an 8-8:30 pace). When these 2 factors are combined it causes a problem for my body. I can't really change my workout time too much - life always seems to get in the way. But, pace is a factor that I can control. Before my next race, whatever that may be, I will work on training at my race pace. My hope is that if I only have 1 factor (heat/sun) to compensate for, my body will be better able too deal with the situation and I will come out with better results.

Well, there it day at the Baltimore 10 Miler. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tomorrow is the Big Day!!!

Tomorrow morning I will be leaving bright and early (5 am) for the Baltimore 10 Miler! I still can't believe how fast the time has gone! I have a dry erase board that I've (with my son's help) been counting down the days on and we were just commenting about it starting in the 100's. I've put in a lot of hard work and I'm going to be pleased with however it turns out because I know I have worked hard and progressed in so many ways! There are good days and bad days in running and I don't always have control over that. The best we can do is prepare the best we can and give it all we've got.

I will admit that the nerve have already started which is a good thing! I haven't really felt this way about a race in a long time. For most of last year I was dealing with my foot problem so I didn't go into races with high expectations. This time is different! My training and nutrition wasn't perfect but I'm OK with how things went. Now all I have to do is lay it out there and see where the cards fall. I will be keeping Shawn T. in my head. In the Insanity workouts he is constantly telling you that you can do more than you think you can and when things get tough I will just keep those statements in my head and push through.

Off to finish getting ready - most of my stuff is together but I want to do as much as I can tonight so I don't have to rush around in the morning.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Only 2 days until race day!!

I had planned on doing 4 easy miles today but things didn't really work out that way. We met at our usual place and headed out for our moderately hilly route. The pace was nice and easy until we go to the one hill on the route. My hill attacker buddy (we both love to pick it up on the hills) took off and was running ahead of everybody alone. I decided to pick it up a notch and catch up with her. We kept that pace for the rest of the run and finished the 5 miles (yes 5 not 4) in about 45 minutes (9:12 pace). It felt really good - we were chatting the whole way so I'm confident for Saturday (as long as it isn't too hot).

Tomorrow I think I'll do some stretching or some yoga to help get stretched out for Saturday. My lower legs have been a bit stiff lately, especially when I add in trail running. I also have to keep in mind that I have added a lot more running than I have been doing. Even though it is a walk/run it is added pounding to my legs so I need to be careful. I was actually thinking about asking the kids if they would like to exchange a run for a bike ride tomorrow.

Off to cut the grass!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 Days and Insanity: The Asylum

I have been so slacking on my posts!!! I have continued with my workouts and have been running with the kids. Sunday I actually slept in and it was wonderful - I can't tell you the last time I actually rolled back over in bed and stayed there!! So as a result, Sunday was a complete rest day. On Monday, I went for a run/walk with the kids and the dog (covered just shy of 4 miles), Tuesday we had an awesome run that was about 5.5 miles and today I did a modified Asylum workout (more on that in a bit) and went running on the trails with the kids and the dog. The run was about 2.5 miles and we actually did a fair amount of walking because Will was getting tired. I think he is developing some allergies and that isn't helping either. I'm trying really hard not to press because I want it to be fun. The "funny" thing is that I really believe that Ally wants to run more (as long as it is flat) and I never thought that would be the way it would turn out. So, now I'm up to date on the workout report! Almost.....

I got my Asylum program in the mail yesterday and have been watching the different workouts just to get a feel of what will be involved. I've been itching to try one but I'm afraid I'd get too sore this close to the race. However, I couldn't resist so I did a modified rendition of Back to Core. It was modified in that I didn't do all the reps or hold things quite as long as they did on the DVD. I did try everything in the workout and was pleasantly surprised with how I did with a couple of the exercises. The Agility workout looks insane and I can't wait to do Game Day!! I am really glad to see that the Relief workout is all stretching. I think it is 25 minutes which is a nice amount of time. I enjoy the P90X stretching workout but some of the stretches work on areas that I don't really need right now and the Asylum routine looked pretty good.

I think I'm going to start to cut back a bit the rest of this week. I'm planning on doing a flat 4 miles tomorrow and maybe try some of the agility ladder drills - not the workouts just some instructional drills that Shaun T shows on the workouts. They are just to get you used to some of the exercises and to become more comfortable using it without stepping on the ladder. I think I may do a yoga workout on Friday and a run/walk with the kids. Then the race is on Saturday! Depending on how I feel on Sunday, I may do the Fit Test for Asylum but if I'm really sore then I'll so a stretching day and start on Monday.

In the home stretch! I haven't set any other goals yet but it may just be getting through the Asylum program. I think this will be tough with my run on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday. I have to take a closer look at the schedule and see where I'm going to fit everything in. Have a great day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

5 Days - Short & Sweet

Less than a week before the race! I've printed out the confirmation and a friend is picking up all our packets on Friday! I'm working out carpools!! Where did the time go????

Had a great first day of summer with the kids! We started with a run/walk where we did 2 miles of running and walking. Then the kids got on their scooters and I got the dog and we did another 2ish miles (a little shy of 2). I was really proud of them all! Then after some "down time" we got ready, went to lunch and spent a couple of hours at the pool. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time. The only problem was that I allowed myself to get a bit of sunburn.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, I want to go hard on my workouts and then start to taper off for Saturday. Tomorrow is a scheduled run day and Wednesday will be an Insanity day and a run walk with the kids on the trails.

Looking forward to the race on Saturday and for what comes next - still working on that one!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

10 Days: I am Blessed to have MY life!

Have you ever met someone who complained about everything? It's almost like they aren't "happy" if they aren't complaining. Or maybe your in-laws are a pain in the you-know-what...or maybe your parents are always putting your down....or your spouse doesn't give a rats a$$ about anything but themselves. I do and I am so glad I don't have to live that way.

Sure, there are things in life that we need to complain/vent about but it takes way too much energy to live like that constantly. We shouldn't be door mats but man, would it hurt to try to find the positives in life? Or, if you find yourself in a situation that does warrant some complaining, then do something about it - don't just sit there complaining and watching from afar.

I am definitely lucky in that I loved my in-laws (God rest their souls). They were the sweetest people in the world and would do anything for you. However, I realize that this isn't the case in all situations and the fact is that there isn't an easy solution for this situation.

Again, I am lucky that I have wonderful parents who are supportive to me and my family. They want to spend time with us and are more than willing to watch the kids when we ask them to. Our philosophies are similar so there aren't fights over how the kids are being raised or what they (my parents) let the kids do when they watch them. Many people don't have this type of support either because their parents don't give it or because their parents have passed away.

Finally, I think I have one of the BEST husbands in the world. He supports me in the things I do, he is there for the kids and he even does the laundry and the dishes. What more can someone ask for! LOL!! Seriously though, he is a great person and my best friend!

Is my life perfect - far from it! But there are a lot of positives!! I wish there was a way for all those negative-Nellies to take note. I bet most people could find many positive things in their lives if they just took the time to look! We all have things that happen to us that are "bad", the important thing is how we deal with them. We need to find positive ways to deal with our stress. What are some examples?
  • Exercise
  • Talking to a friend
  • Writing in a diary
What are some poor ways to deal with this stress?
  • Stress eating
  • Drinking
  • Abuse
  • Bad attitude
How will you react the next time something negative pops up? I will definitely think long and hard about how I react. I DO NOT want to be that negative-Nellie. I have a wonderful life with great friends and a family that I love - what more could I ask for?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

11 Days

I've changed my exercise days this week - running M-W-F and doing my cross-training T-Th-Sat. So on Monday we did our 5.5 mile hilly loop and it was a good run. We averaged about 9:20 per mile and although the hills were hard the overall run felt pretty good. The weather has been really up and down. About 2 weeks ago it was incredibly hot and then this past week was pretty pleasant. Now, it looks like it is about to get really hot and humid again. This always has a huge effect on our runs. Monday's was pleasant but tomorrow's run will probably be tougher just because of hte heat and humidity. We are planning to go 7 tomorrow and then 8 on Friday. This will be our last "long" run before Baltimore.

My plans for cross-training this week is to do my Insanity workouts. Today was Plyo Cardio Circuit and I loved it! I really can't express enough how much I love these workouts! The feeling I get during and after these workouts is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I have worked hard during exercise sessions and have had the feeling of pride and empowerment from those sessions. However, these workouts go way past that. I just feel amped for hours after the session. I am also going to order Insanity the Asylum in the next day or so - I am so psyched to try these workouts! I've been watching a number of YouTube videos that have been reviewing the different sessions and the more I watch the more I want it AND the more it makes me nervous (in a good way). These are really hard workouts and will push me passed anything I've ever done before.

Next week the plan is to keep my intensity high at the beginning of the week but then tail off a bit at the end to make sure my energy stores are high for the race. The wild card here is definitely the weather. If it is as hot an humid on race day as it is going to be the rest of this week, then my goal time is out the window automatically. It just wouldn't be safe to try and run that hard when it is that hot and humid. Add this to the fact that we usually run at 4:45 am so that there is no sun to deal with - and the potential danger rises dramatically. Now if the temperature isn't too bad I am absolutely going for it! We'll just have to wait and see.

I got some great new running shirts for my birthday - I'm looking forward to trying them out this week. I've made some poor choices in clothing over some of my past Baltimore runs so I will try a couple of the new shirts out this week and pick the best one for the race.

The countdown is almost over - I can't believe it! I will definitely need another focus in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping it will be my review of Asylum. Until next time - keep working hard!!

Friday, June 03, 2011

15 Days

Today is Gorgeous!!! The sun is shining, the temperatures are wonderful and there is a nice little breeze. These are the days you truly look forward to....Picture Perfect!

Time is definitely growing short...Baltimore is only 2 weeks away! I know I've put in a lot of training but it is about this time that I usually start getting nervous about my conditioning etc. This time is no different. Every little ache and pain starts my head spinning I getting an injury? Did I do something that I shouldn't have? etc. Then, of course, there is the worry over nutrition.

This past week my main "issue" has been my right heel. Thankfully, it is feeling better today. I still really don't know what caused the issue in the first place but I'm wondering if it was my trail run on Monday. When you change running surfaces, it can be good and bad. I love the fact that you don't get the same type of pounding that you get running on the roads. However, running on surfaces like trails or sand (ie beaches) can be very hard on your feet - working them in ways that you aren't used to. This is, of course a double edged sword - you don't progress if you don't challenge yourself but if the challenge is too much then you run the risk of injury. The only drawback to this conclusion is that it didn't happen to both feet. I would have thought that is 1 foot wasn't used to the surface the other wouldn't have been either...LOL!

On that note I decided to stick with my bike workouts this morning. I'm getting a great workout and no pounding on my foot which I think has helped a lot. I absolutely love my Cardio Coach workouts - they are interval type workouts and use both resistance and speed to get your HR up. You are in control of your speed &/or resistance so anyone can use the sessions and you can use them on just about any type of equipment. I've used them on my bike and on a treadmill and it works great! Speaking of working great, I love my new HR monitor. It is really basic but it allows me to track workout and calories burned while still inside. My Garmin, tracks these things but will only calculate calories burned while utilizing the GPS. That means that I can only get calories burned when I'm outside....doesn't do me much good with my inside workouts!

After my bike workout was over I did a lifting session - legs and shoulders. I've now done this twice this week and I've really enjoyed the change. Over the past year, my lifting sessions have all been P90X workouts. I love those workouts but it does feel good to change things up every once in a while! I changed the exercises from the last time I did the legs and shoulders so I was able to add in even more variety - gotta love that!

The next product I want to get is Insanity Asylum. The videos I've seen have been awesome and intimidating all at the same time! If that program gives me 1/2 the sensation that Insanity did I know I will LOVE IT! I haven't seen 1 bad review about the program other than it is a real butt kicker. But that's what I'm looking for!!!

Few more things to do before the day gets away from me. Have a great day!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

16 Days

Today was a great day! I had a good run this morning. The heat and humidity finally broke so it was actually really nice to run. We ended up doing our 5.5 mile hilly loop and averaged 8:55 per mile. My heel has been a bit "tight" the past few days - I don't know how else to describe it. It doesn't really hurt (although it has on occasion) but I'm not getting any relief from stretching it either. I've taken anti-inflammatory pills today and iced it this evening. I don't know if it will help but I know it won't hurt. Anyway, my foot felt pretty good during the run and for most of the day. It is just know "flaring up" a bit.

Later in the day, I met a friend at the dog park and our dogs played for hours. Unfortunately, there was a dog there that was aggressive in the water and actually tried to drown our dogs. Chip went under a couple of times because of this dog. He was then a bit scared of the water for a good portion of the day. When those dogs cleared out we were able to get just our dogs together and after a couple of tries he went back in and did some swimming. He is getting much better!

Tomorrow is supposed to be another beautiful day. My son has a field trip which is awesome for him. When my daughter did the same trip a couple of years ago, the weather was awful and they didn't get to eat out in the garden of the museum. She was pretty bummed!

Anyway, I'm planning on taking the day a bit easy. My workout will be a bike workout (keeping pressure off my heel) and some lifting but other than that I'm not planning much for the day. It has been a crazy week and I feel like I need a break. I will do some stuff around the house but not much else. I'm really looking forward to it!!

Have a great night!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

17 Days & The June 10 Day Challenge

WOW the race is only a little more than 2 weeks away!!! Where has the time gone??

The past couple of days I've been doing some Cardio Coach workouts on my bike. They have been awesome workouts - this morning I added a lifting session (Workout1 of Flex 4). My right heel has been bugging me a bit, more of a tight feeling than a pain but it has been over the heel section and not in my calf or foot. I've been nervous to try an Insanity workout and the bike has been perfect. Yesterday morning it was really tight and after the bike session, it felt great. Today was better before I started and I haven't had any trouble. Tomorrow is a run day so I'll see how it feels before, during and after the run.

Today started another 10 Day Challenge and I feel like I really need it! My eating has been slacking a bit. I think it was in part because of all the schedule changes going on right now. I'm still adjusting to school being over and the kids are having a lot of special functions to go to. It all results in grabbing food on the go and that usually causes me big trouble! Today has been good though - I've been very mindful of the food I've eaten which is a great first step! I also made a big fruit salad today (love the fresh fruit this time of year) which will be a lot of my dessert type food and will save a lot of calories.

Last night we signed Will up for a baseball camp - it's my baby's first camp! He seemed happy about going....I'm never sure how he is going to react to surprises like that. That's his big "gift" for the summer and Ally's will be a new bike. We will get that either this week or next - all depends on the schedule. She too was happy about her "surprise".

Busy rest of the day so I better get to it - have a great day!