Monday, March 12, 2012
So I'm kinda sorta back. I don't feel like I'll be going great gangbusters exactly, but easing back into Spark-life such as it is.
It's only been two weeks but it's felt longer and shorter, both. I've only started tracking nutrition again on Friday. Prior to that I didn't track, and didn't much care.
I've been recovering from oral surgery the last 11 days. Since then I've been on soft foods while my dental implants heal. That's been very frustrating for me as the oral surgeon said it would be 'a few days' of recovery and it was more than that. Much.
14 days of inactivity are also behind me. I'm hoping to make it to the gym today after work. I missed an 8 mi long run this weekend with the Tribe but I just wasn't up to it. I'm hoping to .. not make up necessarily.. but to work my way back up to where I was prior to the break.
JASR is in 18 days, and I'm very much looking forward to that. Not only because I'll get to see some Spark friends again, but mostly because my sister and niece (remember Ms. Poppy?) are going as well, and this will be our first time running together. I'm super excited about that, and the fact that after the JASR weekend I'll be heading "home" to W.Va. to see my daughter, her boyfriend, and my mom for a few days. It'll be my first time back east since I moved here to Portland 6 years ago.
So while February was a kick-*ss fitness month, March has not been much of anything at all except recovery. Hopefully I can salvage the rest of the month, both physically and mentally/emotionally. The break was due to simply defeating myself in terms of numbers. The scale was up, the eating was wrong, and the attitude was poor. It's behind me enough now that my head and my heart are focused on the same goal and I can find .. earn .. success again.
Monday, February 27, 2012
So I'm opting to take a bit of a break here.
February has been a conundrum for me. Successful efforts fitness-wise for the most part, but not so much for everything else this last week or two. Rather than driving myself even more nuts over it (and believe me when I say I have already gone 'round the bend over the weekend and I am tired of it) I'm just stepping back a bit.
If you need me, I'm here, you know how to reach me. Heck, I may still contribute my mileage on our collective journey down the Amazon, and I'll be keeping an eye on the SparkPortland team, but otherwise.. I'm taking a breather. I'll miss ya 'til I'm back!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I just read an article on the NY Times website:
How Exercise Fuels the Brain
Recently, Coach Nancy had a blog post or two about endurance athletes and carbs:
Why are carbs getting such a bad rap?
Still unsure about a runner's needs for carbs..
So there you have it! This all comes down to good news, much to my relief (I've been on a carb mission lately it seems)--- carbs are so very much my friends! Not only for fueling my body, feeding my muscles for all the hard work I ask of them, but also for helping to keep my brain sharp! Yes yes, as with anything, carbs must be taken in moderation (and should be in the form of healthy whole carbs, not refined or processed), but it's good to know that they are not the enemy and don't have to be avoided.
Viva la carbs!
Monday, February 20, 2012
My goodness but it was a busy weekend, all in good ways!
Friday night, we DID make it to the gym. Sometimes at the end of a long week it's tempting to say "I'll go tomorrow" or "just do a few things here at home" but not last Friday. It was raining pretty hard, so we decided to forgo the walk and drive down instead. An hour later we were pumped up! Heh. My program is progressing now such that I'm beginning to lift a bit heavier and I'm actually feeling the effort in my muscles, and not just breezing through it. I like that very much!
Saturday started off a bit drizzly, but when I checked the forecast on weather.com it claimed there'd be no rain from 9 to 12 or somesuch. The Tribe was running the first Magic Mile of this training season Saturday morning and I was feeling good and ready for it. I just wasn't sure what to wear. I left the house in plenty of time, without taking my rain jacket, trusting the forecast. About 10 minutes into the drive, it is POURING the rain. Sigh. Ok, fine, I turned around and went home to get my jacket. I'll do a lot of things, but running in the pouring rain without a jacket is not one of them!
I race home, get my jacket, slide back into the car and head for the meeting place. It rained pretty steady clear up until.. want to guess when? 9 am. Seriously. It stopped as I reached the meeting place, and didn't rain another drop after that LOL You can bet I took that jacket with me anyway. If it was important enough to go back and get and make myself a bit late for? It's going with!
The Tribe does an easy 1 mile run to a high school track to help warm up for our Magic Mile. Once there, was do two laps (800 m) and then do a couple of sets of acceleration gliders. Then we get down to business and do our thang. I've been doing my weekly maintenance runs at a :45/:45 interval, and it feels pretty good, so that's what I did the laps and my MM in. It worked out well, even though I ended up running alone. Well, I was the slowest runner there so of course I was running on my own, but on my own interval as well.
The previous Saturday Susan had gotten stuck running with me (my definition, not hers, she was great about it!) in my less than stellar shape. This Saturday, she cheered me on (she and Holly were keeping time for us) and was congratulatory for finishing my MM spot on 12 min/mi. I was so pumped and proud of myself. I kept my focus, I ran MY race, I ran with my music which really seemed to be the key, and I kept my head in the game.
Anyway, we did another cool down lap, then ran back to the cafe where we met. Holly, my gal pal from last season, actually led the team through winter training, although we'd been missing each other for various reason through the last several outings. We finally got to catch up and chat a bit and it was great to see her again. She's improved leaps and bounds over the winter and has gotten much more speedy. I cracked wise while running the MM that we needed to recruit more slow people so I'd have someone to run with! Ha!
Once I got home and cleaned up we headed out to the Race Center Expo at the NE Foot Traffic. I like to think of the NE Foot Traffic as 'ours' because it's only 2 miles away. Yes, we've walked/run down to the store before LOL It's a great landmark and destination! Anyway, we hit the expo to pick up my bib and shirts, and Bill decided to register for the 5K. He enjoyed doing the Fanconi last weekend enough so that he wanted to do it again. That's what I love about running - once you start, even if it's just a little bit of running, and you get out amongst other people doing the same thing having fun, you want to keep doing it!
Jeff Galloway was at the expo and at the Tribe's table. I stopped by and did my usual which is - if you're famous or important, I can't talk to you, I'll fall over in a faint. It's silly, but it's how I am. So I chatted with Holly and Aaron a bit more, and watched Jeff talking with someone else out of the corner of my eye. That was close enough for me! LOL
The Heartbreaker had an option to purchase a separate tech shirt, in addition to the cotton tshirt you got for registering. I took that option and ended up with an awesome red tech shirt for the race!
Bill would have to wait to pick up his shirt after he finished the 5K, and that was fine. We finished up at the expo (where Bill happened to find a nifty reflective vest for half off) and headed out for the rest of our errands, which just happened to include driving the majority of the route for the Rock'n'Roll Half! OMG! I'll have to blog about that separately, look for it soon!
We hit a few stores, then decided to head to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. It's clear on the other side of town from us, but we've enjoyed eating there enough and there are enough options for me being conscious of what I'm eating that it's worth the drive.
Sunday dawned overcast but dry. Whew! We'll take it! We got ourselves ready and together and did the obligatory pre-race photos.
Red tech shirt!
This was the second year for the Heartbreaker and they had learned a few lessons and changed a few things up. The Half started at 7:30, and then the 5K started at 7:40. The 10K wouldn't start until 8:40, to give those people who wanted to run BOTH the 5K and 10K a chance to do so. Nice!
Bill headed out to do his thang, and I walked off in the other direction. The race was near the waterfront, so I just walked down to the Steel Bridge and back. As I did, the Half runners began trickling back downtown from their out portion. One guy by himself at first, and then the flow picked up as time went on. I got back to the finish line in time to start cheering for incoming 5Kers and waiting for Bill.
There he goes! His Garmin said he finished in under 50, which was his goal. He did more walking than running, but enjoyed himself none the less. Nice job!
We handed off the backpack (*note to self - don't carry three different water bottles to a sponsored event where water is readily available!) and I lined up for the 10K. Since I'd run pretty hard the day before I told Bill, and myself, that I'd run the 10K easy, doing double walking intervals to keep from straining or injuring my legs. Good solid thinking.
Of course I didn't follow my plan.
Well, not entirely. I took off with the crowd, which quickly thinned out. It seems like there's always that ONE walker just ahead of me, who does nothing but walk, but manages to always remain ahead of me even when I'm doing my running intervals. WTH? LOL Whatever. I'm doing my :45/:45 intervals and enjoying myself. Nothing hurts or aches, so I'm fine. I do remind myself at the first twinge or sign of an ache, I'm slowing down!
As I'm running, I'm playing cat'n'mouse with another lady who is also running intervals. We bounce back and forth for a while, chatting off and on, until she falls into step with me. She had been running 1/1 intervals, but slowed down to match pace with me. Her name is Katie and she is a super-nice lady! We talked about how we started doing intervals and how long we'd been running. Now really, this is the first race I've been in, by myself, where I met up with someone to chat with. I've always heard of people doing it, but never experienced it myself. It helped the time, and miles just fly by. All of a sudden we were at mile 3! Wow! It was like the blink of an eye.
We chatted partway through mile 3, and then I had to let her go. I was starting to run down, so I opted to implement my double-walk intervals. See, I'd had a relatively good breakfast (Van's Lite waffles with homemade nut butter) at 6, but nothing else since. I'd brought grapes with me to eat while waiting for Bill, but I'd forgotten to munch on them. My tummy was telling me that it was hungry, and we were only half way done! Doh!
Ah well. I did the :45/1:30 interval until around mile 5, then picked it back up again. Every time I run an official race 10K, I finish in 1:23. This time is no exception LOL I finished in 1:23:23, which, considering I doubled up on the walk intervals? I'll take!
Bill snapped this of me on my way to the finish line.
As you can see, I still have PLENTY of work to do. Grrr.
Ugh! Ah well, it is what it is, until it ain't. Some day it will be at least smaller. I doubt it'll ever go away completely, but I'll have to remember to wear snugger running capris to keep it under better control LOL Do they make a running Spanx? Heh.
As I'm crossing the finish line, I hear a shout and look over and there's Aaron, the Tribe's leader, high-fiving me as I finish. Yay! Bill meets me at the end of the chute to hand over the water (one of three bottles, thanks very much! Oy!) and says 'I want to show you something' and starts unzipping.
He whips out this beauty!
That, my friends, is the award he received for placing 2nd in his age group for the 5K! WooHoo!
I was so proud of him. He was a bit sheepish as there were only 2 in his age group LOL but I explained it didn't matter if there were 2 or 200, he had beaten EVERYONE who slept in that morning!
The Tribe runners who had competed in the Half had also finished by that time, so there was nothing left to do but brag about Bill (he got lots of Attaboys! and congrats), praise our runners who had finished strong, and head home on the Max.
I'd say that was probably the best 3 hours we've spent downtown together in a long time! It was so good to get home and get warm, though. While Bill cleaned up, I pulled together our menu and grocery list for the week, got my own shower, and headed back out again. The initial plan had been to go to Chang's Mongolian Grill because really, it's like the best possible option for a yummy veggie dish completely created by me and cooked by someone else! Instead, we got our groceries and Bill decided he'd rather have a burger from Red Robin.
That ended up working for me, because I'd been craving fish and chips for a while now. We both got what we wanted for lunch and I can absolutely say my mouth enjoyed the meal! It was yummy, although my tummy was not as thrilled with my pick. Ah well. I ended up having a light dinner later on last night and it all worked out well.
As I've started upping my mileage for the week, my calories are going up as well. Right now the top end of my range is 2000. Wow! I'm usually safely at the low end of my range (we're not counting yesterday LOL) which is fine by me. My BodyBugg reports that yesterday, with all we did, I burned over 4000 calories!
I'm going to try really hard to 1) not let it go to my head and blow my eating out of proportion this week and b) think I can coast on Sunday's burn alone. Sunday is done and gone, in the books, and it's time to move on! I've got plenty more cals to burn the rest of this week.
And, I've got plenty more to blog about but I'll have to save that for another time, as I've rambled on more than enough already. If you've made it this far, thanks for coming along on our little weekend adventure!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Sometimes I need a personal reminder - from myself TO myself - of just how awesome I am. That sounds conceited, doesn't it? Well, so be it. I am awesome, and I'm getting awesomer by the day. Even bad days contribute to the level of awesomeness because without the lows, the highs wouldn't be nearly as joyous.
The far left image is my Before picture.
The far right image is my Today picture.
Approximately 26 months and 60 lbs.
18 months. 30 lbs.
I think the haircut only accounts for about .5 lb loss LOL
Not a lot of changes to see, but Bill finished faster in 2012 than he did in 2011. Still neat to see side by side.
I had one of THOSE runs last night. The kind of run you hope for every time you get out the door and onto the pavement.
New tunes on my playlist for this training season.
New jacket that has zip-off arms to convert into a vest. It's a bit big on me, but it has pockets for my phone and any other necessities, and it breathes as well as anything else I've had so far.
Most importantly, a new focus. See, I'm going to be facing this in 13 weeks.
I know, it doesn't seem like all that much, but to me, in my mind, right now, It Is A Big Deal.
That's right, it says there's an elevation gain of approx. 338 ft. That may be nothing to lots of people, but it's a bit intimating to me, so I'm focused on getting strong, improving my breathing, and my pace/cadence. The route I usually run for my 3 miles is a bit of an uphill, and usually I have to do double walking intervals, panting my way back up to the top of the ridge. Last night, I stuck to my normal intervals, and while I was panting, I still felt strong and didn't double-up on my walking intervals.
The music kept me going and so did my determination. I finished strong, and felt so good. Top it off with a healthy delish veggie soup dinner and an early bedtime, and today I feel like I can take on the world. Here's hoping it carries me through the weekend.
Tonight - ST at the gym. I have that wonderful achy, I used my muscles hard, feeling going on in my back, chest, and arms from Wednesday. Aaaahhhhh yea, that's the feel of getting stronger!
Saturday - magic mile with the Galloway tribe, although most of them will not be there as they'll be resting up for the Heartbreaker Half on Sunday.
Sunday - 10K at the Heartbreaker. After I'm done I'll be sticking around to cheer on Tribe members who are doing the Half.
Yep, another back-to-back weekend, but it should be good. I won't push too hard on Sunday. I don't want to do too much and risk injury. Not when I'm feeling so RAWR now!
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