Monday, February 13, 2012
I feel like a slug.
I made a conscious decision to take Friday as a rest day, in anticipation of walking 11+ miles on Saturday. I was all enthusiastic about walking in the snow - I was READY!
Until a) I ended up sleeping in a lot later than usual on Friday, forgot to plug in the crockpot so dinner was late, and only remembered I needed to get to bed early once it was too late to make that happen and then b) I got up Saturday morning (after 3 hours of sleep) to find out the temperature wasn't even going to MAKE it to 20 degrees before 8am and the wind chill was 4 degrees. I was actually waking up pretty well, so I was tempted to try it anyway. But 4 degrees? Neither my daughter nor I have lungs that deal well with super cold temperatures. We did okay in the 30s thanks to my inhaler, but that number worried me. I think if it'd been one or the other (no sleep vs. 4 degrees) I'd have gone ahead and given it a shot, but the combination just seemed a little risky to me. So I called my daughter, begged off, and went back to bed. And then slept until 2:30 PM, thus pretty much blowing Saturday all to heck. Oh we had a lovely dinner at around 10:30 PM and an even lovelier date night ('cause they are always awesome, seriously), but between that and then sleeping until afternoon today I feel like I slept the entire weekend away.
So yeah. Slug. It doesn't help that I didn't eat terribly well either. 'Yote pointed out to me tonight that my cycle this month was "more typical" (as in, typical for most women, not specifically typical for me) than usual, noting the massive need to inhume tons of chocolate that I normally don't have to contend with. So I guess I can chalk some of it up to that, but still. I think I'm still laboring under the massive pile of work stress that just doesn't seem to let up. You'd think I could shake it off on my days off...not so much, apparently.
And honestly, if I could have just stayed in bed until tomorrow I'd have been happier. I so so so so SO don't want to be here (at work) right now. I've had the mainframe maintenance looming over my head the whole time I've been off, trying desparately not to think about it too hard . *sighs* Nothing but to just muscle through it and hope it isn't as horrible as last time, I guess.
Tonight as I was getting ready for work, my new size 16 pants felt a little tighter than they had. This is NOT acceptible.
So whatever else happens today (well, assuming I get off at 7am as I requested to cover those 4 hours per pay period I don't get overtime for like everybody else since they moved me back to 9p-9a as of today dammit - not like anyone bothered to respond to the e-mail to let me know if it was okay or not), the daughter and I will be hitting the gym. I need back on that horse. Plus, I suspect part of my current malaise is simply due to the fact that I haven't exercised in 3 days - the guilt of not going on Saturday notwithstanding, I'm just not used to inactivity, and I think the body doesn't like it much.
I can do this.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
I think it's starting to gel, this whole marathon training thing. Not that I'm there or anything, I'm just finally falling into the rhythm of the process.
I was tired when I got up from my "nap" after work on Wednesday, but jazzed about getting out there to walk with the team. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed all the snow from the flurries that morning (we got about half an inch) was gone by the time I got up...oh well (from the sounds of it, we're likely to get 1-2 inches on Friday, and considering it's going to struggle to even HIT 30 degrees on Saturday, I suspect we'll have snow to walk in that morning). I picked my daughter up at just the right time to get us to the warehouse with a few minutes to spare. Good thing, as once we got there she realized she'd forgotten her gloves, and the temperature was dropping. She was able to borrow a pair from Melissa, one of the other trainers (who mentioned along the walk when we saw a camera man from Channel 12 that she doesn't like her picture taken - good thing for the blogger over here to be aware of).
My daughter among the blinky lights. :)
So we got our "marching orders" for the night - another "out and back", but this time we were going to do "tempo training."
As Rich explained it in his e-mail on Monday:
"There are 4 types of speed training, intervals, hills, fartlek and tempo. For those who prefer speed training, it is important that all 4 are included in your training program as they complement each other.
Tempo walks are the simplest of the speed workouts. Just warm-up, walk at a challenging steady pace and cool down. For marathoners, the challenging pace is race pace.
Tempo runs were first introduced to runners due to a desire to simulate race conditions without exposing the runners to the full physical and mental stress of races. You will walk briskly but not too intensely for a sustained period. Tempo walks improve concentration."
Since we were walking for 60 minutes, the plan was 20 - 20 - 20: 20 minutes warm up, 20 minutes race pace, and 20 minutes cool down.
Here's Rich and Karen (the primary trainers) giving us directions for the evening. :)
So we headed out - the plan being to head down Brotherton Rd. to Madison Rd., take Madison southwest and then left on Edwards and left on Erie...when we hit the 30 minute mark, turn around and come back.
I SO love that area of town. Next week I've got plans for where I want to take a few pictures, so I can share with you my favorite toy store on the planet, and the best ice cream shop in Cincinnati. But last night, I was focused on the training.
We ended up spending most of our time walking with Brenda again, and Melissa. Melissa is apparently recovering from a leg injury, and Brenda is still having some foot issues, so I suspect they are the designated "bringing up the rear" coaches at the moment. And yeah, we were at the back of the pack again, but it REALLY doesn't bother me. For one thing, I really adore Brenda and it was fun getting to know Melissa better. For another thing, I'm not focusing on making any specific time in the marathon, and expect we'll make up any pace deficits running anyway. All I care about is finishing. But the faster we walk, the less we'll HAVE to run and the less time we'll be out there in general, so I'm glad we're doing speed training.
I did take one tumble (durn old broken sidewalks), but I rolled through it and didn't get hurt at all. Point for me (sticks tongue out at silly sidewalk). We got MUCH farther than we did the first time out, which made me extremely happy. And it felt GOOD - seriously good. I was pushing but was still able to chat as we walked, which meant I wasn't pushing TOO hard. And my breathing in this cold is holding up REALLY well - I think I may have finally turned the corner there I was hoping for. Seriously, the entire walk just felt fabulous - I felt SO ALIVE! I am LOVING THIS!
All in all (having tracked it so I have the numbers now) we did 3.85 miles in 61 minutes, which translates to an average pace of 16 minutes per mile. Which is what my sister and I were AIMING for when we were training for Disney (and weren't sure we could manage, leading to our version of "run walking" where we'd pick someone WAY ahead of us and run until we were past them every other mile or so). THE FIRST TIME SPEED TRAINING! Yeah, I'm getting my confidence back (good thing, as those first few sessions with the runners had shaken me up a bit). We are SO gonna RAWK this!
Saturday we'll be walking along the same route to start out, just going farther (MUCH farther...11.73 miles worth of out and back). We'll also be talking about fueling (yay - something I definitely need to learn more about) and there will be samples of gu and other common types of fuel for us to experiment with.
Can you believe the fact that we'll probably be walking in about 20 degrees doesn't even FAZE me? I'm EXCITED about Saturday! Even with the weather reports!
Yeah, I definitely think I'm getting in the groove!
*image courtesy of Adidas ad
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Mondays seem to be big for "just not feeling it" I'm finding, at least the last couple of weeks. Maybe it's the getting up earlier than I usually do. Maybe it's the fact we're doing it at the gym (don't get me wrong, I LOVELOVELOVE my gym and my "gym family", but the farther along we get in this journey, the more I'm realizing I REALLY prefer walking and running outside). Yesterday I'm pretty certain Mother Nature had her hand in things too (though TOM didn't really get going full force until I got home this morning, I have a feeling that just the fact it had started was enough to sap my energy).
And once again we got there too late to get anything in but our cardio. I've really been slacking on my strength training the past couple of weeks - need to sit down and make a better plan there. *sighs*
My DAUGHTER is totally knocking it outta the park. She's following the training schedule religiously, including making it to the gym without me on days I can't be there (she even got her dad to go with her last Tuesday when they had an open house - he's considering joining, though he's leery of contracts and intends to "shop around" a bit first).
Me? I got on the treadmill, and my left ankle felt "wonky" - not hurting specifically, just a kind of sharp "kink" that didn't feel right. I kept going for about 5 minutes hoping that it would work itself out once I'd warmed up, but it didn't go away, and I just had a bad feeling that if I pushed it, something was going to go very wrong. And right now, the LAST thing I want is an injury to slow me down - we're JUST getting up to the higher mileages (this weekend 11-12 miles are planned, next weekend 13-14, and the following weekend we're scaling back to 8-10, which is going to be a challenge for me to accomplish since we're looking to visit the NEO that weekend and I have NO idea where to attempt that on my own - suggestions welcome NEO Sparkfriends). SO I decided the smartest move would be to switch over to the elliptical - not exactly walking but less impact and still good cardio.
So to the elliptical I went (well, actually two - the first one was acting up, as I've found the older ones at my gym occasionally just start randomly adding resistance until you just can't move the thing anymore without killing yourself, so after about 7 minutes of fighting with it I got fed up and moved to one of the newer models) and pushed through a total of 45 minutes. And I do mean "pushed through" - about every 5 minutes I wanted to just say "screw it, I'm tired and wanna go home." But, my daughter was doing an hour, and there's no sense just sitting around the gym waiting for her right? So I soldiered on.
When I got off the elliptical and walked over to my daughter to check in with her progress, I noticed the ankle wasn't bothering me anymore. She still had about 5 minutes to go and then wanted to stretch, so I thought I'd go ahead and finish up my hour by walking 10 minutes on the treadmill. Which turned into 15, because I decided since my legs were feeling so much better I ought to get a LEAST a full mile behind me. And since I hadn't actually thought to check my distance when I got off the treadmill the first time, I decided to just use that 15 minutes to complete my hour, and blow off those first 5 minutes in terms of tracking.
I'll admit, as physically wrung out as I felt by the end of it, the endorphins had apparently kicked in enough that I felt pretty good by the time I got home. Still tired, but that "good tired" of having accomplished something. Which is a good thing - I had an emotionally rough night at work (I think I may have seriously experienced my first real panic attack at work last night, which is REALLY sad considering it was over something pretty minor and by and large we didn't have any major issues - I suspect the ongoing stress and knowing I've got 2 ugly mainframe maintenance nights looming in the next couple of weeks is starting to get to me, and the fact that I woke up tonight and was immediately nearly in tears at the thought of having to go back kinda says something). I'd chalk it up to hormones, except that isn't how my body works (for me it's *always* really been PRE-Menstrual Syndrome - once I start I'm back on an even keel). I don't think sifting through some old e-mail folders looking for some documentation helped anything - nostalgia is not my friend right now. Not when the end is really and truly coming, and soon (if current reports are to be believed anyway...I think I need to grill my boss soon to see if he's gotten any actual solid details yet, I don't think the uncertainty is helping either).
*shaking off thoughts of work*
Tomorrow we'll be doing speed training. AND may find ourselves walking in snow flurries! YAY SNOW!
*Image courtesy of runnersworld.com
Monday, February 06, 2012
I did it!
So Saturday's planned agenda was 8-10 miles. I'll admit, I was a little nervous about it. When I fell in August, it was at the end of my first 9 miler. Of course, I know extreme heat and poor planning contributed to that, but still - the number had me a little intimidated.
Friday night I was in bed by 9pm as planned (hooray for cooperative mates!), so I'd gotten a good 7 or so hours of sleep (you didn't think being in bed on time meant SLEEP happened right away did you? Hehehe) and rolled out of bed before the alarm even went off at 5am. As did the mate, actually (hadn't expected that, but hey, bonus time together). Had a good breakfast of oatmeal made with skim milk, got all of my gear squared away and suited up, and then I was off to pick up my daughter and get this show on the road!
I made a couple of gear changes (for both of us actually). I brought both my hats in case KITTYWULF didn't have one with a brim, because the forecast expected rain to start probably around the time we'd be getting done (she actually had her own, so my Disney Marathon hat stayed in the car). I also brought her an extra "fanny-pack" she could use, thinking that she could clip her water-bottle-holder to it to keep her hands free. I also brought a couple of extra water bottles, a honey stick for each of us, and packed the "fruit and nut pack" she'd given me the week before in case I needed extra fuel (lesson learned there).
We arrived at the warehouse in time to be greeted VERY enthusiastically by the coaches, get our "blinky lights" and route directions, and then they started announcements. One of the coaches gave a demonstration of "putting on your shoes" - which sounds kind of silly, until you realize how INCREDIBLY important it is to make sure you don't have creases or lint or "hot spots" when you're talking about 26.2 miles. I think I need to pick up some body glide soon (she showed us to put it on the places you tend to get blisters or sore spots before you put on your socks...good idea). Then they divided us up into "Faster than 15 minute mile pace" and "15 minute mile pace or slower", two coaches with each group, and we were off!
Gods I'd forgotten how much I love that part of town. There are a number of REALLY quaint eateries and shops along Erie Avenue (need to tell 'Yote's ex who moved down here recently about the Saigon Cafe, she's been asking where to find good Vietnamese food - saigoncafe-cincinnati.com/index.htm )
And of course THIS house. Seriously, this is someone's private residence. Dean, the coach who stuck with us through the whole walk, mentioned some people call it "The Mushroom House."
Our route took us up Brotherton Rd, down Erie Avenue and then to Observatory all the way into and around Ault Park, and back. I can't WAIT to see it in the spring (and hope the daffodils we saw trying to sprout get the clue it's still winter and go back to sleep). Here's the map I tracked with:
It was actually drizzling a little when we first started out, but stopped pretty quickly and didn't start back up in earnest until we were nearly to Ault Park. It never really rained hard, but it was a constant drizzle for most of the 2nd half of the walk. Made me feel like a real diehard out there truckin' along in the rain, waiving at other runners on the road, chatting with our coach.
Speaking of coaches, Dean and Brenda (the 2 coaches with us slower-folks) were absolutely spectacular to have around. Dean stuck to us like glue, so we never felt abandoned. He'd occasionally make suggestions (like reminding us "The energy of the pack starting out can be contagious, but it can trip you up - you can push too hard too fast. Just start out easy and don't worry about keeping up, after about a mile of warm up THEN if you want to push it you can go for it!") and letting us know how our pacing was going. He told us more than once that he was pretty impressed - that we had kept up a good 16 min mile, were strong up the hills (he kept commenting on how strong we were) and complimented us on our arm swings (guess that training we did a few weeks ago with the main coaches did us some real good). When we got to the "water/bathroom stop" (a UDF along the route) we came up on Brenda who was having some cramping in her feet she was stretching out - KITTYWULF took a bathroom break (which is, I suspect, why when I tracked our route on SP it came up with a 17 minute mile pace even though Dean said we were doing 16, as we stopped for probable 3-5 minutes), and then we all started out together. Brenda walked with us until we got to Ault Park, and then turned around with some of the others who'd already done the loop and were on their way back. She's one of those people who just lights up when she talks to you - VERY friendly and personable (she was the first person who greated at the very first meet up with the walkers). We met up with her again towards the end - she'd headed back out to find some folks they hadn't seen come back in yet (she eventually got word they'd already come in, and had apparently taken a detour to get back quickly, I think because one was having some leg issues, but I'm not sure) and finished the walk with us.
Our stalwart coaches, Brenda and Dean!
Me and my girl, after walking 9.8 miles in the rain!
I'm LOVING this team, loving this process, and can't WAIT until next week when we'll be doing 11-13 miles! Do you realize, that's almost a half marathon?
Sunday, February 05, 2012
The last ingredient I need for my polyjuice potion this week is "Extract of The-Transfigured-Being-To-Be" -
This means a bit of the person you'd like to transform into once the potion is completed. Take a moment and think about who you want to be once you've reached your goals. Think about details, like what you'll do each day and how you will look and feel. Write a blog about your future self to collect this ingredient.
For the extra ingredient for the Potions stores, share this blog with your House Common Room.
When I look in the mirror, I see a person who is getting healthier and happier every day. I see a person who isn't afraid to try new things. A person who doesn't let her fear of heights (or fear of being "too heavy for the equipment") stop her from adventures like zip-lining or rock-climbing. I see a person who hears about an adventure race or a marathon and says "Why not? Bring it!" A person who doesn't let negativity or "nay-sayers" get in her way, but goes for the brass ring anyway. I see a person who can rawk it on the dance floor and doesn't need two long-islands to work up the courage to get out there. A person who isn't intimidated by her mate's charisma because she's rawking her own.
I also see a life-long learner who isn't letting inertia get the better of her, but is finally building the skills that will let her find work she feels is meaningful and worthwhile. Where she can truly fulfill the balance of helping others and being excellent at what she does, someplace where her skills are APPRECIATED.
And yeah, I also see sexy clothes and "second looks" and the occasional "Dayum baby, you look HAWT" (and not just from the mate).
You know the REALLY cool thing?
I already see that person in the mirror.
I decided when I started this journey to begin living the life I wanted to live NOW. Not 30 lbs (or 50, or 80, or 110 lbs) from now.
Guess who just bought a Groupon to go rock climbing?
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