Saturday, March 30, 2013
I think I only have the mental capacity to really give my all to one goal at a time. I haven't figured out how to balance running, strength, and nutrition goals all at once. One always seems to get priority. In Feb. I tracked strength moves. I saw and felt improvements. Upped my goals for March, started tracking, lasted a few days.
I switched into racing mode. And I'm glad I did. It was a great race. I still can't believe i ran a 1:51 HM!
Then it was time to get over myself and put in all that running effort into my nutrition goals. And I did. For about a week. I'll be honest, this second year of maintenance has been much harder than the first. It's frustrating how much constant effort it takes. How often I say "no" to things. How hard I work during the week and then blow it on the weekends. How I've been saying this since DECEMBER! I looked back at my calendar and the last time I was at my happy weight was 12/24. My legs do not look like they did last summer.
I can do this. I love my workout sticker calendar. I'm adding on some nutrition marks for April. But I'm not waiting until April. I started 2 days ago. And surprise, surprise: 2 great days!
April also means adding once a week swims into my schedule. And it means Spring running! With the kids! So much to be excited about.
"Only a running mama can...
pack lunches, get dinner in the crockpot, throw in a load of wash and fit in a 10 miler while pushing an extra 40 pounds."
If I can do that, I can manage to get an inch off my waist and another off each thigh. Here's to a strong and healthy April! And a consistent one. No more of this 5 days on, 2 days off, merry go round.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
And this has not always been the case. Most of you know me as a runner. You didn't know that I would run around the block, feel miserable, give up, quit, try again a few months later, repeat. I thought I couldn't do it. It just wasn't in me. I wasn't a runner, I was never going to be a runner like my dad. I watched him run, race, I tried on his medals. I wanted to be a runner, but I couldn't do it.
Luckily, life surprises you. Luckily, I am willing to try again.
I started running with DH in March/April 2011. We would run a 1 mile loop around our neighborhood. And it was HARD. But I didn't give up and it got easier. And then I ran a 5K and discovered the energy of racing.
HM 1: 10/11 in 1:55
HM 2: 3/12 in 2:00
HM 3: 5/12 in 1:54
Add in several 10 milers, a full marathon, some triathlons and a mud run.
Yesterday was the same race as last March's 2:00. That day was horrible. It was 75 degrees which is crazy hot for March in MN. Bad race. I was super disappointed in myself. It was a mental blow as I was in the middle of marathon training. This year, number 1 goal was to beat last year's time and to have fun and feel strong at the finish.
Of course I also wanted to PR. I tried to be realistic. I have not given training 100%. But I also know what I'm capable of. 1:52 was my goal. 8:32 pace. All week I chanted to myself 8:32, 8:32, 8:32.
Then winter happened. Oh, Minnesota, how I love you. 75 last year. Freezing snow and rain and sleet and ice all mixed in on Friday. Forecast is 10 for 8 am, start time. TEN degrees and icy roads. I kinda panicked. When I calm down I realize that even in that weather, I can still beat last year's time. I'm telling myself 1:59. (Yeah right, I'm still whispering 8:32s in my sleep).
Saturday morning I wake up and it is a glorious 20 degrees. It's windy. It's cold. But it isn't 10 and snowing. Thank you weather lords! I take back all the horrible swear words I said last night!!
And it was cold. I lined up right in front of the 9:00 mm pacer. It's strange to run a race for the second time. I kept getting flashes of a year ago and how I felt. I started too fast and was spent by mile 5. This year I got my little app announcement at mile 1: "8:52." Perfect. I wanted to start with a 9mm warm up. Mile 2: "8:32" ha! That's my time. Now just run.
This was the best I've ever done with really listening to my body. Listening to my breathing. Slowing down when I needed to and keeping a steady pace. At mile 5 I felt great. Goal met!
It's an out and back course. Around mile 6 the leader came by and this is incredible to see. He was WAY out in front. I saw one my my running girls, which gave me a boost. Somehow I missed DH. Eventually I told myself to stop looking for people and to focus on myself.
Felt great at the turn around. Time to pick it up. Goal #2 was a negative split. Tough goal on this course since the first half is downhill, which means the second half was a fair amount of uphill.
And then it was icy. What the heck? We were on the exact same road. It was sanded and salted pretty well. But now I was definitely slipping. And I could feel that I had to work harder to keep my footing. Couldn't keep up the same cadence. And harder to pass people.
Just keep running. Keep your pace on the hills. My dad taught me this simple trick to use when you're struggling: With every step say, :"toe, toe, toe." You automatically think about your feet and engage your whole body to push off that big toe. Thank you Dad. That one worked.
The sun was shining. I felt good. I said a prayer of thanks for my health. I like to take a moment to think about all the people who can't run. How lucky I am. I am strong and healthy and this is what I do for fun. And so do 4,000 other people in my city! How cool is that?
I use mapmyrun, which is not the greatest running app, but it's free. The GPS is always a little off and the pace is fast. I always add 10-20 seconds to what it tells me. It said my average pace was 8:17 so I figured I was close to my 8:32 goal. My plan was to pick it up at mile 10 and run a fast 5K to finish it.
well... not everything can go as planned. I got to mile 10 and my legs would not move faster. 10 miles is a perfect distance for me. Unfortunately a half marathon is not 10 miles. I had to suck it up and push.
Mile 12: come on now! Go!! You have a goal to meet!!!!
Finish line: I ran across happy and as fast as I could. I wasn't in an all out sprint because I didn't have that much left. I truly left it all on the course. The clock said 1:53 and I was thrilled. I started a bit after the gun, but i wasn't sure how much. Enough to get the 1:52? I didn't worry about it because my running girls and DH had already finished and were freezing cold. We went out to breakfast and got Bloody Mary's to celebrate. Everyone had a good run!
Later that day the chip times were posted. 1:51:28. Just typing that brings me back to the second I read that time. My whole body smiled. I was proud of myself. I was so so happy. I AM still so happy. And I did run a negative split!
Now I know some of you are going to tell me I'm fast. And, yes, of course that makes me feel good. But here's the thing: if you run, you are a runner. If you race, you are racing yourself. There is always someone faster. DH got a PR too. 1:41:14! And my girls were 1:37 and 1:45. I am the slow one. Times are relative. That's why we need to race for ourselves.
i care about my times a great deal and am very motivated to beat myself. 1:49, I am coming for ya! Maybe it's time to spend $1.99 on a better app.
Friday, March 01, 2013
1. 90 running miles
Oh well. February is a short month. And I skipped 2 long runs. One because of vacation and the other because...______(insert excuse here).
I like to track a few strength moves every month. Makes me do more than I normally would. I kept my goals low this month and it was still a struggle. better than nothing!
2. 100 push-ups per week
wk 1: 90
wk 2: 100
wk 3: vacation!
wk 4: 120
It's amazing how quickly you lose strength. I love the feeling of doing real, strong, perfect form push-ups. I am back up to doing 20 in a row. Need to keep it up!
3. 100 tricep dips per week
wk 1: 100
wk 2: 80
wk 3: vacation!
wk 4: 120
Love the definition these give my arms. And tank top weather will eventually be here!
4. planks 10 mins. per week
wk 1: 6:00
wk 2: 7:00
wk 3: vacation!
wk 4: 1:00
so... guess I don't like planks.
I completely abandoned the triathlete heavy lifting program I had done so well with in Dec. and Jan. Back to the weight room tomorrow morning
5. get back to lower range of maintenance: 147-148
I ended the month with a slight gain. And as nice as some of you are on my status updates, no, it is not muscle. It is inches on my waist, tummy and thighs. That's where I carry my weight. I feel it, I see it. My favorite pants don't look like they used. And I've been saying this since, oh, about November.
I am going to write nutrition focused March goals. I run a lot. I cross train a lot. Exercise is not the issue here.
6. finish medal holder
This also counts as my one pinterest project a month goal for 2013. I spray painted a piece of wood, drilled small holes, screwed in hooks. Very cheap, very easy! Half of those medals are DH's. I have a second piece of wood ready to go. We will need it in a year or so!
7. goodwill drop off
8. Tea after dinner, no night time snacking
?/28 lost count :(
See? I need to focus on nutrition goals and actually follow through.
Here we go March!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I grew up downhill skiing in Minnesota. My parents have a time share in CO and there's an annual trip of uncles, cousins and siblings. Since having kids, I have not been a part of those trips. They were talking about it on Christmas and there was a great deal on airfare so DH and I made a semi-last minute decision and booked a trip. Our last ski trip was 5 years ago. Our last week + long trip was our honeymoon, 6 years ago. We've never left the kids for 5 days. This was a big deal for us.
And it was worth every penny. I soaked up each moment. Here are some highlights so you can enjoy the beauty and so I can relive it all. I'm sorry I don't know how to rotate these.
This is in the Back Bowls of Vail with DH and my sister. You look left and all you see are huge mountains. You look right and all you see are huge mountains. You feel on top of the world.
Me and my sister. We had a blast. She goes every year so I was annoyed by how much better she was than me. I blamed it on being a mom and now I ski with more caution. No more bombing the run! She beat me in every race. Except uphill! When we were on catwalks that needed some cross country type moves, my cardio was better. ha! Sibling rivalry always in our family. But seriously, my running did help. My quads felt fine for the most part. Being in good shape allows you to do active stuff with relative ease. And enjoy it!
DH and I went on 2 runs. Holy hard! Altitude training is crazy tough. I wanted my legs to move faster. I knew they could, but if I made them, my lungs felt like they were going to burst. It reminded me of when I first started running. We ran 5.5 miles along Gore Creek at the base of the mountain and it was breathtaking.
The 2nd run was shorter and silly and super fun. We got up early and toured the little shopping villages. You sure can cover ground as a tourist when you're on an early morning run. We jogged past the fancy shops and window browsed. We watched the bakery trucks make their deliveries. We stopped to take pics.
We took some wrong turn and when a sign said "No outlet" we figured it meant for the right fork in the road. After struggling uphill we suddenly found ourselves ON the mountain. The groomed part for skiers! whoops. Turning back would have been awful so we looked at each other and made a mad dash for it. We must've looked ridiculous sprinting down the middle of the slope. I wish I would've gotten a picture but I was too scared that we'd get in trouble. It was a highlight of the trip.
We sat outside at the end of the day and drank margaritas and watched all the skiers come in. Sun, good company, a good drink and even some chips and guac! Bliss.
I took a yoga class where I got a lot of personal attention that helped change several important poses for me. Loved it. My sister I and went to a Barre class. I've been hearing a lot about it lately and we were curious. It was fun, but nothing I'd seek out or ever pay extra for.
It was vacation at its best. I indulged in quality food and treats. But I also was pretty active. Such a good balance. Life is good.
And now I'm ready for Spring.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
It really bothers me that I can't use emoticons on an iPad. Can you please picture a cute pattern of snowflake, runner girl, snowflake, runner girl...
Yesterday I ran in my first trail race. In February in Minnesota! It's part of a very small race series and they had a Black Friday event with race deals. 10 miler for $13. I'm in! Plus, the timing was perfect for my HM training. 10 mile long run. Since it was a trail run, I had no time goal for this race. I'm serious! I just wanted to have fun and be challenged in a new way.
All the racing I have done has been in big events. Expos, packet pick ups, sweet gear and medals, 1000s of people. This was not like that. A small race has a much different feel. At the start, the race director gathered us all up in the parking line and said, "OK, we will start at this crack in the road." How great is that?! And then he really did say, "ready, set, go!"
I started with my friend and we chatted and everything felt fine. And then we got off the pavement and onto the trails. Uh oh. It was warm: 25 degrees. (I hope all my southern sparker friends think that's cute that I think 25 is warm :) well, it's warm for Feb. and the problem is that snow was melting a little. Which means slush. Which means no traction. Felt like we were running in sand. Whew.
My legs felt it. My friend told me not to worry,most of the runners were doing the 10k and that we'd get back to pavement in a little bit. When we got to the 10k turn around (3.1 miles) I told her to take off. I put my iPhone on and tried to let Kesha and flo rida distract me from how much my legs hurt. I had map my run app going so when it announced at mile 4 that my average pace was 8:15, I panicked. Slow down! That's way too fast for you! You can't keep that pace!
I know the app tends to be fast, 5-10 seconds off. But the time still freaked me out. I still dont believe that i can do that. Then I had to tell myself to shut up. Yep, I can be rude to myself. Here's the deal: my heart rate was fine, I felt fine. Wy should I let some little apple contraption tell me how to run? I know my body. Just run! Gadgets are not number 1 for me.
Back to the beautiful trails... I'm a city girl so this was fun to run out in open land and by some farms and ponds. There was one teeny dirt road lined with birch trees (my favorite!) and the wind was blowing the snow off and it was picture perfect. The turn around was back in this area. I was very surprised by how few people were in front of me. Small race!
5-7 miles went fairly quickly. I ran with some other guy for a bit and we chatted about winter running and the pain and the joy. The few runners I saw we're all mumbling about how tough this was.
I passed a few runners and then was all alone. I mean, alone. I couldn't see anyone in front of me and heard no one behind me. I thought, thank god, I do have this silly GPS contraption straped to my arm because I have no idea where I am. Ok, maybe gadgets are number 1!
I love the energy of big races and all the runners. I like to pick people to try to catch. It motivates me, it keeps my race pace going. There was none of that. This was a true mental battle to keep going strong. Lots of positive self talk here. It would have been very easy to get discouraged and slow way down.
A mile 9 one guy passed me and I was annoyed for a second, but then reminded myself that I was giving it everything I had. My legs were done. My head was staying as positive as possible.
At the finish line, my legs were jello. When they asked me to take off my timing chip (old school anklet wraps) I wasn't sure I could bend over. I needed to keep walking. Very quickly I felt amazing. My friend and I were on such a giddy runners high. That was an incredibly tough run: mentally and physically. And we did it!
She got 2nd in her age group so we stayed for the awards. I got 4th. So close to a medal! 4/16 in my age group. 12/37 women. I'm thrilled with that. 87:13 (8:45 pace) What's funny about my time is that it is the exact same, to the second, as my Twin cities 10 miler last year.
And while I'm happy with the time, I'm more proud of myself for staying strong and talking myself through some very tough miles. Running is so much fun!
Runner girl, snowflake, runner girl, snowflake.
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