Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Yesterday I tried two 'new' classes at my Y - back to back by the same teacher. They were very different classes, and I really enjoyed them both!
The first was called "Maximum Core Strength." As you can tell from the name, it was a strength training class. It was really different than something like BodyPump. The movements were always very slow and controlled and a lot of the time you would stand on one foot. In fact, she gave us tips on how to prevent toe cramping, but mine cramped a few times anyway. We used light weights (I chose 3 lbs) and a squishy ball and did a lot of squats and lunges while doing things with our arms & core, too. This class was in the gym and I bet there were over 60 people!!! I enjoyed it, but enjoyed the second class even better.
It was called Cardio Challenge and was challenging indeed! It was kind of a bootcamp class. She changes it up every week, but there are often stations and you work at your own pace. This week, there were 10 stations around the gym. You picked one to start at and then traveled around the room doing whatever it said. We worked out for 20 minutes solid, took a brief break and then did another 20 minutes. Here are some of the stations:
- run 3 laps around the gym (2 of these stations)
- shuffle 1 lap
-'braid' 1 lap (you run sideways with trailing foot going in front of & then behind the other foot)
- skip 1 lap (I wish this meant I could 'not do' a lap!)
- 20 high knees
- 20 jumping jacks
- 5 burpees (hate 'em, but did 'em!)
- 10 squat jumps
- 10 tuck jumps
Wow! That's all 10!
This was my day 'off' of running (I ran 5 miles on Monday), but I put in a lot of running. Both classes started that way - well, class #1 started with walking laps & #2 with running laps). In the 20 minutes, I got through all of the stations twice plus a few extras. So, lots of working out!
Afterwards, we did 30-second exercises for abs & core - like crunches, bicycling, leg lefts, pushups (yep! for 30 seconds!) and planks. I think there was one more. We did each of these sets TWICE and then stretched briefly for a cool down.
I love these classes, though they were hard and I am sore! I can't wait for next week...and I'm checking out the schedule to see if she offers other classes.
If you have time, why not try some new classes at your gym? You might find something you love!
Oh, and I haven't been enjoying the pilates reformer at the gym near as much as with my running coach. So, today I'm treating myself to a session with my coach! yeah!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
After a rough week where I just rested up, I had a great run today. And, I think I've figured out a big part of what was going on and why I was struggling with my workouts this past week.
Just two weeks ago is when I ran my 5K that I'd been training for with a running coach. I did an incredible job, in my #1 bib, and got an amazing PR of 32:00! But, after that, I thought it was 'just a 5K'...and got back to work. Monday, I put in a HARD 5 mile interval run and then an hour of pilates reformer intermediate...which was incredibly hard. I felt great for both of those workouts, but then have struggled the past week & a half. I think I needed to take it EASY after that race! I've never raced so hard before & didn't realize the toll it took.
So, this week, I only did 2 workouts before today...a 3 mile run/walk (that was pretty pitiful) on Tuesday and an hour of (easier) pilates reformer on Thursday. With all of that rest, I was hoping I'd have a good run today...and I did! (Oh, and I had a great 8 miler last weekend.)
My plan yesterday was to do 9 miles today. But, last night, my dh suggested we head up to Oklahoma to visit family in 2 weeks. Well, that's the weekend my sil is doing her first marathon...the Mother Road (tri-state) marathon which covers OK, MO & KS on Route 66. I got to thinking, could I possibly do that half? Our original goal had been for me to run a half when she did her first full, but it just hadn't been working out.
While I lay in bed last night, I was plotting and planning. I decided to try a 5 minute run/1 minute walk instead of outright running today. That way, I wouldn't be bumping up my running mileage from 8 to 10 miles. And, it'd be easier on my body.
I met my group at 6:40 am. they were only running 5 miles, but it was still nice to run with a group for awhile. From about mile 1.5 to mile 2.5 when they turned around, I ran with a lady I hadn't talked with before today. She is pregnant with baby #2 and has been running for about 10 years. We had a lovely talk and I wish we could have ran together longer!
I was feeling great with my 5:1 ratio and, basically, had a great run! (Though I was having a problem with one of my shoes...I have never cared that much for this pair!!! I had to stop twice - once to tighten it and then to loosen it. I ended up with 2 blisters, though they weren't really hurting during the run. My toes tingling was my issue.)
I love the trail we run on Saturdays. It is open enough to feel safe and yet you are running near the trees and a creek bed (which is dry with our major drought). And, there are quite a few other runners & cyclists & everyone is really friendly.
I did it! 10 miles and I was still feeling great! And, with my 5:1 ratio, I was still running as fast as I did last week (which was FAST for me!) with pure running! I will definitely run 5:1 for my half marathon...in 2 weeks & a day!
Now, my decision is what to do next week. The course is hilly, so I'll be running out on the hilly path near my daughter's school. But, I'm debating on whether to do 12 miles next Saturday or taper and do 6 with my group. I've also considered doing 12 on Friday or something so I have an extra day to 'taper' before the race.
I'm doing great tonight though my hip is a little sore. I'm getting ready to hit the foam roller! That'll feel nice! And, I can't believe I'll now be running 4 half marathons in just 5 months!!! Gotta train smart!
Friday, September 23, 2011
I just wrote a long comment on a thread about the new Biggest Loser season. I've watched only part of the first episode...so far. (I just haven't had time to finish it yet.) A lot of us are very disturbed that they announced that ALL of the contestants will participate in a marathon...in the desert...at the end of the show and the winner will get to be one of the finalists. Here's my response.
I just started watching BL last season and found it incredibly inspirational...especially as I was just starting on this journey myself! And, no, I didn't have to lose 100+ pounds. I lost 25-30 and am now a size 8. But, I was starting from 'the couch' and I cried almost every week watching the contestants overcome obstacles! The show challenged me. Even as I was running, or whatever, I thought...wow! If they can do 'x', then I'm not pushing myself enough. (Very reasonable things...like how fast they were moving on the treadmill.) And, the day several of them overcame their fear of heights spoke so much to me! I want to conquer my fears, too!
On the other hand, I was disturbed by the first episode, even though I've so far only watched about 1/3rd of it. The marathon idea appaled me...and it'll be in the DESERT!!! And, I believe last time they did a marathon it was only the 3 or 4 final contestants.
Another thing that I found very hard to watch...and very wrong...was their first workout. They were yelling at them & telling them they couldn't drink water. (I need a lot of water...more than most, I think, when I'm working out!) And, these people are obese & haven't been doing anything. One of them had to do 10 pushups...when I'm not working on mine, I can't even pull out 10 pushups! And, I just kept thinking, I'm in 'good shape' and that workout would be HARD!!!! Incline of 12%!!???!!! I've only done 6! (Then again, that is a challenge now calling my name!)
But, after watching last year's season, I know that probably half of these people will be in GREAT shape when the show is over. And, they did ask for this. And, they are being monitored.
As far as the marathon, I did my first half marathon 5.5 months after getting off the coach. I was 40 & had never ran before. I struggled with 30 seconds at first. But, I did the HM at a 2 min run/1 min walk interval. It took me almost 3 hours. And, I could have kept a steady pace and done a marathon I think. No, I couldn't have RUN an entire marathon, but I could run a little walk a little...it was really easy. In fact, 5 days later, I did 8 miles. I just felt GREAT & set out to do 4...then did 5...& 6...
I haven't decided if I'll continue to watch or not. I love watching the contestants emerge from frustrated, obese people who feel so ashamed & pitiful, to confident, in shape people who have conquered so much! It is very inspiring to me.
No, they don't use the best methods. (Do they even get rest days???) But, it is evidentally possible...because they keep doing it & keep changing lives!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I don't know if I'm overtraining (likely) or burned out (I hope not!) or if it is just stress (got that, too)! I just want to QUIT!
I can barely run. I had a goal of 5 miles today, but told myself 4 would be fine. I only made it 3, and I walked about 1/4th of it. And, I'd told myself the speed didn't matter. Well, I was SLOW! But, at least I was out there.
It's finally BEAUTIFUL out! Two weeks ago, I was running at near 90 degrees. Today, it was in the low 70s! And, I ran on a nice path. But, I just didn't have the 'joy' & 'excitement' I usually feel while running.
Yes, I'm going through some stress. Is that it? And, my nutrition is horrible...because of the stress & a lack of self control. And, I hit my running HARD on Monday after my incredible 5K on Saturday. My coach had told me to take it really EASY!!! Is that it?
The rest of the week was so-so, though I did have a nice 8 mile run on Saturday!!! A GREAT run! But, I took off Sunday & Monday (because of 'things' going on & thus no time) & really needed to run today. And, it FLOPPED!
Any advice? thoughts? words of encouragement? I just have to get back on track!!!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Yesterday I ran my anniversary race...the same 5K that I did for the first time last year after completing couch to 5K (C25K). And, my race bib was amazingly...#1! I got quite a few comments and heard people commenting as I walked around the racing venue! Pretty neat!
(My camera is acting up, so no photos...yet!)
Just as background...I started with SP June 1, 2010. About a week later I started C25K. My first race was at a local high school and I ran as much as I could but also walked quite a bit. It was frustrating to be such a slow runner that I was actually running with the walkers. I completed the 5K in 46:30.
Since then I've competed in other races (2 more 5Ks, 1 10K, 1 Half Marathon, and 2 Sprint Triathlons) and lost about 30 pounds. (Well, some of that I lost before that first 5K!) For the past 7 weeks, I've been working with a running coach (via email and face to face chats while doing pilates) do increase my speed specifically for this race. My goal was 35:00 with a 'dream' goal of 33:00.
The race started at 8 am and I got to the high school track at 7 am. I sat in the car for about 10 minutes. The temp was in the upper 60s. I love that this race is close to home AND the start & finish line are at the football stadium/track. There are tons of 'real' bathrooms! So, I visited one and then did an 8 minute run. I wanted to see how fast felt 'good' and I ran about half of this time at 11:00. The rest I tried to keep slower.
I drank some more water and visited the restroom one more time between the children's races. They were having a children's 1K. And, I was so worried for them! They started in the street then had to turn to head out for a loop around the track. They had the kids running through one of those blowup arches that football teams sometimes enter the stadium through. Well, from the big street, they turn and have to run through 3 of those car barriers (meant to keep cars off the sidewalk...about 2.5 feet tall round cement blocks) and then narrow their group significantly to get through that tunnel. The first group, grades 4 & 5, take off running FAST! One kid falls immediately but gets back up. As they squeeze to go through the tunnel, I watch child after child fall to the ground...the child in front of them would jump out of the way for those barriers & then they'd fall before it or slam into it. It was PITIFUL!!! I couldn't watch! I went to the parking lot. I finally came back & saw they'd redone the route for the other 2 groups...THANKFULLY!!! Whew! But, that was just sad. I saw a little girl later walking around with 2 bloody knees crying. What a way to start the day!
Back to my race...we were told over and over that our 'start' line is 5 feet narrower than the street so BE CAREFUL and don't stand too far to the side. Great, I'm thinking! This sure wasn't planned very well! I usually line up against the curb, but not this time! They are also telling the slower runners and walkers to get in the back. I'm about halfway, I think. Little do I know how many walkers are in front of me!
The starting gun went off and we walk to the start line as you usually do. Then, I start to 'run'. Well, there are walkers everywhere that you have to dodge. This is pretty usual, but a lot of these are groups of people and they are walking 5 and 6 wide! It's hard to get around them!
Oh, by the way, I think there are about 1100 runners, though I'm not sure. I did see a bib that said 1100. But, very few are wearing chips. There are actually only about 230 timed people! There are a lot of teens running - from various school groups like the swim team and the track team. I think they 'have to' run this as many of them are just hanging out chatting & walking slowly.
After a couple of blocks I'm able to run a little better. My pace for the first mile was going to be 10:30 or 11:00. I'm running closer to 9:45, but feeling really strong. We turn a corner at about .75 miles and get out of the sun somewhat. But, now we are on one lane of a 4 lane road. When the walkers get even 3 or 4 wide, they are taking up the whole lane. So, several times I go out around the orange cones to pass.
At the one mile mark there is a water station. Everyone's walking, but I don't want to walk! I grab a water cup, pinch it (my first try!) and end up with water all over my face as I try to drink. But, I do end up with about 3 swallows.
We continue to run and get off the busier street into a neighborhood. I am actually looking at people ahead of me and running to catch up to them. This is really new to me! I'm actually racing! And, I'm running fast enough that I HAVE to open my mouth to breathe out!
At about 1.75 we go up our only 'hill'. It's actually just a slight incline for 2 blocks, but you can feel it. It slows me down slightly, but I'm still hovering around 10-10:15 for this 2nd mile.
There are less people around the mile 2 water station and I've out ran the walkers. I take my cup, pinch it, and do a lot better job of getting some water.
I start running beside a lady I'd heard talking to a teen earlier. She'd told him she was 'about 50'. We are about the same pace and I think about talking to her but really can't talk much at this point. We run side by side sometimes but I pull ahead when I feel she's slowing. We kind of go back & forth like this for quite awhile.
At about 2.25, we hit the sun again. It is draining even though the temp is in the low 70s. I want to slow down, but I keep telling myself there's less than a mile to go. I'm still around 10:00 pace.
There aren't many people around me now. We are headed to the stadium for a loop around the track...to the finish line. There are a group of track & field teens in their tiny Speedos that pass me a little before the track. I hear one of them complaining about their hip & their knee hurting. And, they say they've got to finish running. So, right before the track (& the crowds), they dig deep and start to sprint. I can't keep up. I was hoping to beat them, but that's OK.
The track is a hard way to finish. I never run on tracks and it looks long. And, my Garmin is telling me I'm almost at 3.1 miles. I dig deep and finish strong...leave nothing, right? My Garmin hits 3.1 miles and there's still quite a bit of track left. Dig...run...dig...
Then I cross the finish line & hit my Garmin's stop. 32:00!!! 32:00!? At one point during the run I thought I might even make it in 30:00 or 31:00, but this is fantastic and it is much faster than my goals.
Also, my Garmin shows 3.17 miles, so I would have ran the 3.1 in about 31:17 though I didn't look and see my time then. Either way, I'm thrilled with what I've done!
Oh...and I feel dizzy and slightly nauseous. I have trouble figuring out where the water is, but finally see it. I grab two cups (I'm so thirsty!), but can't even drink at first. I'm just panting for air. I finally can sip it and it only takes a minute, maybe less, to start feeling better. Then I'm able to sip more. I walk around and then head for the shade. It's about 10 minutes before I even look for the food...and then I only grab fruit.
I know quite a few people at this race - mainly from my daughter's swim team. I chat with several of them and just enjoy the feeling of race day. I head back near the entrance to the stadium and cheer on runners for awhile. I see an 'old' friend and cheer her on. She's been walking with some friends but they decide to run around the track. I see her when I walk over to the finish line, too.
By the time I get home, I'm already dreaming about next year. I went from a 46:30 to a 32:00 in ONE YEAR!!! What can I do next year?!? And, what does this mean for the possibilities of my half marathons?!? I can't wait to find out. But, first, I must train!
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