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Packing in the Fitness Minutes

Monday, May 09, 2011

As life has been picking up the pace, it seems, like so many other times, that my fitness was one of the first things that got cut back. In the past, I figured that if I couldn't get in a "full" workout, that I would just put it off till I could and inertia would set in. But they always say here on Spark that even 10 minutes a few times throughout the day will add up, so today, even with my schedule pretty packed, I found three opportunities to get in some fitness.

First, I got up extra early after making sure that my lunch and clothes were packed for this morning and got to the fitness center for the 5:30 AM spin class. It's an hour long, so I told the instructor that it was nothing personal, but that I have to be at work at 7Am, so that meant that I had to cut out 15 minutes early to have time to hop in the shower, dress and get to work.

Then, once I finished work (at 4:15 or so), I got back to the fitness center. I would normally do a back to back 30 mins of abs and 60 minutes of strength training. Instead, since I had a metting with the ladies tonight, I only had time for abs, but was there early for class, so beforehand, I got in 15 minutes on the stairclimber. I guess that makes up for cutting out of spin early.

Tomorrow is another 7 to 4 day at work and there are no very early classes - and since I am just now getting home (9PM), I don't think I could get up for one anyway. I think sleep is high up on my agenda about now. After work I'll hit the center on the way home, or, if it is nice, just hit the road and get in a nice long run....well, probably around an hour or so. It will be nice not tohave to time or schedule this fitness....just run.

Waiting to hear from my running buddies re: our run schedules for the weekend. We really need to start ramping up the LSD's. Ah, but as I said...sleep is crucial, so off I go! Catch up will have to wait!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKEITHO 5/10/2011 10:45PM

    Great job! But yes, sleep is key so I hope you get a good rest!

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NELLIEC 5/10/2011 9:08PM

    Wow, it sounds like your schedule is very full! I hope that you are not overdoing.

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CINDYCHARLENE 5/10/2011 12:59AM

    AMAZING GRACE! To do what you do requires more than just will power. It has to be want power and God power together. You are a very good team.

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The Long Haul, Reality and Motivation

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Somebody stop me. I started this year with plans to get more fit. To go from running 5K to 10K and then by fall run a half-marathon. Well, I have checked off my first 10K, (and added 2 more 5K's), and am now training for my first half which will be Sept 11th. One of the 5K's is in June and the other is a repeat of my last race last year and it isn't untill the first week of October. I'm curious to see how I may have improved over the year. Now, I've added one more event. I've decided to run a second half marathon on Oct 23rd in St. Louis. It's a Rock N Roll event and since my baby sis lives in St Louis, I'm going to take a couple of extra days and spend them with her and my nephew. I hear there will be at least one or two other Sparkers running this one and it would be really awesome to get to meet up with them!

In the meantime, I am working on core strength and strength training and trying to keep my flexibility. I had cut back a little the week before the 10K and have gradually gotten back on track, but I'm just not able to keep the training schedule that I had going pre race. I have had a busier than normal work schedule for the last week or two....and that IS a good thing if I'm going to pay for all these races and then the trip down to St Louis, but I need to kick it up a notch. I guess that means that I am going to have to start getting to bed earlier and getting some fitness in before work (@7AM?!?!?!) at least one or two days a week. Since my fitness has scaled back, I have put on 3 lbs in a month. I'm not in a panic about that, yet, but I feel pretty comfortable with what and how much I am eating - except for the Easter candy, which is now gone.

I did spend my spare time this weekend making some good, nutritious, lowfat, high protein meals and freezing them this weekend. Also got lots of fruits and veggies prepped and cut up and ready to go, so the plan this week is to get my calorie burn from fitness up to 3000 cals or more. I like the idea of having my running weight at 130 or less, but in reality, once the season is over the odds of me being able to keep it there over the winter and the holidays is not very good. For now though, that is my goal and my plan and come November after my last race of this years season, I'll revisit that goal.

I'm still having to address keeping a balance on the running and cross training and strength and core work. I know that incorporating all of them into my training is making me a stronger runner in the long run. My 10K pace was significantly better tha the comparable 5K pace from 6 months prior and that was after taking a 2 month hiatus. Then, just two days ago on a training run, I did 4.25 miles at a sub 9 min pace. (and that was including the tumble that I took just a half mile from the finish).

For me now, the focus is to not get freaked out by the numbers on the scale. Keep a good balance in my weekly training plan and make time wherever I can find it to get my fitness charged up again. I'm in this for the long haul. There are lessons to be learned, dreams to be chased, goals to be met and many, many challenges to be faced along the way. I'm glad to be doing it with such an emoticonbunch of emoticons........ emoticonyou all for being there!!!
YOU'RE THE emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYCLINGSANDY 5/9/2011 2:17PM

    Yes! The importannce is how you are doing in your new lifestyle of health and fitness and not the number on the scale. If you burn more calories then it is easier to lose those pounds. You know what to do and are doing it. That is real success in my book!

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KKINNEA 5/9/2011 1:55PM

    Your plans sound awesome and you're doing great!

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KERRYG155 5/8/2011 11:38PM

    Good job on the planning (I need to focus more on that) and follow thru. Sounds like lots of well-rounded training so those 3 pounds won't hang around long! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/8/2011 11:09PM

    You are doing great! Finding ways to keep balance is a challenge, but that's okay--we need a few positive challenges, right? Very cool to be planning on the Rock 'n Roll half in St. Louis; my first half will be the RnR in Seattle next month (gulp). Wise to not get freaked by the numbers on the scale; it is something to watch but not worry about unless it becomes an ongoing trend. WOO HOO for you, I am excited for you by all you have planned!

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LKEITHO 5/8/2011 10:32PM

    Great job on your runs and the rest of your training! St. Louis sounds like a lot of fun. The Rock 'n' Roll events are always so well organized and so much fun to do. I'll be interested to see how it goes for you! Keep up the good work!

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LINDAGRAVEL 5/8/2011 10:11PM

    Congrats on your achievements,You go girl

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CINDYCHARLENE 5/8/2011 10:00PM

    W0W! You are a go getter! Your commitment is unbelievable. But then I should believe it by now shouldn't I. You do so much enjoy it. My daughter-in law used to love to run 5K until she hurt her back. She said it really helped with her depression and misses it terribly. It does raise ones seratonin levels I understand.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Recharged and Ready To Get Back In The Swing!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's been a strange couple of weeks for me. I am usually go...go...go all the time, but with my 10K last week, I decided, for once to heed the advice of those more knowledgeable and it paid off. Instead of overtraining or pushing and pushing myself, I really stepped back the training the week before my race. I got extra sleep and ate a little extra - even gained a couple of pounds. I think that really did me good. My race time was better than I would even have hoped for and those two pounds that I gained are gone as of Tuesday and remain gone (well, at least until I see what today did - being Easter).

Even this week, was much more laid back fitness wise. I probably would have kicked it back into gear a bit sooner after the race recovery, but with the death of my boss' father and it being Holy week and the added commitments at church and then my little sister coming in for the weekend to celebrate Easter....well, I just took a little more time to "recover".

"Vacation" is over now though. After dinner (early) today, I went out and did a 4.4 mile run. It was supposed to be a quick 30 minutes, but it just felt too good. I didn't even listen to my cardio trainer, just kinda eyed the watch so that I would be sure to get in at least 30 minutes, but not be gone too long as we had "company" and they were waiting to do dessert until I returned. I thought I was going quite slow, just to get in some miles, but wound up doing the 4.4 miles in 43 mins. That's a good sign. I really want to start working on my speed now on these shorter runs. The next race I plan to run in June, I will need to do only slightly over 9 min miles to be in the top 50% of my age group. There is supposed to be just one very short incline near the start of the race and the rest is described as a fast course. I'm going to drive out there next month to run it once, just to get an idea. Also starting next weekend, one of my running buddies and I will be working on our half-marathon training.

Today was a great day to spend celebrating with my sisters and church family and to get my schedule together for this coming week. Still going to have some extra commitments, but I sat with the calendar and scheduled in my runs, and cross training and strength training and ab work and I think I'm ready for this week. We'll worry about next week later.

Also got some fantastic news from a friend. She is just a year or two older than me, but has been running much longer. She has even run the Chicago Marathon, but about a year or so ago, she had been having alot of issue with various pains, but one in particular, and her Dr. told NO MORE RUNNING - AT ALL - PERIOD!!! Apparently she had a tear and some issue with her IT Band and Periformis(sp?). Finally, she has gotten enough therapy and rest that just this past couple of weeks, they have let her do some very slow running on an anti-gravity treadmill, walk/run actually, and only a mile or two, but at least she is able to move her legs and I couldn't be more happy for her!!! I have felt her disappointment and her emotional pain this whole past year, as my running has taken off and hers has ground to a halt and I have felt sooooo bad for her. It is truly a celebration. If she is careful, maybe one day we will be able to run together!

Anyway, that's about it for today...I'm way behind in my fitness and miles goals for the month. I guess I failed to take into consideration the taper and recovery and then the extra demands of Holy week + the things that just pop up. I'm not going crazy though. Just ready to get back in the swing. Calling it a very early night tonight and going to hit Spin class before work tomorrow. It's at 5:30AM..........wish me luck!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BE_STRONG 4/30/2011 9:59AM

    Good job listening to your body. It will pay off for you.

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DUKELETO 4/27/2011 9:24PM

    Keep up the great work! emoticon

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CINDYCHARLENE 4/25/2011 11:27PM

    I am so proud of you for listening to the spirit that told you to take a break. You did a great thing and it payed off. You are now ready to continue. I would love to take a fast paced walk with you one day. It would require that you "exercise" great patience in having to hold back your normal pace. :) Maybe I ought to change that to just sitting and chatting over a cold glass of lemonade. I would love that too.

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MICHAEL712020 4/25/2011 10:43AM

    There comes a time when we all have to step for a minute and re-group. But it is all for the good. emoticon

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KERRYG155 4/24/2011 9:13PM

    Sometimes it's a good idea to do something completely different as our bodies get complacent with the same old thing all the time. Congratulations for getting into such great shape and doing all that running! Hope your friend's IT band has healed well enough for her to enjoy her running.

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Easing Back In

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm a few days past my first 10K, and I feel like it is taking me forever to get back to the fitness schedule that I was keeping priorr to tapering off a few days before my race. I know that part of it is due to an extra heavy work schedule...made even heavier because my boss' father passed away day before yesterday. Then, being Holy Week, my schedule with activities from church is a bit busier than usual and on the home front, I am playing catch up in preparation for Easter.

I am trying to remind myself that my fitness schedule was pretty heavy and that this is just one week in my life, but I'm really looking forward to this week being over and done with so that I can get back to training (seriously). I am going to start training with a running buddy who is thinking of running the Chicago half with me. She lives a few towns away, but we are planning on alternating Sunday afternoons and getting together one week in her town and one week in mine for our long runs and then keeping each other accountable through the week to get our training, cross training and strength training done. He schedule is about as crazy as mine, but she has the same (I think) drive, so this should be really positive for both of us. Besides that, she has more speed and I have more endurance, so maybe we will rub off on each other.

Well, it's just past 10:30 and I have to be at work at 8AM - work till 4:30 and then straight to church....should be home from service at 8:30-9PM and then Saturday will try to get to spin before work from 10-7. Easter service at 9AM so that I can get home and start dinner and if God is gracious enough to accomodate, the weather will be good enough that I can get in a run before dinner on Easter.

Hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULOFADANCER 4/23/2011 8:57AM

    It may be a necessary break mentally and physically!
As the holiday approaches take time for you and relax and recoup Come back stronger

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GLADGAD 4/22/2011 4:05PM

    It sounds like you have everything under control, although very BUSY control! Enjoy your time in church, enjoy preparing Easter dinner, and enjoy time with your family. If you can get a run in before dinner, great, if not, no worries. You're not going to lose any fitness and next week will be easier.


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CANNIE50 4/22/2011 1:16PM

    I like LKeitho's advice about building back up when rested. Obviously you can trust yourself to stay committed to your fitness. You and your running partner sound like a good match - I love that you pointed out that one of you has endurance and the other speed. Happy Easter! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LKEITHO 4/22/2011 12:52PM

    I frequently find that after an event I need to take a little bit of a break. I still do something every day, but just something easier. Then it is easier to start building back up when I'm more rested. All the best!

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RHONDALYN10 4/22/2011 10:11AM

    Your life is BUSY! Keep up the great work with your running/cross-training. It will all work out. Your faith is strong - don't ever lose that. Happy Easter!

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Bloom and Zoom 10K - Morton Arboretum - About As Good As It Gets

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Running season has officially begun...at least for me, and what a start it was! I kicked of my race schedule with a 10K, my first ever. Last year, I ran the same "challenging" course only as a 5K at the end of the year and PR'd at 33:23. So, after taking off for a couple of months this winter, I had my concerns about this one, but have been really working on getting in the runs and also doing cross training and strength training which I didn't really do much of at all last year. I also played it smarter this go around. Last fall, after seeing the course, I made numerous trips out there to train on the course, which is difficult, and wound up overtraining in the last couple of weeks and didn't really go into the race very well rested.

This time was going to be different....and it was. Since my last race was at 33:23, I set a goal of doing one hour twenty as acceptable and one hour fifteen as happy and anything less, I would just be more and more grateful for. I ate right, got my weight back down to running weight, cross trained, strength trained, and this last week, seriously cut back on the fitness schedule and got additional rest. I had my clothing all figured out...including options for the constant changes in the spring weather here in Chicagoland. One Sunday can be freezing, the next in the upper 80's and then next freezing again....as it is tracking for these past three weeks. Even through yesterday, the forecast was for storms last night with rain and possible snow into this morning. God was good to me and answered all my weather prayers. It never did get as cold as it was supposed to, by race time this morning only a light mist that cleared by the second mile and immediately following the race it turned colder and even got those flurries this afternoon, but by that time I was safely home in warm, dry clothes.

A good friend from high school decided to join me in this one. He's not been a runner in a while, gave it up for the bike, but has been training for a couple of months. What a trooper! He actually would up beating me...not by much, but I am going to demand a rematch! His girlfriend, my best friend in hight school and another friend camae to cheer us on.

I layered well, which was smart and had even thought far enough ahead to pick up a throw away sweat shirt at Goodwill. It worked perfectly! At the second mile water station, I lost the sweatshirt and was able to finish the race without the extra layer tied around my waist. I did have my trusty MP3 player, which was good, since Marty left me shortly after the 1 mile marker. He sprinted ahead, but I've learned, as tempting as it is to get out of the crowd and to get moving on fresh legs, it's too easy to burn out and 6 miles can be a long way, especially on the hills. I resisted the temptation to race after him, and since I left my GPS behind, and my pedometer reset a couple hundred yards in and I lost programming, I just relied on my perceived effort (thanks for the great advice GREYLOCKES1) and chanted "Just Run Your Race" to myself. I did well, much better than I have before, on the uphills...still need to work on them, but seriously improved, and the downhills I did GREAT. At the 5K point, I was at almost exactly the same time as last fall, but the difference being that I had already run the long steep hill TWICE!!! I figured at this point that even with a little loss in speed at the end, that I might finish at an hour ten or twelve! I kept my pace, taking advantage of the downhills and staying as steady as possible on the climbs and started to notice more people walking the uphills and me passing more people on the downhills. Mile 5-6 seemed a bit long, but when I saw six and then the finish line ahead, I kicked it...and actually had the energy left to kick! Finishing time? 64:50.2!!!!! REALLY!!!!! I would never have believed it possible! For my gender/age group that put me just barely in the top 50% and overall 605 out of 881 and 325 out of 521 women. There was some tough competition out there...lots and lots of marathoners, some ultra marathoners and as I go through the results people from NY, NJ, CO, WY, MI, KS, VT, and of couse IN and WI. I'm not really comparing my performance to theirs though. I've been running a year now. My first 5K was just last May 5th and I am fifty years old with no running background. I am in competition with myself. To be consistently trying to do what I can to improve in one way or another...and today I feel like I met that goal beyond my wildes imagination!

So, now I have the 5K in June and the Half-Marathon in Sept, but I think I will sign up for the 5K (same course) in Oct. I'll be curious to see how much I can improve my performance over last year. Oh, and my new running buddy who sprinted ahead...did great for his first race...beat me by less than a minute! Another running friend was wanting to do a 10K with me, she's a speed demon though and hasn't learned to pace herself for the longer distances. She says she's inspired by me though (15 years my junior and has kicked my butt in every race we've done together) and wants to start training so that she can run the half with me this Sept. WOOHOO - guess that Spark is contagious!

Anyway, thanks everyone for your encouragement, support and advice! I know it wasn't a very event filled blog, but this was just one of those runs where you kind of just, well, run it. Smooth, uneventfull (if not a bit congested at the start, but aren't most races), and about all you could ask for in a race! Wish they could all be like that!

OH YEAH, almost forgot, now I can get back to my crazy busy life as usual...I was kinda missing it these past couple of days. It's hard to be so still. Training hard, eating a little less and trying to take it to the next level!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congrats on your race time! I liked your mantra 'just run your race' - think I will steal that one for my first 5km run next weekend! -Shanna emoticon

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MELISSAISAFOX 4/21/2011 1:28PM

    Great job! I LOVE the Morton Arboretum. We used to go walking there all the time. Next year...I'm running it for sure! I didn't know they had a race.

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STIPER23 4/21/2011 12:48PM

    Wow! Great race! I ran my first 10k last month and came in at 1:15. emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/21/2011 12:10PM

    Woohoo! You did great! I know it felt great, too! You are going to murder that course when you do your 5k. Keep up the good work! You ran your race and that is what counts!

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DEE-NICE 4/19/2011 1:31PM

    I'll bet if you told your story to them, every one of those marathoners would have absolute respect for what you've accomplished & continue to strive for. Congratulations!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 4/18/2011 9:12PM

    Congrats on your race. That was an AWESOME time!!!!! You did the right thing by pacing yourself and not taking off after running buddy. Cross training and strength training gave you the extra strength to push through at the end.

Keep moving.


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MERRYLYN 4/18/2011 9:09PM

    Great job... did you hear me cheering?? emoticon

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ROCKY227 4/18/2011 9:14AM

    Congrats! That's a great time! Keep up the good work!

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GREYLOCKES1 4/17/2011 6:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

Great job Glad the advice was useful. Yes don't let the age thing get you. I am still getting faster since starting back 5 years ago. Just keep Sparking

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GLADGAD 4/16/2011 9:27PM

    That's a GREAT time for a 10K! Congratulations!

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ON2VICTORY 4/16/2011 8:56PM

    Way to go my friend. too bad I could run with you today but it didnt work out weather wise up here (what else is new for this area?) My next race is May 7th. hopefully that one will pan out.

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KKINNEA 4/16/2011 7:37PM

    Fantastic race execution and technical work on the hills. You beat even what your 5K*2 would have been.

Fifty-schmifty - you're burning up the roads! Congrats on your awesome race!!

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