Sunday, June 26, 2011
So, I'm writing this on my iPhone on the way home from church... :) We'll see how this goes!
First off, today is both my boys' birthday! Happy Birthday to my precious boys, Mikah, who turned 10, and Aiden, my special-needs son who turned 5!!! Both of them are special gifts, and I LOVE them!
P90X week 3 didn't go exactly as planned, but I still got decent workouts in! I did my 3 S/T workouts and Ab Ripper 3x, but missed a Yoga X workout. I ran 2 days, and biked once, light and easy since I'm recovering from my race and needed to nurse my poor hip, which, btw, is pain-free now, and only a wee bit bothersome when I go up the stairs. YAAAY!!! Go away, ITB-hip pain, GO AWAY!!!!
Week 4 with P90X is a recovery week, and I will keep my running light too. I will stick to Core Synergetics, Yoga X, and some light running and biking. Looking forward to a rest week!
Sooooooo, my NEW GOAL!!! LONDON, Baby, YEAH !!
My girl friend who visited me right before Christmas last year (from Alaska) is coming back to Europe! Only this time, she's flying to London for 9 days, and wants me to hop across the pond from Germany to come stay with her. It's going to be a KID-FREE vacation for me!!!!! My sweet hubby has long since offered to take vacation to take care of the kids himself, so I can go!
Problem is, my weight is NOT where I want it AT ALL!! So, time to get down to serious business!!! I will be flying to London on July 23rd (Sat), so I've got 4 weeks. My goal is to lose 8 lbs, or as close to it as possible.
Weight today: 131.8 lbs
Goal: 125 (or less)
My weight is up almost 10 lbs from where it was at Christmas when she visited! I'm NOT HAVIN' that! So, with my sights on the goal ahead, I will give it my VERY best effort to get this crazy appetite under control!!! (With lighter running on the schedule for the next couple of weeks, I'm hoping it will be easier...)
So, wish me luck, fellow Sparkers! I know what to do, now I just gotta stick to it. FOUR weeks, Baby!! London, here I come!
Happy Sparking, all!!!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A little late getting this up, but for this week, my workout plan is this:
Sunday: Much-needed REST from my race
Monday: was gonna workout, but instead rested
Tuesday: P90X Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X (DONE!)
Wednesday: 5 km walk/run for recovery, very easy
Thursday: Bike ride, P90X Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
Friday: Yoga X
Saturday: Bike ride 30-45 min, P90X Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
My IT Band issue with my hip flared up really bad after the race. I do want to put in some slow and easy walking/jogging sessions, but I will be taking some serious rest from running for a couple or more weeks, and also do some therapeutic things to strengthen that area in hopes of preventing further problems. Heal, baby, HEAL!!!
So, in the meantime, I'll focus on P90X! Can't believe this week already will wrap up week 3!! Week 4 is a bit of a rest week, where different workouts are thrown in, then week 5 throws in different ST workouts. It'll be fun changing things up!
I'm not losing weight yet. Last week, I decided to change up my approach to the eating part.... I've known for a long time now that I don't need a lot of carbs, even as a runner. I seem to be somewhat carb-sensitive, and when I eat a lot of carbs, I only get more hungry. So, I've done some reading and decided to try a couple of things:
~First, I've cut out all sugar, even my beloved organic whole cane sugar!! I use only a tad bit of organic raw honey to sweeten things, but even that is very minimal.
~Secondly, I've cut out wheat products completely for me, even whole grain wheat. I've switched to lower gluten-containing grains like spelt and kamut, and opted for sprouted-grain breads. I'm trying to see if it's actually wheat products that might not agree so well with me.
~Thirdly, I'm following some diet recommendations that not only have me eating 5x a day, but also making sure I get a good source of protein coupled together with carbs, in order to keep my blood sugar more level, and hopefully avoid the ravenous hunger I get when my running mileage gets heavy!!
I'm still working on it. I still haven't gotten my whole system down, with the race and all.... And the last couple of days, I've been eating like a total pig.... :) Healthy choices, in my book, which is most important, but just A LOT!! But I'm recovering from a pretty strenuous, albeit AWESOME and AMAZING run, so I won't be too hard on myself this week.
But next week will be time to step it up!! :)
There's my plan, Sparkers! Hope everyone is having a FABULOUS WEEK!!!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Mittsommernachtslauf ("Midsummernight's Run"), 30 km (18.65 miles)
June 18th, 2011
Krakow am See, Germany
Wow. Just wow. I am still totally glowing from Saturday's run. I am dying to share this with you all, so I am hoping my internet connection holds up, so I can post this! This run is for me the EPIDEMY of what running is ALL ABOUT!!!
I did not put as much focus on this race. I have wanted to do this 30 K for 2 years now, so I was excited about getting to do it. But I didn't train as hard, so I thought, as I did for my marathon in February of this year. I wasn't as focused on it - I have had other things going on, and other things on my mind. And I CERTAINLY did not put any pressure on myself time- or pace-wise!
For a split second during the week before the race, I had started to think... "Well, maybe I could finish it in _____....." and I proceeded to try and figure out what my average pace should be... Then I STOPPED myself, and said, "NO WAY! I am just going to have fun!" With the exception of my marathon, that is how I have run every race. I have never set a goal, or tried to stick to a pace - I just totally run however I feel on that day. When I want to push myself, I do; if I feel I need to pull it back, I do. The whole point is to run it, and ENJOY what you are doing!!
Well, Saturday morning, I was moody. I don't know if it was the stress of the race, trying to get everything ready for the babysitter who was coming to stay at our house, or just hormones.... who knows. But I was really edgy, and kept bickering with DH (poor guy!). And I felt like, "GREAT!! Today is just gonna be a WONDERFUL day, I can already tell!" (Note the STRONG sarcasm.)
We had a 2:45-min drive to and from the race - Yeah, I know, CrAzY!! But I didn't want to miss church on Sunday morning. I was due to teach Sunday School and play piano, so we planned to drive there, and then drive back, no matter how late/early in the morning!!!
The ENTIRE DRIVE there, it rained, and rained, and rained..... Did I mention, it rained?? Oh yeah, and MORE rain!!! In fact, we got about 20 minutes from our destination, and it started to POUR!!!!! It was coming down SOOOOOOO badly, DH had to slow down on the Autobahn, because there was so much water on the road!!
Then he turns to me and says, "What if we get there and the race is totally cancelled?" (That same thing happened at one of my 10Ks, but at least we hadn't driven almost 3 hours for that one!!!)
Needless to say, I was REALLY antsy about the rain!! So, I started to pray, "God, please, PLEASE let the rain clear up!!!" It seemed futal, because the sky was just BLACK as could be. But I prayed anyway. And I told DH, "Ok, if it comes down to it, I will leave the iPhone with you, and brace myself for a VERY RAINY run!!" There was NO WAY I was turning back now!
But once we arrived at the race just a short time later, guess what?!?!?!?! NO RAIN!!! It was not raining at all at the start/finish line, AND the SUN even came out!! Coincidence??? I DON'T THINK SO!
ALMOST THERE!! Took this photo in the car:
These were our greeters when we arrived at the race location! Seriously, we parked right next to their pen, and I swear they were saying, "Hi" and "Good Luck!" to me.
We were totally loving the scenery at the little Expo, if you even wanna call it an Expo. The race was SUPER small - smaller than my Marathon I ran! I think the total number of runners that showed up was 14o-something. =) I am a small, rural-run junkie, what can I say!!! So, the expo consisted of a Bratwurst stand (VERY typical GERMAN!), a tent for the runners with picnic benches, a massage tent, a stage with speakers and such, and one little tent for runner's accessories.... LOL
But we were right on the lake!!
This was our view. The little tent to the left of this picture was the one and only sporting goods tent at the "Expo".
The *larger* lady in the white T-shirt sorta to the left in this photo was runnin' the Bratwurst grill. This building was some sort of sports lodge. Just a quaint little gathering of a bunch of running NUTS!!
This was the view behind the tent for the runners. DH had a blast climbing up the tower on top of that hill during the race!! It was just so gorgeous.
Me goofing off before the race. I was NUMBER 2, YO!! Don't mess wid No. 2!! HAHAHA! (Yes, that means I was actually the SECOND person to register for this race - that is how fast I jumped on that registration months ago!!)
This rustic, adorable little old boat as part of the outside decoration, I just had to have a photo taken in there!
This was the little dock hidden behind the big tent. I was LOVING the lily pads!!
A little vacation rental house across the water. Perfect, isn't it???
So, at 6 pm, we were off! That's me in the bright coral-colored shirt looking down as I start the Garmin!
Again, I was NOT shooting for any kind of a pace for this race. My goal was to run however I felt, and to TOTALLY ENJOY the ride!! When we started out, I held back and just focused on relaxing and not getting caught up in the hype at the beginning. I mean, 18.65 miles is a LOOOOOOONG way, and I know my limits pretty well. I kept my breathing slow and relaxed, and just ran at a pace that felt good, but was still reserved.
At 5 km, the hype died down, and runners were relaxing into their pace, as was I. Then a couple passed me, and I thought, "Ok, they aren't going too fast - I will let them be my pacers for a little ways." So, I followed close behind them for a while, falling behind a bit, then catching up. It was a good bit more hilly than I am used to, but I seem to take hills pretty easily.
At around 12 km, the hills were getting to my pacer couple, I guess, because they seemed to be slowing down, and I felt like I was finally warmed up! So, I passed them, but I thought they would be passing me up later... Um, NO, never happened!! At thie point, we were no longer on paved raods. So, I started picking other people to catch up to.
I had seen one lady before the race who looked like a tough cookie, and I thought, "She looks 'fast'. I'd like to beat her!" LOL Yeah, I play little games like this when I run races! At the start line, she took off FAST, much much faster than I knew I should go, so I let it go. But after I passed my pacer couple, I saw her up ahead!! Yep, you got it - she became my next little "goal." Going uphill on a gravel road around kilometer-15, I passed her with ease.
After that, I didn't really pick out any more pacers. I was just totally loving the run!! I was looking around at the beautiful scenery, and I think a smile was plastered on my face the ENTIRE time!! The sunshine was just perfect, the temperature - PERFECT, the course - so delightful!! I could see the lake, and the sun shining on the water. I was running through forested areas surrounded by GREEN, GREEN, GREEN!!
Before the race started, I told DH, "Now you KNOW, at about 15 km, I am gonna be asking myself, 'WHY, WHY did I do this to myself AGAIN?'" But that feeling NEVER came. I was totally soaking everything in, and thanking God for the surprisingly beautiful weather, and for the opportunity to be there and run that race!!
We ran through a town called Dobbin.
They left us a little sign that said "Dobbin grüßt alle Läufer" = "Dobbin greets all runners!" I thought that was cute.
Between 15 and 20 km, this guy kept playing cat-n-mouse with me, passing me, then falling behind, then passing me again. But at 20 K, I pulled out my secret weapon - the MUSIC - plugged in my headphones, and PUMPED IT UP a notch!! I blew him away, and didn't see him again until after the race.
After 20 K, the trail turned into really soft dirt. Even in spite of that, I PRed at the HM distance - 21.1 km - with a time of 1:53:55!! I was totally shocked!! I couldn't believe I was doing so well, and I still felt so strong! But I knew 9 km is still a ways to go. It was pretty quiet at this point, and the runners were pretty spread out.
The trail turned back to more solid gravel for a good ways. Then we were running through a tiny little trail through fields, with about 5 km left to go. Then DH texts me and says the first girl just passed the finish line. I thought that was pretty good for me to only be 5 km away when the first lady passed! I knew I had about 25-30 min left to go. But I must say, it WAS starting to get hard!!
We started nearing the town of Krakow am See again, and I KNEW I was getting close!! I could feel the excitement! I couldn't really push any faster than I was going, but I certainly wasn't pooping out either, like I did for my marathon! At kilometer-29, I smiled big and raised my arms for the event's photographer! I was still going strong!
As I came around to the finish line, people (the small group that was standing around) started cheering, and I couldn't help but feel so excited and proud to be done, and have finished so strong!!!! Here I am scanning my time chip as I cross!!!
But then I forgot to stop the Garmin, so I didn't know my real time. Anyway, IT DIDN'T MATTER!!!! I had a TOTALLY AWESOME RUN regardless of the time. I had a blast, I felt wonderful the whole time (well, maybe not WONDERFUL those last 5km, but still good!), and I just totally enjoyed myself. Even without knowing my official time or anything, I just COULD NOT stop smiling and saying, "That was SOOOO COOOL!! That was so much fun! That was AWESOME!!!" (I am still smiling!)
Then they posted the official times. What? What is this? Darcy Brinkmann, No. 2, finished in 2:43:54??? What? I can't run that fast!! I can't keep up a pace of 8:47 per mile for 18.65 miles!!!! Wait!! YES, yes, I CAN!! I DID! You know that time goal that I thought briefly about last week?? Yeah, it was a time goal of 2 hours and 45 min!! When the thought popped in my mind, I quickly shoved it away and thought, "I don't think I can pull it off, and I don't want to pressure myself and kill the joy of the run!" But I TOTALLY did it UNDER 2:45, AND I LOVED the race!! It was just so amazing.
I finished first in my age division! I was the 5th woman overall, but there was a tie for 3rd, so does that mean I got 4th place????? LOL I EVEN got a trophy at the little awards ceremony at the end.
Here's me doing the runner's stretch just before getting a massage. The guy sitting in the chair is the one I blew away at 20km after whipping out my secret weapon (the iTunes!). He came up to me afterward and said, "Congratulations! I passed you a couple of times, but in the end, you were just too fast!"
My hip is hurting pretty badly, though today is a great improvement from yesterday. It flared up a couple of weeks ago due to the IT Band, I think. It subsided, but then flared up bad after the race. At least I am able to walk normally today.... Yesterday? Not so much. My quads are also quite sore today, but not horribly painful. I will take a couple of weeks really easy to recover from this race.... But it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!!
To top off my wonderful experience, DH is all excited after I finished. He starts telling me that he went on his own little excursion during the race, and wants to show me pictures! He had walked around the lake to a fishing area to take pictures. Then he climbed the hill up to the tower in the earlier pictures I posted, and took more photos!! He was so tickled! He had such a great time, which made the experience for us both even BETTER! I was so glad he had fun, and didn't just sit around waiting for me! And he was so proud that he climbed the tower!! LOL
Here are photos he took:
Monday, June 13, 2011
Week 1 is D.O.N.E!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!
I did pretty good on the diet part last week, with the exception of yesterday - I worked at the cafe, and was basically forced to eat a piece of strawberry torte, even though I had refused several times already!! It was set in front of me, and I was told I HAD to eat it.... somewhat jokingly, but still. Other than that, I did great last week. I am not following the P90X diet recommendations to the "T", but I am shooting for less carbs at the moment and more protein, and definitely cutting out all the sweets and refined sugars and white flour.
The diet does not really have a lowered calorie approach, though, and I believe that is why I haven't seen any weight nor inches come off this week. (I have also measured myself, but I will post those next week.) So, this next week, I am will work on cutting a few more calories back as well. I am feeling much more toned, though, after only one week!
Last week's workouts:
Sunday: Yoga X
Monday: Ran 4 miles, P90X Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
Wednesday: Ran 8 miles, Ab Ripper X, replacement class (BodyPump cancelled) @ the gym, but it was quite easy
Thursday: Biked 10.4 miles, P90X Shoulders & Arms (to make up for the wimpy class )
Friday: P90X Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Ran 10.5 miles, Yoga X
Week 2 plan:
Monday: Run 5 miles, P90X Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X (DONE!!)
Tuesday: Yoga X
Wednesday: Run 4 miles, P90X Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Run 3 miles
Friday: Run/Walk 2 miles, P90X Chest & Back, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: 30 K RACE!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!
I am super excited about my race this coming weekend!!! I haven't run any since my marathon in February, so it will really be fun. It is supposed to be a beautiful race around a lake in eastern Germany.
Have a great week, Sparkers!!! Hope everyone has had a great start to their week.
Here we go!! Let's do this!!
Monday, June 06, 2011
Yep, I am ready. REALLY READY!! I have been ready, actually, but now have planned out my workout and meal plan schedules for this week, and I am BRINGING IT!!
Even went shopping already this morning for all the things I will need, after my 4-mile run and P90X Legs & Back + Ab Ripper X, of course!! I am going ALL OUT on this P90X thing.
I used last week as sort of a prep week - following the diet recommendations as closely as I could (without extensive planning), and doing P90X workouts. With each passing day, my cravings for sweets and junk diminished, and I have felt more "cleansed." Even with cutting out a lot of the carbs (not all, just a lot), I had an AWESOME 20-mile run on Saturday. I DEFINITELY feel like I am moving in the right direction!
I have drawn up my own schedule of the workouts, and of course, will NOT be dropping my running, so I had to tweak things just a bit. I will also not drop both my BodyPump sessions in the week, but just one. So, I will do 2 P90X ST days, and one BodyPump. DH doesn't want me to totally stop going to the gym, "because we're paying for it." Which makes sense.... Anyway, other than that, I will stick very closely to the Classic P90X schedule!
So, ENOUGH TALK!! Let's BRING IT!! Have a great week, Sparkers!!!!
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