SHAKINGTHETREE's SparkPeople Blog SHAKINGTHETREE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Progress I took a few seconds off my pace last night. Yay. :) <BR> <BR> I also built a half-mile cool-down into my route last night. I've been terrible about that, and I don't know why... I know better than that. I discovered early on in the process that doing a brief warmup before hitting the road makes a big difference in performance... so why not a cooldown, too? I really have no good answer for that, and certainly have no good excuse. So why change now? Well - after my long run on Sunday, ... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 09:22:53 EST Feeling motivated! After a hard - but successful! - run on Sunday, and finally seeing some scale movement, I'm headed into this week with a lot of motivation. I've got some goals I want to hit - I want to incorporate at least two additional days of crosstraining this week, and I have a one-pound weight loss goal for Friday. It's reasonable, it's attainable, and I can do this. :) <BR> <BR> I hope this cool-down in the weather is permanent. It is soooo much nicer to run in. Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:36:47 EST Trying to remain positive Frustrated because I had a great week and was expecting it to reflect on the scale... and it has not. <BR> <BR> Also, feeling a little "ugh" because the morning show I listen to on the radio every morning discussed a subject that was more than just a little upsetting to me on a bunch of levels (spouses with secret lives - oh my friends, I could have a Lifetime Original Movie AND a sequel). <BR> <BR> I'm trying to remain upbeat, positive, and grateful. I've got an awful lot of GOOD going fo... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:35:33 EST So, just for laughs... ...I weighed myself before and after my run last night. <BR> <BR> I weighed almost a full three pounds LESS after I got done running. I'm not surprised, as it was hot and humid and nasty last night, and after I peeled my shirt, shorts, and sports bra off last night, I was able to wring a quarter cup of sweat out of them. I can't even imagine how much actual fluid I lost last night between what I wrung out, what remained in my clothes, and what actually evaporated/dripped off (probably mo... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:12:09 EST Redemption!! So... <BR> <BR> ...after some setbacks and crappy runs the week before, it appears I'm back on track. :) <BR> <BR> I had a GREAT run on Sunday. I ran a brand-new route, got up early enough to beat the sweltering heat, and I ran - no walking! - the entire six miles. Six miles! That's almost half of a half marathon. ;) It's the furthest I've ever run ever in my whole life, and I am immensely proud, and happy... and also, relieved. I came dangerously close to quitting after that pseudo-... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:44:27 EST Feeling great this morning! The bad news: the scale hasn't budged. <BR> <BR> The good news: THE SCALE HASN'T BUDGED. <BR> <BR> Hooray! <BR> <BR> Also, I had a four-mile run this morning that felt wonderful. Weather was perfect, pace was good, and the entire experience was positive. I am pleased. <BR> <BR> I also have plotted an entirely new route for myself for my six-miler on Sunday. I'm hopeful that the change of scene and change of terrain will have a positive effect on my outlook and enable me to finish i... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 09:36:38 EST As much as I love summer... ...I cannot wait to see what running in the fall will be like. <BR> <BR> I adore summer. It is, by far, my favorite season. It's beach time, it's late sunsets, it's warmth and light clothing. It's the opposite of the bundled-up, shut-in, dark winter. <BR> <BR> However... running in the summer presents a real challenge some days, and I feel like I'm kind of getting burned out on it. It's difficult to get motivated to get outside where you know that, in addition to the stress of the exerc... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 09:53:25 EST Don't call it a comeback... MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUUUUT <BR> I'M GONNA KNOCK YOU OUUUUT <BR> <BR> (That's on my playlist.) <BR> <BR> So I took my run this evening. All things considered, it went really well! There were bugs flying in my face and I feel like I've been eaten alive by mosquitoes, but the run itself went great. Four miles - no walking - 53 minutes. <BR> <BR> The pace for my last mile was the best I've had in a very long time. Wanna know why? <BR> <BR> SOMEONE TRIED TO RACE ME. No kidding! There I w... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 20:48:36 EST Terrible run I had my worst run ever since starting training back in... April. <BR> <BR> Sunday morning was to be my long run - I had six miles scheduled. <BR> <BR> You guys... I only got to 2.75 before having to WALK. I ran-walked for five miles before finally deciding to bag it for the day. <BR> <BR> Everything about it felt awful. Despite getting lots of good sleep, I was tired... my hamstrings were SCREAMING at me, my right achilles tendon was talking to me, my breathing felt constricted, my he... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 10:01:54 EST BEHOLD, I HAVE CROSSTRAINED TODAY I've only been saying I "should" be doing it for months... <BR> <BR> I find motivation in weird places. I found motivation in one such weird place today, and although I cannot divulge said weird place (just trust me, it's awkward), I was surprised at how suddenly and powerfully it urged me onward, like sudden spurs in my ribs. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I did some good old-fashioned strength training today, and it felt marvelous. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow, I have a six-mile run scheduled (HOW am I going ... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 15:01:35 EST Human nature So, as I mentioned before, I'd been having sort of an "off week." Nothing felt good, I was terrible at everything (by my own standards - and I tend to be way too hard on myself, I know), and I kind of wanted to just blerch out on the couch today. Wednesday's run really messed with my mind. <BR> <BR> I usually run in the mornings. This morning, however, I opted to spend that extra hour in bed, cuddling with the dog. I did this for two reasons: <BR> <BR> 1) I had nothing going on tonight... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 22:17:20 EST So it's a bad week I guess it happens every now and again. <BR> <BR> I did my four-mile run yesterday... and where I was able to run four miles without a stop last week, yesterday I just couldn't do it. I got as far as mile 3, and I had to briefly walk. I know I shouldn't beat myself up for that... having a bad run every now and again is just a part of life, if you run... but it still feels crappy. I also ran much slower than usual. <BR> <BR> Of course, there were some things that were different about yest... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 09:28:13 EST A hiccup in the routine Well, this is one of "those days." <BR> <BR> I woke up to run, only to discover that a thunderstorm was heading right for us... and sure enough, we got the whole business: lightning, thunder, heavy rain. It was just a little squall - but it was enough to scupper my run entirely. <BR> <BR> So... tonight, after ballet and tap, I have to run four miles. I honestly do not know how I am going to do this, but I absolutely have to do it. Otherwise, I'm going to be forced to run Wednesday/Frida... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 10:36:16 EST I think I walk faster than I run How crazy is that?? <BR> <BR> Anyway... <BR> <BR> I'm officially 1/3 done with my half-marathon training! Super-excited about that! I ran five miles yesterday (only walked the teensiest part of it, and that was after the four-mile mark), and I get to up all my mileages this week: four miles tomorow, four miles Thursday, and six miles on what looks to be probably Sunday, based on what the weather's going to do. I have no idea yet how I'm going to possibly run six miles... but hey. I've ... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:35:13 EST The good, the bad, and the ugly Well, let's start with the good: <BR> <BR> I hit my weight loss goal for this week. I wanted to be at 155, and I made it... so, yay! Conservatively estimating a loss of one pound per week, I'm hoping to be at goal (135) by the end of the year. Hopefully it'll happen sooner than that, but I'm cutting myself some slack here. <BR> <BR> Here's the bad: <BR> <BR> And it's really NOT that bad... I had a crappy run this morning. I was able to make it 2.5 miles before having to stop to walk, w... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:52:08 EST Weighing in I have been giving a lot of thought to the scale lately. <BR> <BR> I know it is not the end-all, be-all marker of progress and fitness. <BR> <BR> In fact, I gave up stepping on the scale for a while because I felt like I was developing an unhealthy relationship with it. Every time I'd see the numbers fluctuate, I'd get beside myself. <BR> <BR> However... that was a while ago. I think now that I've regrouped a bit, I think I'm going to get something more regular happening with the scale g... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:25:47 EST Running craziness Okay, first of all, it's NASTY HOT outside. Yes, I know it's summer, and summer tends to be hot... but we have excessive heat warnings and air quality alerts in effect. If you live anywhere in the northeastern United States, this is not news. <BR> <BR> This means that an earlier run is in order... as in pre-dawn, pre-sun. I got out the door just as it was getting light outside. Andrew had to go into work early today, so I took my house key with me because he'd be gone by the time I got b... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:28:15 EST BIG MIRRORS Welllll... <BR> <BR> Nothing quite so humbling as spending two hours in front of huge mirrors in a dance studio. <BR> <BR> I have lots and lots and LOTS of room for improvement. <BR> <BR> Feeling a little blecchy about it. I'm doing great - my runs are awesome and I'm having a great time doing them, and my eating has been pretty clean, staying within calories, etc. <BR> <BR> I've just got to do more. Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:30:40 EST HOT Yesterday's run was four miles of slow torture. <BR> <BR> I don't think I've ever done anything THAT physical in weather THAT hot/humid before. I was entirely soaked afterward. I got it done - and even managed to take some seconds off my pace! - but oh lordy was it gross. <BR> <BR> I'm supposed to run tomorrow morning, with a forecast that is just about the same. Blehhh. Mon, 20 Jul 2015 09:43:13 EST Sunday's run... I can tell it's already going to be ugly... the high is forecast to be 97 degrees. <BR> <BR> Looks like a pre-dawn run will be the order of the day... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:12:08 EST Headlong into Week 2 Soooo I'm using Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Novice 1 training program, which is 10.5 weeks. In case you're wondering what that is, here's a link: <BR> <link><BR>fmarathon/halfnovice.pdf </link> <BR> <BR> I want to take a moment to talk about training plans. <BR> <BR> I used to go about fitness in a very "zen" way. I didn't really have any kind of a plan in place... I exercised when and how I felt like it. Granted: SOME exercise is better than NO ex... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 09:55:32 EST I RAN FOUR MILES And I didn't even need to walk once!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm really happy with this. I have good days and not-so-good days, but Saturday was a really good day. :) Mon, 13 Jul 2015 10:38:06 EST Rain running As I got up to run this morning, I knew it was going to be gross and humid. There was condensation on the outside of my home's windows, and a thick, grey mist hung in the still air. I checked the weather conditions from my phone: temperature - 74 degrees; humidity - 99%; dewpoint - 73 degrees. <BR> <BR> Yup. Stinker. <BR> <BR> Commence the battle with the brain. Bed feels great... cat (which one? so soft, so cuddly - Lou? Finnie?) is sleeping soundly next to me and for once isn't beg... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 11:41:27 EST RIDDLE ME THIS, BATMAN How is it possible to run AND WALK a 5k (3.1 miles) faster than straight-up running 3 miles with no walking? <BR> <BR> I ran/walked the 5k on Sunday in 38:52. <BR> <BR> This morning, I ran (no walking) 3 miles and it took me 41:26. <BR> <BR> I don’t get it. <BR> <BR> My pace was considerably slower - I'm guessing because I'm still pretty creaky from Sunday's uber-workout of running 5k then the additional 2.5 mile hike into Rehoboth. Additionally, it was humid and gross this morning, ... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 10:30:49 EST First 5K: A Learning Experience So, I ran my first 5k. <BR> <BR> I'm not going to be ashamed to admit it: I was disappointed in my performance. I'm trying to not let it diminish the personal importance of what I did and the learning experience of it. It was both of those things, very much so. However, I'm not going to lie - I was upset afterward, because I actually had to stop a few times and walk parts of the course. I was angry, and sad, and my brain was playing some serious games with me. Afterward, I sat down and... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 10:10:41 EST Ridiculously good mood Even in spite of being nervous for this 5k, I'm still in a really great mood... three day weekend coming up, office closing early... I'm pretty jazzed. :) <BR> <BR> Going to spend tonight really resting and relaxing. I'm going to get my hair done after work, make a nice dinner, and get an early bedime so I can get up early and run and get that out of the way before taking my DC day trip. YAY! Thu, 2 Jul 2015 10:14:54 EST Crosstraining and Chasing One's Bliss So, I keep fussing with myself about crosstraining as I'm wrapping up my final (!!!) week of Couch to 5k. After this week, I run the 5k on Sunday, and then I start training for the half marathon in earnest... and if I don't start crosstraining soon, I am going to be in a world of hurt. <BR> <BR> This morning, more or less on a whim, I started poking around online to see which dance studios in the area offer adult classes, more with an eye towards starting something like tap or jazz in the f... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:30:37 EST Time to put up or shut up Well, I am now headlong into Week 8 of Couch to 5k. <BR> <BR> Today is another milestone day in that my total distance walked and ran was 3.01 - just under 5k - and I did it in 38 minutes. This leads me to believe that I could probably run a whole 5k in about 35 minutes - which isn't breaking any land speed records, by any stretch, but forward motion is still motion! <BR> <BR> I was musing during my run this morning as I took my familiar loop, running by landmarks I formerly walked past du... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:08:04 EST MILESTONE DAY I ran two miles with no stops today! I haven't done that in years! <BR> <BR> I'm feeling pretty darn good about that. <BR> <BR> *~*~*~* <BR> <BR> I started hooping last night. Fun! HARDER THAN I REMEMBER. When I was a kid, I could keep a hoop spinning around my waist for years. Last night, I felt like a complete moron when I first started... but after about a half hour of it, I was doing pretty well! Practice, practice... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 10:07:26 EST The seeking of solutions Encountering problems doesn't mean you stop what you're doing. It means you have to find solutions or ways around those problems. <BR> <BR> This week's challenge is the unbearable heat and humidity. I spent most of yesterday hydrating more than usual and getting plenty of rest and nutrients to prep for today's run. Got a nice, early bedtime, and good, restorative rest. PLANNING FTW. <BR> <BR> When I woke up this morning, it was 72 degrees (not terrible) and close to 100% humidity. What... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 11:40:26 EST BOOYAH I had a sports massage on Saturday. <BR> <BR> I swear to you, my run on Sunday felt as though I was running on brand-new legs!!! The difference was beyond remarkable. I ran the entire 20 minutes without stopping (woot!!) and I felt like I could have kept going! I didn't - I stuck to my prescribed time - except at the very end during my cooldown, when I decided to run what I have come to lovingly call my "victory minute." If I have extra pop at the end of my workout, I will grab that extr... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 11:33:00 EST HALF DONE I am officially halfway through Couch to 5k!! <BR> <BR> Today's assignment was to warm up with a five-minue walk, run for eight minutes, walk for five, run for eight, and cool down for five. I woke up feeling a little dubious about it, but once I got going, I found my groove and settled into it. <BR> <BR> I was surprised after the first eight minutes. During that segment, I began to wonder just how much longer I had, so I looked down at my timer expecting to see five minutes left, and I... Fri, 5 Jun 2015 10:02:43 EST GO WEIRD OR GO HOME My scary run yesterday? Not so scary! <BR> <BR> My feeling like a fat sack of crap? Not nearly so fatty or crappy or sacky today! <BR> <BR> Am I in a great mood? OH HELL NO. <BR> <BR> But. <BR> <BR> I'm better than I was yesterday. <BR> <BR> *~*~*~* <BR> <BR> So... all this running and training and stuff is great, but I like to do creative things, too. I was never at my happiest than when I was dancing. I may have some more upcoming opportunities to bellydance, but they've been ver... Thu, 4 Jun 2015 17:21:00 EST Rough patch I know that PMS is probably largely to blame for this, but these past few days, I've felt like a fat sack of crap. <BR> <BR> And by the way, I know it isn't true. I'm actually doing okay. Couch to 5k is both empowering me and humbling me, and as far as eating and nutrition go, I'd give myself a B. Mostly clean; sometimes not. <BR> <BR> I just feel "ick" and very, VERY Blerchy lately. I have felt a lot like giving up and just eating whatever the hell I want. <BR> <BR> I won't. I won't ... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 12:55:18 EST YOGA IS MAGIC I had a somewhat painful run on Friday - aggravated something in my gimp leg - but still wanted to cross-train on Saturday, so I opted for yoga. <BR> <BR> YOU GUYS. The pain WENT AWAY during yoga. It initially was a little bit painful, but as I warmed up and stretched, the pain disappeared. I was ecstatic! Moreover, I felt so great after yoga. Also, my run on Sunday was not only pain-free (and gross, because it was sticky-humid), BUT I PRed on both my pace and my distance. <BR> <BR> Mo... Mon, 18 May 2015 10:33:37 EST The best-laid plans... Ha. <BR> <BR> Last night was my lone night off this week, as I am in tech for a show that opens tomorrow. My plan was to go to the store to grab something healthy for dinner, get home, go for my run, fix dinner immediately afterward, and do laundry and just relax last night. <BR> <BR> It was not to be. <BR> <BR> I went to the store, as planned, then got home, suited up for my run, and I nailed it (good pace, increased distance), and as I was cooling down and stretching in front of my hous... Thu, 14 May 2015 10:03:09 EST Exercise - the best medicine It's true that if you find something you absolutely love to do, it doesn't feel like work... <BR> <BR> ...and even though running is hard, I truly had no trouble popping out of bed and getting it done this morning. It felt great to watch the sun rise as I trotted around my neighborhood. <BR> <BR> So many of us have a hard time finding ways to exercise. I know I do, especially in the winter; my favorite ways to be active usually involve being outdoors, and winters here can be really hars... Tue, 5 May 2015 10:04:44 EST GRAND WEEKEND First of all, the weather was OUTSTANDING this weekend. Seriously, the whole weekend was just amazing!! I spent as much time as I could outside enjoying it! <BR> <BR> First, I hit up a huge garden market with my friend Deb... and I probably spent waaaaay too much money on stuff, but it was truly worth it. I bought some beautiful new plants for my yard - really unique stuff, including tricolor sage, a huge and beautiful passiflora, and a thing called a Japanese cobra lily. SO COOL. I als... Mon, 4 May 2015 09:31:48 EST Blecch So my go-to quickie breakfast - my egg white, spinach and cheese breakfast wrap from Wawa - tasted downright gross this morning. I've decided I'm never going to get one again. Barfy. <BR> <BR> After a somewhat scary run on Saturday (I had some pain that felt suspicious), I took a few days off to rest and came back last night feeling pretty good. No pain whatsoever, and I remain thus today. Whew!!! I was really stressing about the possibility of a training setback, but now I'm cautiously... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:27:12 EST So far, so good! Took the new shoes out for a spin last night, and they felt GREAT - though it did take me a little bit of time to get accustomed to the extra cushioning under the forefoot, I felt that it gave me a much better forefoot strike/heel "kiss" than the Vibrams, which encouraged me to run a little bit more on my toes than I probably should have been doing. <BR> <BR> Also - my pace was better, and I went further. Bodes well for when my C25K-to-Half Marathon training begins in earnest! I have one m... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:48:55 EST New shoes! So my Vibram Fivefingers - which work great for short runs - are probably not going to work real well for a half marathon. <BR> <BR> I went to Delaware Running Company, and the knowledgable staff there suggested that I get racing flats and recommended the Saucony A6 - it's not a zero drop shoe, but it's a minimal drop shoe with a little more cushioning that will protect my feet much better over a terrain that I know nothing about. I read about last year's Blerch, and apparently part of the ... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 09:39:48 EST Back in training, and it feels so good... I'm sore, but I'm so flippin' happy. It feels really great to have a plan that I'm confident with. <BR> <BR> I've got yoga scheduled for tonight, and boy do I need it. All that stretching is going to feel soooooo good!! Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:33:19 EST Planning my training! So, I have decided to suck it up and run the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon on September 26 with my friend Sara. I was kind of scared to do it, but she said, "We're not breaking any land speed records. We're going to run most of it, walk if we need to, and our goal is to FINISH. I think you can do it. I will help you get across that finish line." <BR> <BR> And that is why I love Sara. We all should have a friend like Sara in our lives. <BR> <BR> We're also both big fans of The Oatmeal, ... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:47:17 EST Ready to try again! My leg feels pretty good - only a little stiffness - so I'm going to go for a super-easy trial run today and see how I do. I'm glad I gave myself the time off to really let that heal... and although I was super grumpy about it, I got over it and contented myself with planning my comeback. <BR> <BR> I have an even bigger reason to make a comeback now, however: the Blerch is coming to my area!!! It's a running series (10k/half/marathon) that my friend Sara and I have been talking about doin... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 08:31:36 EST One step at a time... ...there's no need to rush... <BR>'s just like learning to fly... <BR> ...or falling in love... <BR>'s gonna happen when it's supposed to happen... <BR> <BR> Love that song, too! <BR> <BR> Things are getting better. I took a walk yesterday (about .75 mile, I think?) with no pain whatsoever, which is great news! I also stood for about two hours for a rehearsal yesterday, and that might have been pushing it a bit much; leg is just the slightest bit sore and stiff. More rest/NSA... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 10:55:17 EST HAPPY APRIL I love April... and not just because it's my birthday month (39 already!). <BR> <BR> Weather's getting warmer, soft rains are falling, grass is greening, and the earth smells of new life. I absolutely love, love, LOVE this time of year. :) <BR> <BR> Also, some good news - I jogged about ten paces on my leg today. It's sore, but not terrible. Still continuing ice, compression, and elevation, and staying off it whenever possible. I guess this is where having a relatively sedentary job is... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 11:53:21 EST Better today! Leg isn't NEARLY as tweaky as it was yesterday. Hooray! Still going to keep it rested until Monday or so, but I feel so much more optimistic about things now. <BR> <BR> I'm still a little depressed, but I'm not going to let it get to me. <BR> <BR> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:11:41 EST Son of a... Well, I've managed to hurt myself already. <BR> <BR> I was over halfway into my run yesterday when I had to dodge a car that was careening down a street in my 50% sidewalk-less neighborhood... I ran out of the street and up onto one of the sloped parking pads in front of the townhomes - and proceeded to tweak my left calf, right below where the calf meets the knee. It had been tight after my run on Thursday, but two days of rest had it feeling better - and until that moment, it had been fee... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:48:56 EST Fitness is hard. One of the hardest things about finding and sticking to an exercise routine is figuring out what you organically love to do. If you love to do something that happens to also be physically active, it's much more likely that you'll stick to it and work hard at it to get better at it. <BR> <BR> When I was a kid, I was always RUNNING. I never walked anywhere. I always wanted to RUN. I spent nearly all of my recess periods in elementary school running full speed, as fast as I could, for no ea... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:46:53 EST What a difference a day makes... ...24 little hours.... <BR> ...brought the sun and the flowers... <BR> ...where there used to be rain... <BR> <BR> I love that song. :) <BR> <BR> Logged 2.5 miles yesterday, and even had a little extra "pop" at the end, so I ran some bonus extra time. <BR> <BR> More than the miles, though, is how great it feels to be back doing something I love again. It undid all the tangled, fuzzy static in my brain, and after I got done, I felt like a million bucks. Sure, I'm a little sore today in s... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:19:04 EST