Archive | September 2011

Upcoming Races and Such.

Soooo. Guess what?
I signed up for the Susan G. Komen race this Saturday. Yes, this Saturday.

It’s a 10k down in St. Petersburg and is my last race before the WHM!!
Here’s the course map:
For more information and to sign up, go here.

I have 52 days until the half marathon and I’m getting pretty stoked. I liked being able to gauge how training is going far enough out in a 10k format before these last critical weeks before the Half.

So lately has been pretty hectic. I’m taking a full course load at school and working 30+ hours a week. As well as trying to find time for training, family, friends, etc.

Since life can be crazy at times, I’ve developed a fool proof get-your-butt-to-work system that seems to effective so far. Monday and Wednesdays I have class from 9:30a-7p so after my last class, I head straight to the gym. Meaning I’m going to class completely decked out in workout attire.

Meh, I think I look awesome.

Proof:
BUT, Monday was no bueno. It decided to monsoon here in Florida.
Proof:
ย So my 5 planned miles turned into a whole lotta treadmill time.
Which I don’t mind, but still, I like running outdoors.

Anyways, today was a rest day and tomorrow morning I will be going for a tempo run (hopefully, weather permitting) at about 6am. Documentation to come. I have a love-hate relationship with early morning runs. As talked about previously.

Now, remember how I told you I worked in a bakery?
Well, maybe you don’t, so, I work in a bakery and it’s a blast.
Except for the whole part where I’m trying to lose weight and I’m constantly surrounded by DELICIOUSNESS.

Every morning, I am in charge of donut-making. I glaze, ice, chocolate, maple, vanilla, cinnamon, powder sugar, and sprinkle countless donuts. As seen here:
Lotso donuts. My dad didn’t believe me when I told him the enormous amount of donuts we make. Then I showed him this. yeah.

So working in a bakery is a lot of fun with all the cake decorating, freshly baked bread, smelling pastries, and all of that yummy-ness. But I’ve come to the conclusion that anyone who is trying to lose weight;
SHOULD NEVER WORK IN A BAKERY.

We constantly have leftover of something. Whether it be chocolate cake, slices of bread, rolls, miscounted pastries, overcooked scones, you name it, it’s probably been eaten by someone. Butttt, it pays.
What’s a girl to do?

Thursday I’m going to be attempting yoga for the first time. There’s this lady in my World Literature class who swears up and down and twice around that it’s changed her life and I asked her about it and she gladly told me all about it.

I’ve read everywhere (well actually, just here) that cross training is a must before bigger races. It allows the muscles that are constantly used in running to get somewhat of a break while maintaining your cardio level.

So I shall be attempting yoga! I think it’ll be awesome, let my muscles stretch and give me a whole new workout. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll take pictures, or just complain about how sore I am on Friday.

Speaking of Friday, I am going to Vinoy Park for Packet Pick up for Susan G. Komen and so I’m planning on taking pictures of part of the WHM course for your seeing pleasure.

On that note, here’s a picture of my abnormally clingy cat to end it all;
Until next time!!

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Early Morning Running.

I don’t know about you but waking up at the crack of dawn to go to work or go running or start my day is not my ideal situation.

But seeing as I work in a bakery and have to be at work at 6 am, it’s not always a possibility to sleep in.

This morning my running buddy Sarah and I decided to go for a run at 6:30.

In the morning. On my day off. Which is great and fine and dandy because then it’s out of the way for the rest of the day and you’ve already gotten in a workout. But, still.

6:30.

Oh look, no cars. Just me. On the road.

No bueno. We parked at the local park and stretched, put on our lights and hit the road.

I like to plan/map out our runs and decided to take a busy street down to the beach road and turn around. It was already hot and humid out when we started and as we went on, it literally just got worse.

It was muggy and my ankle was having no part in running this morning. But, as we went along, we got to catch up and have our “girl talk”.

We hit Walsingham bridge and we turned around and saw this beautiful sunrise.

And as we ran across the bridge, we saw how beautiful it was with the water…

We continued on our merry way and turned around right past the bridge and headed back. It turned out to be a really nice morning (I think it was because I was sweating so much, I got colder).

But on our way back, we walked up towards his produce shop and I said to her, “Is that a watermelon?” Sure enough.

KIND OF RANDOM.

Anywho, we made it back to our cars, said our farewells and parted ways.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there are plenty of people out there just like me who are runners but don’t do mornings.

Usually I prefer to run late afternooons, but they say there’s a plethora of benefits for running in the morning.

“But” you say, “there is just so many things to do in the morning.”

Well, according to Runner’s World, here is a common early morning stressors and how to overcome it.

Morning Roadblock: YOU’RE SLEEPY

WHAT’S HAPPENING
“The predawn hours are challenging because body temperature and heart rate dip to their lowest point at this time,” Moffitt says. “In the presence of light, body temperature and heart-rate increase, which makes it easier to be active.” The carbohydrates in your last meal play a role, too. If you skipped dinner or ate fast-digesting carbs like rice, bread, or sugary desserts, your glycogen levels will be depleted, making it even harder to muster the energy to get up.
HURDLE IT
Prep for an early-morning run the night before. Eat slow-digesting carbs like broccoli, beans, and lentils. Set your automatic coffeemaker to brew before you wake. “Caffeineย can help stimulate your arousal system and get you ready to run,” Moffitt says. Shut-eye is important, too. If you’re constantly waking up feeling exhausted, it’s a sign you aren’t getting enough z’s. Turn off the computer and TV at least 30 minutes before you hit the sack and get blackout shades for your windowsโ€”the absence of light boosts production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleep.”

Adjust Your Running Clock

How to get over three common tricky timing issues

Are you usually a morning runner, but winter’s dark mornings have you hibernating?
Instead of getting dressed half-asleep by the dim glow of a nightlight, put on your running clothes in a brightly lit room. When light hits your eyes, it signals your pineal gland to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) work best because they closely mimic natural sunlight.

Are you usually an evening runner, but your key race is in the morning?
Run at the time of your race once a week. Train your intestinal tract by rehearsing what you’ll eat. Eat your normal breakfast (about 500 calories) four hours before your race time, then snack on a banana or energy bar an hour before you head out. If prerace jitters make you too nervous to eat the morning of a big event, practice eating breakfast the night before.

Are you usually an evening runner, but have to run in the morning because of schedule conflicts (or vice versa)?
Give the transition at least two weeks and don’t be surprised if you don’t feel or run your best for a little while. It takes a couple of weeks to fully adjust to a time change. Switching your workout routine may make you feel like you’re recovering from jet lag on a run. But your body will adapt to the new schedule.

Until next time!

GU, Cortizone Shots, and Haircuts.

You know the best part of the race experience? Besides running the race, of course.

The Goodie Bag.

And all of it’s wonderful contents. Some races you get a bag with a bunch of useless papers and assorted random coupons from race sponsors.

Some races you get a bag with some coupons, a bunch of random papers, and a snack. Snacks are good. Snacks are delicious. I like snacks.

Some races, though, you feel like it’s Christmas. You get a bag with pain relief gel samples, GU samples, chocolate bars, a coupon for a free post-race beer, a towel (No joke. Thanks, Publix.), and maybe a few coupons. But there’s all this nifty stuff!!

For a while, I ran a 5k every Saturday for about 7 weeks straight. It was crazy fun because I got to travel all over the county, placed in my age group TWICE, met a bunch of awesome people, and got A TON OF GOODIE BAGS!

Seriously, though. It was crazy. Each race gave me a goodie bag, which simple logic dictates, means I got 7 goodie bags. Each one was different, each contained an “Ooh!” moment, and some, “That’s it?” moments, but overall a very positive experience.

I keep all of my goodie bags in a corner in my room, stacked on a table that holds all of my race stuff. Bib numbers, shoes, old timing chips, etc. One day I looked at said table and noticed it had grown to the point where I couldn’t see the wall.

So I went through each bag meticulously and sorted through what I wanted to keep and recycled/donated/trashed the rest. And that’s when I realized it. You honestly get the most random assortment of things. And if a random passer-by were to see the pile of things I had accumulated, they would think I was crazy.

I mean, look at this;

5 hour energy, muscle rub (a whole tube!), GU, a koozie, coupon, green tea packet, fish oil tablets…, gum, gum, more gum, pedometers (3), VIP Lady Foot Locker card, a head lamp, a stress ball shaped like a monster truck (which I still don’t understand), a candle, a bottle opener…, and nail clippers.

Yep, nail clippers. Whose idea was that, anyways? “Hey, everyone needs some nail clippers…here ya go!” Not to say that I’m not appreciative. I just don’t get it.

In any case, looking through all of it I noticed how many GU packets I had accumulated. I’ve only ever had GU during the Women’s Half Marathon. They give them out around mile 8 after you come from the out and back over the pier.

Hence, where it says GU! Haha.

But that was the only time in my racing or training career where I had the opportunity to have GU.

Now, I know there are an assortment of flavors. You can find them all here. I personally don’t like to run 8 miles then eat chocolate. Not my style. I LOVE the mandarin orange and the strawberry banana. They’re so delicious. I think they have just the right amount of sweet to get you kickin’ but not so much so that you’re smacking your lips for the next two miles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, delicious.

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my ankle pain and how it’s truly slowed me down training wise for the past couple months. Last time I went to my ortho guy, he gave me a cortizone shot in my ankle which essentially a steroid to help rebuild muscles and tendons that may be damaged. The last time I got it, I felt like Wonder Woman. It was absolutely fantastic.

I’m 100% going to ask him for one again when I see him next week. In any case, wish me luck that it’s nothing that will stop me from running in November!!

In other news, I recently cut my hair.

When I say cut my hair, I mean I chopped all my hair off. But I LOVE IT!

This is what my hair does when I wake up in the morning. Amazing stuff, right there.

Until next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Running Through Life.

I’m the kind of girl who goes for a run when life gets me stressed, depressed, anxious, down, up, happy, relieved, you name it.

I love the feeling I get when I can focus on something other than life for an hour or two, heck, even if it’s for 20 minutes. It lets me escape reality and all I have to think is, “left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.”

There have been runs where all I can think about is putting one foot in front of the other, and there are some runs where it takes a while to forget it all. My mind is so completely frazzled that it takes a mile or two for it to realize, “hey, I can relax now.”

Lately, my life has been everything but simple. And I understand that everyone has something. And that’s why I always offer to go running with people, because I want to show them just how therapeutic running can be.

My dad, who has been in the Air Force 20 years has PTSD due to time served in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this PTSD comes anxiety. With the anxiety comes OCD. Now, let me get something clear. In no way, shape or form is my dad damaged. He’s not a zombie who goes through life uncaring and on the other hand he’s not a ‘Nam vet who wants to share war stories ’til the cows come home.

He’s a normal guy, with a normal family (we like to think so, anyways) who just happens to have seen things his mind can’t truly comprehend.

And running? Running makes me feel like I’m home again. Running makes me feel like I can get through the day despite the constant stressors it entails. Running makes me feel close to my dad, and helps me cope with his situation.

This is my dad and I when I was about 4. I love him like crazy and think he is an inspiration.

He used to run in high school and recently told me that he wants to start running 5k’s with me once he’s retired. WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Now, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Running lets us escape everything while staying in touch with ourselves. We can become completely in tune with our mind and body while striking the stress of life away one foot step at a time.

I will always be grateful to running for keeping my sanity and showing me that there can be balance in my life without turning to bad choices to make sense of it all.

Now, I found out today that my great uncle Thomas passed and literally the first thing I did was throw on my shoes and walk out the door.

To know that there is always something willing to listen to me, to hear me out until the bitter end, to help me make sense of it all, makes running so worthwhile.

It’s knowing that I can go whenever I want, and it will always be there.

To know that I can be going through literally anything and the road will always listen, no matter how petty the problem.

 

I know this has nothing to do with training, but it’s a necessary topic.
Running is life if you allow it be, and it can change you in the best way possible.

Long Run: Rainy Edition

Yesterday was scheduled to be a medium run. I ended up doing about 5 miles. But, in those 5 miles, were ankle pain, Biofreeze pain relief gel, a random downpour of a rainstorm, hill repeats, and random strangers offering me rides.

All in all, a normal run.

So, I started at my house and made my way through my neighborhood to a connecting road. Took a left at that connecting road and made my way to the Pinellas Trail. Now, for those who don’t live here, the Pinellas Trail connects from the very northernmost part of the county and connects to the southernmost part of the county, St. Petersburg (where the WHM is) and drops you off downtown essentially.

It’s a BEYOND viable tool that runners, walkers, cyclists, recumberant cyclists, joggers, and everything in between utilize. I love it because it’s safe, non congested, and friendly.

Here’s a map of where it runs through.

So, I hop onto the Pinellas Trail and follow it for about a mile. Now, on the trail you can always expect something random to happen, not always bad though.

For instance…

Mr. Walking Man, French Edition.

Whoever took the time to decorate him, I applaud you.

Next, the storm cloud of doom that awaited me…

Need I say, meh.
Looking back, it was a little dark and scary…

So, I running along having a merry old time when it starts sprinkling.
Now, I’m not the one to start complaining about rain. I think it feels great when it’s raining. It’s cool, feels refreshing.

As the last part of the stretch of the trail, it’s an uphill bridge that goes over the road. It’s a beast of a hill, let me tell you.

After I go over the bridge, I run down a pretty busy street back to my house.

As I’m crossing the bridge, I notice it’s starting to rain actual rain drops.

“No worries, I’ll be fine.” I think to myself.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Literally.

I’ve NEVER run in that kind of rain. I’m pouring sweat, and I’m soaking wet from the rain. Oh, and I’m in my bright pink shirt.
So, many a times I got asked if I needed a ride home, if I was okay, and even got offered candy by a really nice man in an unmarked white van.

Haha, see what I did there?

But, alas, I eventually made it home after hunkering down under a tree for a few minutes.

Here’s a picture of my shoe, just for good measure.

Lessons learned?

Running in the rain is a frickin’ blast.

September Goals!

Hello there!
You know what day it is in 2 hours? (Eastern Standard Time)
September 1st.

For those of you who attend Hogwarts, I’ll see you at Platform 9 3/4 at 11 am sharp ๐Ÿ™‚
But for the rest of you, it’s a new month.

A new start, a fresh beginning, resolution starting, a day anew.

So I made a promise to myself to start a goal list at the beginning of each month. Personal and Training Goals.

Without further ado, my goals!

My September Goals

1. To stop eating sugar-filled, calorie loaded desserts. Or less of them, anyways.
2. To start training for a triathlon. Which includes swimming.
3. To lose 6 pounds.
4. To be less stressed. I know the things in my life won’t be less stressful, but I need to stop stressing myself out. It’s not helping.
5. To sit up straighter. My posture looks like a 98 year old lady. That’s not cute.
6. To love more freely. I’ve been guarding myself. Why? Everyone in my life loves me unconditionally.
7. To stop emotional-eating. Like I said, life is stressful. Food is not my weapon to combat it.
8. LEARN TO LOVE MYSELF AND STOP JUDGING AND COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS.

Amongst other silly things, like show up to class and such. ๐Ÿ™‚

My September Training Goals

1. To hit an 8 minute mile, 2 miles in a row.
2. To compete in at least 1 5k this month.
3. Bring along at least 3 friends/acquaintances to work out with me. The more the merrier, share the love, and all that.
4. Train hard for the Half Marathon (notice I put it in caps, hence, importance.)
5. Swim consistently for 2000 m. I know that’s a big goal, but I used to do that every day as practice and I’d love to get back there. But if I hit like 1400, I’ll still be thrilled.
6. Make my long run, longer. 14 miles preferably.
7. Run with my dad.
8. Hit 2 minutes on planks, consistently.
9. Work on arms more. Rowing, push-ups, weight training.
10. Go to the gym and actually be active for 90 min/5 days a week.

There you have it!
I’m actually pretty pleased with them and I’ll definitely be posting end of the month updates on said goals. ๐Ÿ™‚

In training news, I’ve been having a lot of problems with my ankle. So running hasn’t been as important as I need it to be. The pain is located behind the bone that sticks out on the outside and in the very front of the ankle. I’m going back to a specialist, so hopefully he’ll be able to help me out.

We have a treadmill at my house that I love, except it catches under your feet sometimes, causing a sort of slipping effect. But, it works wonders for shock absorption, which I LOVE.

Until next time!