Wednesday, July 28, 2010

>Stepping backwards

>Do you ever do that (in your running/training)?

I'm considering (kinda actually already did) stepping back.
What I mean by that is I have completed the Couch to 5k program and obviously, as seen in past posts(lol), ran several 5k. I've lost count of just how many races I've completed but I know I have completed the 5k distance a ton! So, what I want to do is kind of restart the program only using a different training method/program and possibly for a different distance.

Yeah, yeah..
I know, if you read back a ways you will see where I started half marathon training. I stopped. Shame on me. But I think I just started too much at that time. So, Monday I did a quick search on 10k training programs and found a lot of options. Since I have been running a while I picked a program that looked ok and decided to start midway through it. I can run several minutes at a time before having to take a walk break (which I hate, by the way) so I didn't want to start with the first week training plan because I didn't want to get burnt out. Does that make sense? Ok. Good...

Yesterday I started the "new" program. I don't recall what week it is right off but it went like this:
- run 3 minutes
- walk 1 minute
Repeat 7 times 
I managed to get in 4.10 miles in 42 minutes and some seconds. I went about 4 minutes past the "suggested" time. 
Easy enough for someone who has been running a while. So, my goal is to follow this plan (thank goodness I saved it in my favorites, lol) and work my way up to a comfortable 10k pace by the end of fall. I think that is a reasonable goal.

Something else I hope to achieve is to be able to run the entire distance without taking so many walk breaks. I have come to grips that for me right now walk breaks are not a bad thing and do not necessarily make me a non-runner (tell me you agree!!). But let's be honest here, I am still a good 30+ pounds overweight and running just is not the easiest thing I have ever done. However, I am still running! Like real pounding pavement and treadmill running not hopping on an elliptical and calling that a run (which is fine for others, just not me!).

I'm taking a break from the gym tonight to meet up with a friend for dinner. I am looking forward to it even if I am having to drag the kids along! LOL But I think, depending on how I feel after dinner, that I will utilize the Wii when I get home and at least get in some activity that way.

Do you ever take a step back in training? Thoughts....

Monday, July 26, 2010

>Looking back

>But thank goodness I have moved on!

I was looking back at an album I have on my Facebook titled, "iRun." It's where I keep all of my racing/running pictures. Hubby and I were looking at it yesterday and it really made me realize just how far I have come. I know I have said that before but when you look at progress pictures (for me at least) it just makes you see things you aren't able to see on a daily basis. I guess I will feel like that for a while still since I have not reached my final goal, but it is nice to look back and see how much progress has been made between then and now.

This was me (2008) and the clock, yes that is the time it took to complete the first mile!
I don't know my weight here but it had to be upwards of 220+.
And the end. I look as though I could die. It was hard. 
48:32 is how long that took! 

Fast forward to 2009, the very same race.
I am pretty sure the only reason for my smile is because my kids were cheering me on.
And seriously I was SO out of shape still. Hubby and I were talking and both think I was still about 215 lbs in these pictures. These were such an eye opener for me last year! 
Finished 43:34 (I think).

And yet more fast fowarding (yes, you've seen these pictures).
Finish time 35:01
These are the pics from this year's race (Etowah River Run 5k). They scream success to me even if I did not make my goal time. I can see such a difference in my body (and the look on my face). I felt such a difference in my body this year as well. 

I like having the past pictures to not only show me where I was but where I plan to never be again. My hard work (which could be harder) is paying off. It also makes me want to work even harder to reach my goal. I know I will get there and hopefully next year I can post goal pics as well as an awesome PR for this race! :)

>The PR that wasn't or something like that

>Friday evening the hubby and I (and our two rowdy kiddos) packed up and headed to GA for a very quick visit with some family. The goal for the weekend was basically so hubby and I could run a race (5k). We arrived around 9:30 p.m. and I was exhausted. I had planned and even set my FB status to read that I would be in bed early! That didn't happen. We ended up staying up chatting until around 11:30 or so. Never fails! After a stressful week and little sleep I really did want to get a good night's rest so I would be completely ready to run Saturday morning. I suppose I did rest pretty well and was wide awake when the alarm clock buzzed at 6am. I struggled to get out of bed though. haha

I checked the weather Friday afternoon and saw that at 8 am (race start time) it was suppose to be around 79 degrees but with humidity it should feel about 85.  At first I didn't think that sounded too bad but since I hadn't been doing much outdoor running how could I really know? lol

Hubby and I usually get to races a bit earlier than we (should) so we stopped and got a drink and pre-race fuel at the local Walgreens. I have a hard time eating anything that early in the morning especially before going for a run so we opted for some Powerbar gels and water, which are two things that I know will be fine on my stomach for running plus they make me feel like I have a little extra umph in my step.

We arrived, picked up our race packets and bibs then headed back to the car to assemble ourselves before going for a quick little pre-race warm up jog. I usually never warm up before a race becauase I am too jittery. But this time since it was just me and the hubby I decided to go for one. A quick little jog up the hill and back down..not too bad. But man it was already hot and it wasn't even 8am yet!  At 7:45 we headed to the start line and snapped a few pre-race pictures on hubby's iPhone. I love that thing! I love having pictures of races and since I can't really run with my big camera it sure is handy for hubby to have the iPhone. :)

 Me and the hubby pre-race. I'm smiling but as the start drew closer I got all jittery and nervous. I had a goal in mind as I normally do and was confident that I could meet that goal. This race isn't a chip timed race so we decided to line up closer to the start (where the fast peeps are) because in the past it has taken a good 2 minutes to cross the start line and we just didn't want to start too far back and deal with the extra time, ya know. Well, I think I got more nervous waiting on the start because this tiny little woman was talking to another guy in line telling him how last year she was smoker and finished in 28 minutes so she was anxious about her time this year since she had quit smoking. Gah, really!?! Last year I finished in 43:34 and this year my hope was to finish in under 33:43 (my previous 5k PR). So, I had let that all go to my head right then and there and I was a bundle of nerves. I hate that. 5k is a distance I have ran many times. This was my 3rd year running this particular race. But there I stood shaking in my running shoes. 

That all went away once the gun sounded and we were off. I hit my watch as soon as I crossed over the start and then waited a little bit before I got my music in place. I don't remember at what point I slowed down and hubby was ahead of me but I finished mile 1 in 10:03 and knew at that point I was right on track for making my goal time. By the time I was getting close to crossing the 2 mile mark I was dripping with sweat and my legs began to cramp up a bit. I had to slow down and walk a little and noticed I hit mile 2 at 22:00. Ugh, I sighed and picked the pace up. Miles 2 and 3 are ran on a trail (part sand, part gravel and fnishing on grass). I don't really train at all on sand, gravel or grass but I knew this was part of the course. I struggled a bit the rest of the course, looking at my watch and noticing the time, seeing different people around me..
Why is it there is always a really cute, full belly pregnant chick nearby? 

Anyway, when I saw hubby heading past me in the opposite direction at 28 and some minutes I knew he was doing well, but also knew that I might not make my goal at this point. I was ok with that. It was brutally hot out. I had not trained like I should have in the heat. I also kept telling myself that last year I was 40+ pounds heavier and the year before that...I had come a long way with my weight loss and my running so not making a 5k PR this time was fine. I was going to achieve a race PR and that is worth talking about!!

 I finished in 35:01. 
A good 8 minutes and some better than last year and 13 plus minutes faster than 2 years ago. That is a huge difference in time! :)
 Hubby and I post race. It really was so very hot. His shirt, shorts and everything were soaked through. So much to the point that an hour after the race when he took his knee strap off he sprayed me with sweat. Ick!
It was so hot that for the first time I could feel the bottom of my feet burning from the heat off the road. That's not a great feeling!

I ended up find a cool spot in the grass and laying down while they announced winners.
We hung around for awards and door prizes. This race always has awesome door prizes. I won a pair of earrings and ended up giving them to Miss Annabelle. Cute little silver stick girl earrings with turqoise. She was very excited! 

Next post - comparison pics from the last 2 yrs and this yr!

Friday, July 23, 2010

>A week's worth of running on empty

>This week has not been the best week for me or my family. Every day this week brought on different news (and not the good kind)...job related, family/health related. None of it anything at all to turn cartwheels send me running out the door over! I've been hurt, I've been angry. I have lost sleep. This week I have pretty much been running on empty. I don't feel like I should go into vast details because the point of this post is not to gain sympathy for the curveballs life throws at us sometimes but more so that, "gee whiz sometimes life just gets very hectic and you don't have as much time to squeeze everything in." You can relate, I'm sure!

Somethings I've come to realize this week are:
- I am not as young as I use to be. Staying up until 1 am or later is not a good idea when you have to be up for work the next morning.
- Lack of sleep makes it hard to get motivated for exercise.
- Caffiene after 5 pm is not a good idea (if caffiene is really ever a good idea anyway).
- Something about the way we fix or the way I eat turkey tacos messes my body up and causes a gain on the scale.
- I need new running shoes but it seems too soon. 300 miles? I had hoped to get a bit more on this pair.
I listed all of that to say that basically the lack of sleep I have been getting this week has made me feel like I couldn't get much done. I have not ran much this week or even been to the gym to workout. Stress and a lack of sleep just didn't provide me a lof of energy this week. Hence the running on empty feeling!

Workouts for the week were-
7.25 miles/58:29 min on the elliptical
4.5 miles/47:15 on the treadmill
Two days of gym time. Not good especially when my running goal for the week is 15 miles. Sigh. The positive is that I DID do something. :)

I have a race tomorrow, a 5k. So, tonight the family and I are headed to GA to stay with family so hubby and I can get up and run in the morning. I am excited. This particular 5k is where my running began 2 years ago. I finished the same race in 2008 with a time of 48:59 which is most definitely  not something to ever brag about. After life took a bit of a toll on me I put away my running shoes and forgot about my gym membership until about April of last year when I started C25K all over again. July of 2009 I finished the same race with a time of 43:34. Again, not really worthy of bragging about but I had lost a bit of weight and shaved nearly 5 minutes off my time from the previous year. Last year is when the running really became a real part of my life (and hubby's) so this weekend I am very anxious to see how my time improves. My last 5k time (and PR) is 33:43 which is almost 10 minutes faster than my time for this particular race last year. It is a very fast and flat course with a good portion of the first mile being downhill. I feel confident that I can at least get it done within 33 minutes. My goal is 31-32 but as always anything under 33:43 would be a new 5k PR and that would make me very happy. The temperature for tomorrow morning is going to be about 79 degrees with the heat index making it feel more like 84. Hot and icky.

that is it for me for now. It's almost 5pm and the clock stops then! haha
Have a great weekend! Be sure to check back for a full race report!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

>I've been hiding

>And in denial.
The truth:
I have had a busy week. Busy week means mostly craptastic eating habits and little time spent in the gym. My hubby was also gone some this week. And that also leads to icky icky gross fat feeling coming over me. I hate that.

The good:
I've worked out 3 times this week which is way better than having to come here and say I worked out zero times this week. Monday I got a workout in after VBS that night. If my memory serves me correctly I managed to squeeze in 21 mins/3.10  miles on the elliptical plus some weights. Wednesday night I ran a speedy 5k on the treadmill (made me wish I was always that fast). By speedy I mean 30 minutes and some seconds. Today I had hoped to run at least 6.2 on the treadmill at the gym but had some knee pain and didn't want to take my chances. SO, what did I do? 6.65 in an hour on the elliptical. That was a great workout!

The bad:
I didn't meet my mileage goal this week. Nor have I gotten the scale to move down or even consider staying down. It was down and after the way I have eaten the last few days I am not even sure I want to see what it will say in the morning. So, I won't.

The plan:
Back on track tomorrow and not looking back. Do you get sick of reading that from me? Yeah, I do too! It has to stop. I know at this point it is highly unlikely I will meet my goal of 170 by the end of the month but if I can get below 178 (my current lowest weight) then I am happy with that. So, what will get me there? Tomorrow I am pulling my WW books back out and journaling my food, complete with preplanning my meals out. I already know what I am having for breakfast! ;)
I will also be able to get back into my regular gym routine this week. I have a race out of town on Saturday (just a 5k) so I will be running Sunday, Tues, and Thurs and on Mon/Weds I will be cross training. I am working hard this week to get back on track and feel better. Right now I do not feel good. Crazy how junk does that to ya, huh.

A question:
What are your favorite workouts?  Do you have a favorite dvd?

Monday, July 12, 2010

>I am not a slacker!!

>We have just been really busy!
This weekend I found the time to get in a long run, if you can call 6.2 a long run. I finished in 1 hour and 5 minutes (give or take). I am too lazy to double check my time on Log Your Run. lol
This week is VBS at our church. It's keeping me busy and tonight was the first night! I did manage to hit the gym for a quick workout afterwards. I got 3.1 miles done in 21 minutes on the elliptical at a level 6. Not too bad. I also did a few kettlebell exercises for my abs and arms. I feel good about getting the workout in even if I did only have a short amount of time. It sure beats coming straight home to be lazy!! ;)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

>Tonight's run is brought to you by the letter "P"

>As in that is what was running down my leg during my run.
Embarassing? Um, yeah. Luckily I was wearing running tights in a dark color and it wasn't that noticeable. Or at least that is what my hubby said.
How do you deal with that? Does that just happen after so much time spent pound the pavement? If so I guess I am in trouble because the last three times I have ran outside I have had this little problem. What's worse is that I emptied my bladder not long before setting out to run. Sigh.

So, advice!?!? I need all the help I can get here.
And seriously, if you are's ok too. I can handle a chuckle or two. But please please tell me I am not alone in this.

My run wasn't pretty. It was 98 degrees here when we set out to run. We did a little paved trail just outside our gym. 3.42 miles. I completed it in 37:01. There was walking and lots of huffing and puffing. It was hot! But you all know that two of my July goals are to get my running outside and to add more miles. So, that's what I am working on.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

>What a weekend!

>Our weekend started Friday when we went to pick up our race "packets" for our 5k Saturday. I left work early and we headed to Runner's Market to get our bibs and timing chips. Easy peasy. I like Friday pickups for that thing better than getting them the day of the event!
We did a little shopping Friday and Saturday.
Our plan was to lay low Saturday since our race time was 9 pm. We had never ran a night race but had ran at night. My hubby and I neither one really knew exactly what to eat all day or what we should or should not be doing. It was just so different than the day before a race we normally would have. Getting up and running a race first thing in the morning doesn't leave a whole lot of time for nerves to build. Waiting around all day long on race time there was a lot of time for pre race jitters (at least for me!).
I managed to get in a 2 hour nap before having to wake up and get myself dressed and ready to go. I think the nap was what I needed to revive myself. I had (or am) been dealing with a summer cold and I just knew that was going to hinder my running a lot but I tried not to let it bring me down too much.

As I said before I had hoped to make it under 33 minutes but anything under 33:58 would be a PR and a PR is great. Right!?! Right. So, as always I told myself it is a new course and the time of day is different than I am use to running in as was the your best and give it your all.

I could have done a little better and there were times I was running to fast and instead of pulling my pace back to a slower run I stopped and walked just a few seconds to catch my breath. I am ok with that but I really wish at those times I had picked the pace up and just kept running harder. I have been reading the book "Run Like a Mother" and had gotten to the chapter about mental toughness. Man, how I wish I had read that chapter BEFORE my race instead of after!!!  A lot of great advice in that chapter (and pretty much the entire book). If you haven't read it, you should. Or maybe if you wait around long enough someone in blog land (ahem) might do a give away featuring said book. ;)

Me pre race.

And my hubby, who remembered his shoes this time!
I am so thankful to have him by my side (at least for the start) and waiting on me at the finish line.

Like I said, the race started at 9 pm. The sun was just barely setting at that time. The course was flat and fast. It was an out and back type course, which we both found we aren't really big fans of. I prefer a change of scenery when I am running. Down and back kind of has a sense of dread..does that make sense to anyone? lol

My hubby finished in 30:39. I forgot my watch at home and therefore was bummed to not have it on my run. I like to have it so that I can keep up with my time and see at what point I need to kick it up a notch and push harder. It was hard to not have it. Boo. I came to mile one at 10:05 and new I was doing really well. I guess I slowed down a bit because I got to mile 2 at 21 minutes. From that point I knew I need to just keep running and the end would soon be in sight. I kept thinking I would see the clock and would just push really hard. When the clock came in sight I swear it was so blurry I couldn't have seen the time it read if I had been on top of it! This bummed me a little because normally if I see the clock and it is close to my goal time I really push hard and sprint to the finish. This was not the case last night.

When I finally could see the clock it read 33 minutes and some seconds so I pretty much knew I did't make my goal of under 33 but knew that I had PR'd so I honestly didn't push hard and sprint my way to the finish. Shame on me! I don't even know what I was thinking as I came into the finish but when I found my hubby and he told me my time I was slightly bummed. I know a PR is great but still I wanted to PR by more than 15 seconds! lol  Hubby said he thought I finished somewhere around 33:45 but had heard someone from the timing crew say there was an issue with some chips not picking up....

Post race and still smiling!

They gave ice towels at the end. Let me tell you what a nice treat that was after a hot and sticky race! I loved that. Hubby chose not to take a towel and I was sure to let him know what he missed out on! haha

We went to a late dinner after the race and made it home around 11:30. I thought I was going to be worn out and ready for bed as soon as we walked in the door. WRONG! I ended up not falling asleep until well after 3am! Whoa. I guess that's what I get for a late evening nap and lots of caffiene late in the evening!
This morning when I woke up at 9:30 I went straight to the computer to see the results.
And that is where the disappointment set in.
Apparently, I was one of the lucky one's that had a messed up timing chip. Boo. My time is no where to be found on the results page. I know I PR'd though and that makes me feel better. But you better believe I emailed the track club and let them know I was disappointed.

I do want to say that I did have fun and I am proud of my accomplishment. Every race I run makes me realize how much I truly love running and makes me want to push harder to go father. And I love sharing my experience with you guys!

Friday, July 2, 2010

>Pre race jitters??

>Something is up with my crazy body and immune system.
I have come down with a cold or some kind of sinus junk. I am not going to the dr because I just don't do that over the sniffles. Let it run it's course is my kinda deal!  I feel icky and stuffy and sneezy, you name it.
I have a run scheduled for this evening and was going to keep it to just a slow 2 mile. Today we have an air quality alert day, fun stuff. My hubby has assured me I should be fine to run especially since I don't have any issues with breathing otherwise (except this cold). So, the plan is to still do that run!

Tomorrow's race is a night race beginning at 9pm. It's just a 5k. My goal is to PR (as always). So, I hope to come in under 33 minutes. It is a fast, flat course. I like that! Although, I like downhills too but I guess if there is a downhill it would mean first going up hill! Ha.

I'm getting to my title now...
This is the second or third race that I have come down with a cold just a few days prior to racing. What is up with that? Could that be my body's way of dealing with nerves!? And shouldn't I be over the nerves before a race thing by now? I mean at this point you would think I have ran enough 5k races to not get the pre race jitters at all, but I do.

Anyway, we plan to start our holiday weekend out running the Fireball Classic! Should be fun! I hope you all have safe and happy holiday.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

>New month, new goals!?

>I cannot believe how fast June flew by and that July is already here!
I feel like I should redo June since I didn't meet all of my June goals.To recap a bit here is the list of my June goals :
-gym 4 days a week
-more veggies/fruit
-stay on plan on weekends
-lose 5lbs

I met some. I didn't meet others. Simple as that.
I did not lose 5lbs. In fact, I gained 3 while on vacation and I am 2 away from being where I was the day we left for the beach. Sigh. Rather than dwell on the fact that I didn't reach certain goals I am going to move forward and set new goals for July.

So, here we go.
In July I would like to get to a solid 170 pounds. As of today that means losing 12 pounds by the end of the month. I'm not doing the math but I do think that is doable. BUT I will have to work hard to get there. And I plan to do just that.

I would like to up my running miles each week. As of right now I run about 10 miles a week. Not many!!! I'd like to get at least 15 miles a week. That should be doable but it may  mean instead of running 3 days a week I might have to add a 4th day OR just make my long run a little longer. I realize to some 15 running miles a week is not much but for me it would be a great goal. Currently I run 3 -4 on Mondays, intervals on Wednesdays (which usually equals 2 - 2.5 miles) and then about 4 on Fridays. So, basically I am under 10 miles which is probably laughable to most runners but I am getting there and hope to add many more miles.

Something else I have decided I want to do is to take my running outside more often. I typically run on the treadmill. Do you know how boring that can be?? I do it, but man oh man does it get old! I like it in that I can determine my exact minute/per mile pace and can keep up with my time well. But after having ran outdoors with a friend and of course races it makes me want to take my running outside a lot more often! I have avoided running outdoors lately because of how hot and humid it has been but yesterday I met a friend at the park and had an amazing 4.5 mile run. Granted it took me 50 minutes BUT it was just so great to be outdoors enjoying my surroundings and doing what I love to do for my body!

Now for the list:
* hit 170 - lose 10 lbs
* add more running miles each week (aiming for at least 15 miles)
* take more runs outdoors

What are your July goals?