Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's Move Festival of Races

I can't wait for my half marathon this Saturday - it can't get here fast enough!  Ever since Tuesday, I keep thinking it's the weekend and am ready to go.  

I've got my bags packed and am ready to go!  From work tomorrow, I'll head across town to the expo, meet my sisters for my favorite pre-race dinner at Applebee's, and get to bed at a decent hour at my parents' house.

The race is at 9am and the starting line is less than a mile from my parents' house :)  I'm so excited for this.  I'll probably head up around 8am and walk around and see everyone.  It'll be fun!

Goals for my third marathon:
1) finish
2) run the entire time
3) beat my last time of 2:33:something

I can't wait - here I go!! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Playing Catch Up

It's been almost a week since I've posted, so here's a brief recap of what's been going on:

I met up with local blogger/runner Rebecca last Friday for an awesome neighborhood run!  She is the first person I've run with since I started in Oct 09!  It really was great to run with someone and made the 4.4 miles fly by - even in the rain and hail.  I'm hoping we can find a time to do this again :)

I'm getting super-pumped for this weekend's Half Marathon.  It's the inaugural race in my hometown of Mt. Clemens and I'm so excited to be able to walk to the start from my parent's house.  This will be my first race not stressing about finding parking!  

Work has been getting busy and I've been teaching more CPR classes, which is fun.  I work in a school running the after school and summer programs for the kids, but to actually teach a group of adults such important life-saving skills is amazing.  I feel like a champ when they turn in their exams.  

P90X is still going strong.  I'm on week 5, which is the first week of a new routine.  I feel like a newbie again as I'm just learning some of the moves.  The important thing is that I'm still doing it!

My husband and I spent all of last Friday shopping for new living room furniture - couches & TV.  We must have went to 900 different stores and finally found exactly what we were looking for at a price less than our budget!   It was amazing!  However, on Saturday, my legs we more sore than after any long run or half marathon I've ever ran.  How is that possible?  How can 7 hours of walking/shopping/driving tire me out more than the 2.5 hours it takes me to run 13.1 miles?  

I'm loving the kinda spring weather we're having in MI - I've been able to get in a couple evening runs after work with my dogs which has been really fun.

Taking it easy this week, just a couple 30 min runs before Saturday's race.  Race outfit is picked out and clean and list of things to pack is written; I can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Love Kempo!!

This is week 4 of P90X and I'm loving it!  It's step-back week - I'm sure that's not what they call it; I think it's 'muscle confusion' time or something like that.  Either way, it's way more laid back and I'm loving it!!

I just finished up Kempo and I love it - I already feel much stronger and am much more comfortable with the moves now that I've done them a few times.

Even though I'm not seeing a budge AT ALL on the scale, my clothes aren't fitting at all - in the good way.  I bought the cutest slacks at NY&Co 3 weeks ago - they fit perfectly and were buy one, get one free.  I bought two pair, both in long, and took them to get tailored.  By the time I got them in to get tailored, got them back and finally put them on this morning - they were WAY too big!

I mean, HUGE - almost fall to the ground big.  They didn't even touch my body around the waist, inches of gaping huge.  Too big in the waist, butt, crotch and thighs.  That NEVER happens to me!  So, as annoyed as I am that they were so cute in the store and fit perfectly and are still brand new, never worn and now too big, I really can't be that mad with the outcome.  Things could be worse.

I guess this is exactly the sign I needed to keep going 100% with this program.  I feel stronger and better overall and haven't been that sore lately, so that's all great.  I've been keeping up with my running plan and am getting excited for my next half marathon next Saturday.  

I'm probably getting too far ahead of myself, but after this half, I'll take a couple weeks off from a formal training plan. I have some fun 5Ks planned with friends and family, but nothing too serious.  I'm hoping during this time I still really want to run for fun and keep it up 3-4 times a week.  We'll see what happens.  By the end of May, I'm 98% sure I'll be starting a marathon training plan!!  More on this later...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Awesome Sunday with 2 Goals Met!

This was a great day!  Even though plans were flip-flopped from what I had in mind, everything was fit in and worked out really well.  

My day began around 8am as I'm just getting up and my husband is just getting home from work/poker night with the guys.  The good news is that he hit it big and wanted to take me out to breakfast!  I couldn't think of a better way to begin the day, especially since my husband hates breakfast, so anytime he wants to go, I'm in.  We got back too late for me to get my planned run in before church, so I changed plans.

Put the husband to bed, selected and ordered printed pics from our wedding for our parents and aunts/uncles.  Yes, in three weeks we will have been married an entire year and I haven't done this yet, but whatever.  I then got to baking before church.  I was already showered and dressed, so I covered up my church clothes with my new apron and made some of the most delicious snicker/sugar cookies ever - so great, they deserve their own post soon - with pics!!

Church took longer than usual since it's Palm Sunday and when we got out, I finally made the tough decision to go ahead and do the run outside.  See, we've been under a wind advisory all day with winds up to 45mph in our area.  Even this morning at breakfast I was blown away in the parking lot.  I thought I would just go to the gym to get in my scheduled 12 miles.  

The thought of driving 20 mins to go the gym (that I don't really like anyway) and run 12 miles - almost 2.5 hours for me - was unthinkable.  There's no way I could do it inside - I'd be bored out of my mind and quit by mile 4.  So, walking out of church I decided to just tough it out and get out there.  What if my next race was on a really windy day, what would I do, stay home?  No way - so I better get out there and get used to it.  

I had two 6 mile loops in mind and got out the door.  My winter hat really helped the wind not destroy my head/hair/mental state and got me through the first tough mile. The wind was right in my face, on the side of a busy road, but I was so positive about it and was excited to power through it.  I've never been so determined/positive in my life!

Miles 2-6 were fabulous!  The wind was at my back, the few cars on the dirt roads moved over for me and waved and the sun was out.  I even took off one layer - it couldn't have been better.  I was so proud of myself and truly considered myself a runner during those miles.

And then I turned back into the wind at mile marker 7 and all hell broke loose.  The positive attitude was nowhere to be found and I was pooped!  I didn't bring any GU or water (dumb move) and was fading fast.  Turn one more corner and I see a couple out walking - they were really nice and congratulated me for getting out on such a windy day.  That made me so happy and I floated through (more like pushed through the wind) a little bit easier the next mile. 

Since I had altered my course from the original 6 mile loop to stay out of the wind, I was now at mile 8 and almost home.  The wind was in my face, I was thirsty and I was sweating salt all over my face (again).  I really should address that issue. 

So, with my head held high, I powered through the last mile with the wind coming off the lake and made it home for a solid 9 miler.  Yes, it's not the 12 I had planned, but I'm still proud of it anyway.

One great ice bath followed, including a delicious orange creamsicle recovery smoothie and a new edition of Runner's World.  
 Even this huge mess I made all by myself couldn't get me down!  Who cares that it's an orange smoothie all over a white bathroom?!
After the hubby went to work, I rocked out ALL 90 MINUTES of YOGA X!  Woohoo!  I'm on fire today - I haven't done the dvd all the way through in a while, so I was really proud of myself.

Finishing up one more batch of yummy cookies and heading to bed.  Good luck to the amazing athletes who are running Boston tomorrow!! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Windy Windy Run

I had a simple three miler in mind for this morning.  I had a lot of things on my mind work-wise that I just needed to think through and the best time to do that is while running.  I needed this run.  I got up early, got dressed and headed out.  I was excited since the loop I was running today I hadn't run in awhile and it was once a loop I had to really work up to get to and now it's my easy run.  Mentally, that felt great.

However, when I got out the door, I was ill-prepared for the wind.  I almost fell over before even getting out of my neighborhood.  I never look at the weather online before I head out and now I'm going to start.  It was 36 degrees and felt like 26 with the wind chill I saw when I got home.  The cold combined with my doing P90X Legs & Back last night were almost more than I could handle.  My glutes were so sore; I felt each and every step in them. 

I was so cold and tired for fighting through the wind in the very first part that I actually considered turning around and coming home!  I've never done that before, and this was in the first .1-.25 mile!  I stuck with it though because I didn't want to feel like a failure - and kept reminding myself it's only 3 miles!  

The first 1.5 miles were brutal and I was cursing myself for not having another layer on.  However, when I finally got to my turnaround point and the wind was at my back, things improved.  It was still chilly, but with the wind behind me, I floated home.  My 3.15 mile run took longer than any other run of this distance, but it's now done and I can rest up for my 12 miles on Sunday.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week 3 and going strong

I'm in my third week of P90X and I'm still enjoying it!  I'm finding the time to do it every day in addition to my half training schedule and I feel GREAT!  I don't see any results yet, but I think it's still early.   Next week is a cut-back week in the schedule and I'm partly excited for a change and partly dreading it since it has 2 Yoga X days - which I'm not a fan of.  But, I'm going into it with a positive attitude and my goal is to get through the first 47 minutes (of 90) at least once.  I can do this.

Long run of 12 miles this weekend, which I may have to do on Sunday given the rain expected on Saturday.  It's my last long run before my next half on the 30th in my home town.  I'm so excited for this race!  My parents have signed up for the mile-long River Walk; my hubby, his friend, his mom and her friend are all doing the 5K and they'll all be there at the finish line when I finish the half marathon!

This is my first race in which I felt confident enough to invite spectators; I've done all other ones solo and I'm really getting excited about it.  Not to mention the fact that it's the inaugural race in my home town - I hope I see other people out there that I know!!

If you're on the east side of MI, check it out!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cross Train/Recovery Run/Tempo Day

It was beautiful in the Detroit area today!!  I had 3 recovery miles on the schedule today as well as my 5, 6 & 10 year old nieces and nephew still with me.  With the combination of sunny skies, kids and the need to be active outside, we headed to their house to pick up their bikes.

While their parents were at church, we headed to their house, grabbed their bikes and rode over to my parent's house.  While they only live less than a half mile away, I completely underestimated how difficult it would be to run beside the bike riders.  This is the beginning of my tempo workout :)

I sprinted down the street after them and then stopped to catch my breath at the corner - thank goodness there were a lot of cars coming, so we had time to take a break.  Before long, they took off again and I was again sprinting next to the 5 year old.  She's great at riding the bike, just not at slowing, stopping or dismounting it.  Hmmm... interesting trip indeed.  She'd ride, ride, ride then jump off when the other two were stopped at the corner.  Not gracefully, not always on grass, just completely jump ship.  But her legs were too short to clear the bike, so it was one big tumble, bike and all.  She's tough though, and never even cried :)

Luckily, we found a better-fitting bike for her in my parent's basement, as well as an my sister's old bike for me to ride.  Realizing what a pain in the butt it is to stop, wait for everyone, get off the bike, look both ways twice and then walk across the street at every street corner, we opted for the around the block ride a million times - great cross training for me.  What made it fun is that they could all take turns being the 'leader'.  Ha!  I love kids :)

After my mom fed us all lunch - the kids' favorite - shells-n-cheese and hot dogs - we rode up to the high school to play on the track.  One mile with 7 streets to cross took us almost 20 minutes.  Oh vey!  But once we were there, we had so much fun.  Riding bikes around the track, running, jogging, rolling around in the grass, hanging from the goal posts, playing Simon Says - it was great.  We had mini-relay races here and there for some more tempo runs for me. 

Mom and Dad met us up there with new sunglasses for the kids and we got to run/walk/ride some laps together.  It was a lot of fun!  After riding back to my parent's house and then back to the kid's house, we ended the super fun weekend with their favorite aunt with a trip to the best hometown ice cream place in the world - Miller Bros.  Even though I haven't lived in my home town in 10+ years, they still know my favorite flavors as I walk in the door.

Overall, we were outside riding/walking/jogging/sprinting/playing from 11am until 6pm - a GREAT day indeed.  I got home, took my boys for a walk and it wasn't until after the walk that I realized I never put any sunscreen on and have a sunburned face and forearms!  Oh well, I won't forget from now on :)

I hope this weather stays for good!  Just three more weeks until my next Half Marathon in Mt. Clemens!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Crazy Busy Week and Ten Amazing Miles

This has been my busiest week ever at work.  It's Spring Break in most of Michigan and I offer full-day child care at our school all week.  While it's my most fun week at work, it's incredibly exhausting.  From ice skating and Extreme Bounce field trips to gym games and relay races, I was tuckered out each and every night. 

On top of it all, I'm such a fabulous Aunt that I offered to take my sister's kids from Thursday through Sunday, so they even got to come to my school with me.  They're 10, 6 & 5 and absolutely exhausting entertaining!  

So, with everything going on, I barely had time for my workouts, let alone keeping up with everyone's blogs.  After dinner tonight, I let them choose a movie so I have a few moments to catch up on things.

I was able to get in all of my P90X workouts this week, although I only made it 30 mins through the Yoga DVD.  I hope I can increase my time with this one each week until I can get through the entire 90mins. 

I had to skip one running day - a 4 miler on Thursday.  However, I kept up with everything else and had the BEST 10 miler this afternoon.  I typically run my long runs on Sat morning, but had to wait until the afternoon once my husband got up (he works nights).  I fed everyone lunch and headed out the door.  The only other 10 miler I ran was at the nearby metropark on a paved trail, so I was worried about this one around the neighborhood.

I had a great route planned out, mostly on dirt roads outside of the city and they went FABULOUSLY!  I NEVER doubted myself the entire time.  Typically on my long runs greater than 8 miles, I doubt myself and give myself 'outs' to turn home early.  Even though I've never cut the runs short, the thought usually crosses my mind.  This time, I didn't really think about the run at all until mile 9 went by and then the thought was, "Wow!  It's almost over!"  I got in just under 2 hours and never felt better!

Perhaps I just needed some "me time" after a veryintensivechildrenconstantlyinmyface week.  And it felt glorious!  I'm so glad my husband was up to it (he's not really a kid-person) and that the run went so well.

It's supposed to be 70+ tomorrow and I can't wait to go to the park!  We might even hit the paths at the metropark, although I'm not sure how far the 5 & 6 year old will go.  We will see in the morning!

Monday, April 4, 2011

8 Miles and Double Session

This weekend I had one of my most favorite runs ever! I'm not sure if it was running in my old neighborhood, the great weather or the fact that I really wanted to get out there that made it so awesome, but I'm still thinking about it.

I went to my parent's this weekend for a dinner/dance for the 140th anniversary of our grade school.  I know that sounds weird, but it's a small private school that my sisters and I attended K-8 and my mom attended K-12 (the HS burned down by the time we were there).   It's a small town where everyone knows everyone and it was so fun to see everyone and catch up Saturday night.  Of course, I have no pics, cause I suck at taking pictures,  but I promise I'm going to buy a new point-and-shoot soon and be much better. 

Anyway, after spending the evening with my parents, old classmates, previous teachers, old coaches and friend's parents, I was exhausted when I collapsed in my old room at my parent's house just before 1am.  And as usual when I stay there, I was up at the crack of dawn - 720am - and wide awake.  

I decided not to waste the day away and got right into my running clothes.  Now, I had just found the PERFECT tanks and capris at TJ Maxx the day before, so I was super excited to try them out.  I mapped out a run online to be sure to fit in my scheduled 8 miles and hit the road.  Well, not before letting mom know what I was up to first, since that's what you do when you're at home - revert to the old ways :)  I snuck out quietly without even waking my dad!

Those were the BEST 8 miles I've ever ran!  Perhaps it was the awesome route I had planned - past many old friend's houses and around the high school - it was just great.  The weather was around 35 degrees and felt perfect.  I felt like I was floating on air the entire time and just didn't want the run to end.  I could have been excited since the whole path had sidewalks and was clear of much traffic.  Or just to try out my new clothes - which I love by the way.  

No matter what the reason, I loved those 8 miles and felt great afterward.  I felt like I still had easily at least 3 more miles in me when I got home, but figured I better stick to the training plan and not over do it.

So now I'm wondering if it was just the old, familiar location that made me love the run so much and if I should go visit my parents every weekend for my long run.  (No, I'm not going to actually do that mom, if you are reading this).  

Fast forward to today - I got home too late last night from my parent's (after church and a bday celebration for mom mom at my sister's house - again with no pics) to do anything that I had planned, including my P90X workout.  Now, I didn't want to let you all down, so I did a double session today  to make up for it :)

I got out of work much earlier than normal and was able to spend some time with my husband before he went to work - party bonus!  When I sent him off, I went downstairs for yesterday's workout, Chest & Back & Ab Ripper X.  They went well - I never sweat during 58 min Chest & Back and then soak the mat in the 16 min Ab routine - who knows.  

Then I hit the grocery store, made some dinner, read some blogs and went back down for Plyometrics - today's scheduled workout.  This one is my favorite, which is why I was so excited to do it and didn't mind much about the double session.  Which got me thinking - I haven't done double sessions since 9th grade basketball practice before school started!  WOW is that a blast from the past.  Don't worry, I didn't last long in bball in HS, I switched over to tennis for the rest of the time.

So now it is 11pm and I feel great!  I can't wait for tomorrow's workout - 5 miles and then Shoulders & Arms.  I hope you are all having a super awesome beginning to your week and thanks for being so supportive!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I need to get this off my chest...

I'm doing P90X. There. I've said it. I'm embarrassed to admit how long we've owned these dvds, but I'm doing it. 90 days straight. I played around with it when we first got it and like all of the routines, I was just too lazy to keep it up.

As of this past Sunday, I'm in 100%. I have an abbreviated training plan for my next half marathon on April 30th and I'm sticking with that and the 6 day a week P90X plan.

This is what this week looked like:

5.99 miles at the gym
Chest & Back
Ab Ripper X

Plyometrics - my favorite one!

Shoulders & Arms
Ab Ripper X

Yoga X - my least favorite

3.5 miles at the gym
Legs & Back
Ab Ripper X

Kempo - my other favorite

Tomorrow I'll take a P90X rest day (instead of the X Stretch) and run my long run of 8 miles this week. Anyone else do the whole P90X routine? I really like all of them, except Yoga X. I've never done yoga in my life and I'm not very flexible. Which I'm sure means I need it and I'll keep at it, but it bores me to death.

I've been too embarrassed to tell anyone I'm doing P90X in fear of their reaction, or they'll think I'm too fat to even start it, or they'll wonder why there's no results, or I'll fall off the band wagon and gain weight. I don't know - just putting this down in writing makes all my reasons to keep it a secret sound absolutely ridiculous, but I was so scared to tell anyone.

It finally came down to the point that I have no reason not to do it.

I have the time - most people don't. My husband works nights. I have almost every evening to myself and weekend mornings. We don't have kids. Our families don't live that close; we have no distractions.

I gave up TV for lent. That took out 3 hours of wasted time a night. Ok, maybe not that much time, but it was definitely wasted time no matter how long. I realized that when the only show I'd miss was Teen Mom 2 that I HAD to give it up. I still catch that show at the gym every once and a while and it really makes my day :)

I gave up fast food for all of 2010. As much as I may LOVE McD's double-cheeseburger-with-ketchup-only and fries, I know it's not a good choice and never makes me feel good afterward. I've found myself craving it less and less. It got to the point that I was just eating it cause I was lazy and didn't want to come up with anything to eat at home.

I want to be a runner and I want to be fit. I'm okay with how my body looks, but I'd be okay with dropping some weight and toning up. I'd really like to run the Detroit Marathon this fall and I still can't find a reason not to.

So that's why I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. This week felt great and I have even found myself making better choices food-wise. Not perfect choices (pizza and chocolate cookies for lunch), but I didn't even want to eat yellow cake batter this week and that's HUGE for me.

Now that it's out in the open, I feel so much better already. Thanks for 'listening' and for all of your encouragement!!