Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Beginning

So, this week is my last week as unemployed and it's really made me think about the last month and a half that I've had "off".  I don't regret leaving my last job- it was really making me miserable.  I was stressed, unhappy, and very unhealthy (not entirely the jobs fault but a pretty big contributor).  Since then I have started running (loving it too :-)) and have been a lot more careful about what I eat.  I don't know if I could given myself this kind of time and attention if I hadn't been out of a job and now that I'm going back to work I feel like I am in a really good head space and that I won't slack off on the progress I've made.  Cooper (my lab) may not be too thrilled when I'm not spending 24/7 with him but I think he'll still get those daily walks :-).

Today was my weight training day and it went pretty well.  Right now I have a 40 minute routine that I am working through.  It is full body, two sets of ten, with 5 and 8lb dumb bells.  This is perfect for now- I work up a sweat, feel a bit of a burn, and am a little sore in the morning.  I will probably do this for two more weeks and then change it up either through different exercises or by going to a strength training class at the gym.

I don't know about the rest of you but the weather today was gorgeous!  It wasn't my run day so I was a little bummed (maybe following plan a little too strictly?) but I am hoping that I get the same deal tomorrow for my three miler.  Lovin' the melting snow and can't wait until it's gone- fully into Spring Fever right now...

Monday, March 29, 2010

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

Today was a little discouraging.  For the first time since I've started running (about 2 1/2 months ago) I ran on pavement.  It's either been the treadmill or snow packed trails, both of which seemed a lot easier then the pavement.  I've said before that I know the treadmill can be deceiving and today proved that for me.  On the treadmill I can run a full mile without stopping.  On a treadmill I run a 14 min/mile (yes, snail pace I know but still...).  On a treadmill I can see what my pace and distance is.  On pavement....let me just say UGH!!!  I felt every step, and not in a good way.

Sorry, I know that I am being a bit of a downer but last week was great for me so this was a little slap in the face.  On the upside I have decided that all of my runs, weather permitting, are now going to be outside on the road so I can start building on that.  I have mapped out a nice 3.5 mile out and back that I think I am going to start making my daily run (long runs may have to wait until I'm comfortable with the 3.5).

On to exciting news- my Garmin was delivered today!  I got the Forerunner 305 and have it charging now so I can start playing with it.  I kept reading about other bloggy runners that use them so I got curious and did some research on them.  What a wonderful tool to have for running!  I am getting to a place where I am more concerned with mileage and pacing then just with running for 30 minutes and calling it good.  The Garmin will allow me to go on runs pretty much anywhere and still be able to track how many miles I'm running and at what pace.  I can't wait to strap it on!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

End of a great week...

I haven't blogged in a couple of days- it's been a little hectic.  I know I haven't written about it much (if at all) but I have been looking for a job for about a month and finally got one Friday!  It seems like a great place and I am really excited about the job.  Added bonus, it's really close to a bike trail that goes to my house so I can bike a lot this summer.

My runs last week were all on the treadmill.  I did two miles on Friday and another two today.  I seem to be in a two mile rut (with the occasional three thrown in).  I know that I am still working on the cardio part - I am now able to run a full mile and most of the second but I am frustrated because mentally I am ready for more.  I know it will keep getting better and that I shouldn't whine- honestly compared to where I was a couple of months ago this is great.  Just need to keep plugging along.

I did my weight training yesterday and it felt pretty good.  When I lifted on Tuesday I could barely move the next day but I don't feel nearly as sore today (same workout) so I am taking that as a good sign.  I was supposed to run but had a birthday party to go to so moved the run to today.  I am trying to be good about alternating days since I am a beginner but it can be tough.  If I have a good run all I want to do is go out and run the next day.  Does anyone know how important rest days are?  I mean I know I need to alternate strength training days but if I ran six days a week with one rest day would that be too hard on my body?

So, I weighed myself this morning and (drum roll please)...I lost 3.6 lbs this week!!  I was really surprised! I have been aware of my calories but haven't necessarily been hitting what I need to for weight loss.  My only explanation is that I am eating a lot less calories than I was a few weeks ago (even if not at the "ideal" number), I am running 3-4 days a week, and I have a good two weeks of weight training (twice a week).  I think once I start hitting my goal calories the weight will keep dropping.  I am just so happy about the 3.6- I know that it won't always be that much but it's a great way to start it off :-).

I also want to put out there that Lazy Bones Running is having a giveaway for a SUPER CUTE Sherpani makeup bag.  To enter go HERE and find out how to get your entry in...

Here's to another great week ahead...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

YAY - It's Thursday!

Today was my rest day.  I was planning on doing some strength training (and still might even though the day is creeping away) but am actually feeling pretty lazy.  Not sure why, didn't really do anything strenuous today- guess it's just one of those "I don't want to do anything but watch bad reality TV" moments (I am ashamed to admit that I LOVE reality TV but there it is).  Tomorrow I have some office testing to do (for temp work), an interview, and a long run so maybe it's good that I took today off.  

On another note- for anyone who might take a look at my blog I want to make you aware of the giveaway that RACING WITH BABIES blogger, TMB, is putting on.  It is for Run Like a Mother and it sounds like it is a wonderful book (written by bloggers Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea) and entries are being excepted on her site until tomorrow, March 26th.  If you're interested in a chance to win this book (like I am :-)!) please click HERE to find out how to enter.  Good luck!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Hump Day

Every run seems to get better and better!  Today I did three miles and ran all but maybe .25 of it.  I did do it on the treadmill (it was a nice day weather wise but my schedule was a little crazy so the dreadmill fit in better) which I think is a little deceptive for me but it is still three miles and I still ran a good 90% of it so I am still proud of my run!  I love having the sense of wanting to run.  My days are starting to be planned around my runs (well, that might be a little extreme but I do make sure and plan when my run is going to be rather than if I happen to get around to it).  I am sore pretty much everyday since I weight train on my off days but it feels like a good kind of sore- the kind that I worked hard to get.  I am planning on signing up for some races in April, probably just a 5K or a 5 miler, but it is exciting and I look forward to crossing some finish lines.  I am also hoping to join a women's running group next month.  They suggest being able to run three miles before joining (although it is by no means a requirement) so I am trying to build up to that first (and if today is any indication I am getting pretty close).  I think it will be great to run with a group and to get some coaching/training.  Right now my only thought is to just run but in the near future, if I want to improve, I need to start thinking about picking up my pace, working on tempo runs, and finding a race pace.  It's like a new adventure I am going on and I am really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time to make some goals...

So, today was my "rest" day. I was tempted to go out and run anyway (still feeling good about yesterday) but refrained- don't want to do too much too soon. Instead I did a two mile walk with Cooper at the dog park. Let me just say that there is nothing nastier than a dog park in the spring. YUCK!! Glad I didn't try and run there, I would have to watch every step. At least the day was nice and Coop was happy to be there so I sucked it up and did two miles. I also did some weight training today. It actually felt pretty good. I forgot how much I actually like to lift weights and the "burn" was great :-).

I have decided that it's about time for me to make some goals. Things are progressing pretty well and I am feeling good about the time and effort I've been putting in. Technically I have a goal to run a half marathon later this summer but am not sure if that's enough (what I mean is do I want that goal to entail just finishing the half, running the whole thing with no walking, aiming for a certain time, etc)but I think I also need some shorter term goals and some weight loss related goals. Making goals has never been my strong suit, I am a kind of "live in the moment" gal but I am getting to a point in my life where I think goals would be really beneficial. So, my first official goal that I am sending out into cyberspace (so that I feel accountable for it) is to lose 16.5 pounds by June 1st. This is 1.5 pounds of loss a week for 11 weeks. I may try and join some challenges to help me with this but I think it is a very attainable goal as long as I watch my calories (WOW- not to side track but when I took a look at a "normal" eating day I realized that I was eating almost double what I should be to lose weight. It really blew my mind). I am going to update every Sunday with my weight loss/gain. Sorry, not quite ready to post my weight- the number is pretty scary.

And that's it. Blogging is new to me and I haven't figured out how to get all the tracking tools on here (any advice on this?) but as soon as I get it worked out I will get a weight tracker on here. If anyone is up for losing a certain amount by June 1st let me know and maybe we can encourage each other :-)!

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Week, New Accomplishment

Last week was a bit of a "blah" week for me in terms of, well, everything. Job hunting is getting a bit frustrating, my days are getting harder to fill (time to bring out the paint), and running was not feeling too great. All of this was followed by a FABULOUS weekend out of town with the BF and the pup and I came back feeling recharged and refreshed.

Today I got back on my running schedule and it was GREAT! I ended up using the treadmill because I wasn't sure how I would feel and I ran my first straight mile and all but .10 of the second mile (after a two minute walk in between). I couldn't believe it! Up until now I have been able to go for about 4/5 minutes and then would have to walk for a minute. Today I just felt like pushing and viola- an entire mile... This really makes me feel like I am making progress and that I just might make it into the realm of continuous running.

Have a great week :-)!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rough Starting Week

Today I have definitely experienced a case of "the Mondays" (man, I am really not into that expression). The day started off not too crazy, got up and got ready to take my boyfriend to the airport (he's gone for work for the week :-( ) and planned on hitting the gym on my way home to get in my short run for the day. On the way to the airport I realized that I had forgotten to put the oil cap back on yesterday when I put a quart in my car. The engine was covered in oil and I had to make it to the nearest auto supply shop to get a new cap. Now, this may seem like a silly thing to do (and it is) but the worst part about it is that it was the SECOND time I had done that within a two month time period. I really hate saying this about myself but talk about a blonde moment (and I actually am blonde so not trying to knock the fair haired out there). The first time I got lucky and the cap was still under the hood- this time not so lucky. Well, let's just say I got an earful the rest of the way to the airport. Sigh...

When I got to the gym I was feeling pretty good. My legs were only slightly sore from Saturdays run, I wasn't too full or too hungry (that really seems to affect my performance), and I had just loaded some new songs onto my ipod. I was ready to go and was thinking that two miles would be a piece of cake compared to the five I had done the day before. Wow, was I mistaken. My legs felt like a couple of lead weights. Even after a 10 minute warm up I was hurtin' that first mile. My shins hurt, I felt like I was sucking wind, and I had to walk a lot more than I had expected to. My pace was the same as always (just shy of 15 min/mile) but I don't think there is any way I could've done more than two. I noticed last week that things didn't start feeling good until at least a mile in but that just wasn't happening today. Maybe the five took more of a toll than I realized (I sure didn't feel to bad yesterday or this morning). Tomorrow is my rest day but I am going to try and get some strength training and spin in. I think I need to really work on getting stronger in order to get the mileage up.

Still feeling good that I got out there, I am definitely on a good schedule and training plan and am glad that I am sticking to it- lead legs and all.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

First Long Run

I have to start by saying that I am really proud of myself. I started running at the beginning of the year (casually with my dog at the dog park) but knew that I wanted to run a half marathon this summer. To help me with that I decided to start a training plan. Last week was my first official week and it was a mix of 2 to 3 mile runs three days a week. Those weren't too bad for me (although I am still throwing a little walking into the mix) but yesterday was my first "long distance run" (which for this newbie was 5 miles). I decided to do this on the treadmill which is something I have really been trying to stay away from but I live in Alaska and 5 miles on the snowy trails is what I imagine 5 miles in the sand to be like. Not
pleasant for my first long distance run (sorry to knock any beach runners). So, I got on the treadmill and started with my 10 minute warm up and moved on to the first mile. It did not feel great. By 1.5 I decided that I would just run two miles and call it a day. When I hit 2 I decided that at this pace (13.5 min/mile on the 'mill) I wasn't too far from 3 so I should just finish there. By three I was so close to 4 I couldn't bring myself to stop. And, of course, at 4 there was no way I was going to stop with just 1 mile to go. And there is was - my first long distance run of 5 miles. I really couldn't believe it. I started that run thinking I would barely make it to 2 and finished ALL 5! I stopped about every 5 minutes for a 60 second break but I did it...I finished it and felt pretty good afterwards. For the first time I really felt like a runner. I didn't stop even when I wanted to and my recovery afterwards was amazingly quick. I really couldn't believe it and was so proud of myself. I know, after that, that I will never miss a run (unless something major comes up) and that I will never give up.

It feels great to be a runner :-)!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Week

It was a pretty good week for me on the running front. I am really starting to feel like I am getting into a groove. I am working on a training plan and am doing good about sticking to it. My only complaint this week would be that I am getting a major case of spring fever. For two of my runs I had to use the indoor track at the gym. While I thought this was better than the treadmill it was still a bit monotonous running in a small circle so many times (17.5 laps= 1 mile). The counting made it go by smoothly but if I have to do it a few more times I don't know if that mental trick will work. Overall I am feeling good though- still pretty slow pace (15/mile) but considering where I was a couple of months ago that's pretty great :-)! I have my long run tomorrow and am hoping it goes well (and that the weather is nice for me).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One month in...

Well, I have been doing my running program for about a month now and it has definitely been a slow process. I am working on the walk/run program and it has been progressing but at a slower rate than I would like. I can now run for a consistent 10 minutes before having to walk (and from there it goes to about 8 minutes and then down to about 5) which I think is great. The problem is that while my lungs feel good (like I could go for miles) my legs start to ache after about two miles. I think that I really need to work on strength and stretching as well as dropping some (ok- a lot) of excess weight. While I have been doing pretty good on running 3-4 days of the week I haven't done much to change my diet. I know this will be important to my progress but have been a little hesitant doing it. Not that I am eager to hang on to bad habits, it's more that I just want to concentrate on one change at a time such as the running. At one month out though I think it just might be time to make the changes I need in order to get to the next level. I am really hoping to be able to run that two miles all the way through by the end of the month!