Friday, April 30, 2010

On the mend

I have been a little lazy about my blog the last few days- guess I'm just feeling bummed that I can't write about my runs :).  My ankle is doing a lot better.  It is still a little swollen and sore (and has started to get some interesting color) but I am able to walk on it, slowly.  Considering how painful it was on Sunday (when it happened) and Monday I was very happy to start hobbling around on it by Tuesday evening.  When I heard a pop when I fell I really thought it was going to be bad but turns out it's just a bad sprain and nothing worse.  I iced right away and I think that helped a lot in it getting better quicker.  I am hoping to be able to start biking next week and then, maybe, start jogging the week after that.  Two weeks might be a little ambitious but I am keeping my fingers crossed :).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Injury galore

I look at my last post and think about how lucky I would be to have shin splints right now.  You see, last night while doing laundry, something I've done at least twice a week for 2 1/2 years, I stepped down wrong and twisted my ankle.  The rest of yesterday and all of today has been spent laying in pretty much just one position with my foot propped up chillin' under a bag of ice.  I honestly can't believe that I am laid up like this from doing something as normal and mundane as laundry.  I am pretty bummed about it.  Even with the looming threat of shin splints I still felt pretty good about my running and exercise and now here I am not being able to run for at least two weeks.  I guess it could've been a worse injury but it's still a bummer.  On the bright side my right, non-injured, leg is getting a lot of work in and every time I need to go up stairs my triceps get a great workout- I guess that's something :).  Here's to a speedy recovery :)!

I did want to mention that Racing with Babies blogger TMB is having a giveaway for a great necklace from Tarma Designs.  Please check it out HERE to find out how to enter and win :)!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

UGHHHH...Shins Suck!

Today was absolutely beautiful!  It was clear, sunny, and warm (for AK :)) and I was psyched to get out for a run.  I felt really good on Tuesday and Wednesday when I went out so thought today would be even better.  Wow, was I completely and totally wrong.  I did my usual warm up (about .25 of a mile) and then started on the run.  At first everything was fine, the first mile is always the hardest for me since my body is warming up, but then at about 1/2 a mile my shins were in agony.  I stopped and walked for a minute and then tried running again- little shots of fire ran up the front of my legs.  I honestly couldn't believe it, I hadn't had shin problems like this since I first started running.  I was pretty frustrated- all I could think of was how bad they felt and how I probably wasn't going to be able to run for like a week.  I decided that even if I couldn't run it I would at least walk the 3 miles so I could get the mileage in.  The next 1/2 mile was painful, even walking, but by about mile 2 it was feeling better and by the time I got back to my car my shins felt OK.  I think I stopped running in time to prevent bad shin splints.  I guess I overdid it a bit this week increasing my mileage.  Going from 2 to 3 didn't seem like a huge jump but when you're supposed to be building a foundation increasing too quickly can end up setting you back.  My biggest problem is that I'm impatient- I want to go out and run 10 miles now, I want to lose all of my weight now, I want to be fit and in shape now.  I know I need to be patient but sometimes it's hard.  I've decided to alternate my running days again (no more back to backs) and to also alternate a treadmill run with a pavement run to ease myself into longer distances on a harder surface.  I am going to try and stay with 3 miles though because I really do think I'm ready for that distance.  Tomorrow will be a nice 20 mile bike ride - no shin pain for me :)!

'The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose.  By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behavior'
Tony Robbins

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feelin pretty sore

This is going to be a pretty short and sweet post- I am super duper tired and my body is hurting just a bit.  I did my second 3 mile run of the week and it went a lot smoother then yesterdays.  I drove a little ways to a bike path that was completely dried out- the pavement was much easier to run on.  The one draw back of this path is that it is right along the highway.  I mean it's far enough over that I'm not sucking in kick back from the cars passing by but, still, it's right there.  The first 1.5 mile was good, I didn't stop at all (funny though, this is the mile that I can always run straight through but it's also the mile I have to keep talking myself into finishing) and it felt pretty good.  At the turn around point I walked for 2 minutes and then two more times for a minute each.  I don't mind that I walked a little bit - I think total is was less than .25 of a mile so really not bad, starting to build up on my endurance :).  My total for the day (which includes warm up and cool down) was 3.66 miles- YAY!!! I finally broke through the two mile plateau.

Mile 1- 13:02
Mile 2- 14:14
Mile 3- 13:51
Total Time: 41:07
About 13 minutes faster than yesterday but still a little slow.  Working on it though :).

We took Coop to the vet today, poor guy.  The good news is that the cut was pretty clean and since we've done a good job keeping it clean no stitches :).  I got a little bootie for him for when he goes outside and he absolutely hates it.  He doesn't tear it off but his limp gets a lot more noticeable when it's on.  Just glad he's alright and that whatever cut him didn't hit tendon or muscle- we got lucky :).

Happy Wednesday!!

'Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.  It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.  It helps us to find out what we are made of.  This is what we do.  This is what it's all about'
PattiSue Plumer

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This fun bloggy world

I am having so much fun with this blog.  As you can see from the address I did attempt another blog (I didn't think to change it until I was well under way with this current blog) but I don't think I made it past one post.  With that said I am very much an amateur when it comes to running and modifying my blog (I'm guessing most people are at first).  It has been fun, and sometimes frustrating, to figure out new ways to manipulate and personalize my blog.  Last night I was up way, way, way too late because I finally stumbled upon FREE (amazing!) blog backgrounds and couldn't go to bed until I looked at every single one - and tried out a good handful on my site.  I was thrilled when I finally figured out how to get widgets on here through the HTML/Java gadget (so simple- I know!).  I am still trying to figure out how to format a picture in my header (right now it's just one huge pic) but since I don't read the language of HTML it might be awhile until I get that one right :).  I guess the bottom line is that I am having a great time figuring all this out and I'm getting more and more "into it" everyday.  I sit down every morning before work and every evening before bed and read everyone's blogs - it's pretty great :)!

Today's run was a mix of good and bad.  It was my first official day on my new and improved training plan and it called for 3 miles.  I wasn't too worried about the distance because it wasn't much farther than what I've been running the last few weeks (plus I've been dying to up my mileage so it was great).  I did, however, miscalculate my route, big time.  There is a bike trail right by my house that goes back into the woods and connects up to a bunch of trails all around town.  On my way home from work today I caught a glimpse of the trail closest to my house and it looked clear and dry of all snow- I was psyched because this meant that I could just go right out the front door, no driving somewhere to run.  YEAH!  Well, R (the BF) and Coop came out with me- they were going to walk and I was going to run- and I kid you not as soon as we crossed into the first part of the trail from the sidewalk Coop stepped on a piece of glass and cut open his paw (some jerk tossing a beer bottle I'm sure : ( !!).  He was bleeding a fair amount so R took him home but I really needed to get the run in so I kept going (I know, I should be hauled away for not helping out my injured dog).  The first part of the run was great and then at about .75 of the first mile I hit the other side of the trail.  It was awful!  Completely covered in slushy snow, soooo hard to run in- I was slipping and sliding everywhere.  I was able to go for about 1 mile out and back but it was brutal and I had to walk quite a bit.  The goodish part of this is that I felt good physically- I think if the whole thing was pavement I would've done pretty good.  For the last 1.5 miles I was fairly wiped from "running" in the slush so was a little on the slow side but I was just glad to get the mileage in.  I also got to use my Garmin (love it!) which was nice since most of my runs have been on the treadmill the last couple of weeks.  Overall I was happy with my run (not very happy with my pace due to the slushy snow).

Stats (hmmm, so official sounding :)):
Mile 1- 16:00
Mile 2- 17:08
Mile 3- 15:15
best pace 8:14 (don't know if I trust the Garmin on this...)
slowest pace 22:00 (very slushy snow)

Here I am before heading out for my run...

...and right after- talk about sweaty!!

My poor Coop after the cut.  It seems to be ok but we really need to watch it-I'm worried about infection.  

I just want to say CONGRATS to everyone that ran Boston yesterday.  I've read a couple of great race reports and look forward to reading many more!

'The training is constant.  You just have to stick with it and you'll be successful.  I use running to stay healthy and burn off the day's stress'
Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back on the training wagon

When I first started this blog about a month ago (wow- can't believe it's already been a month) I also started a half marathon training plan since I want to do one this August.  I knew I was being a bit ambitious since I hadn't really run at all in over 6 months but I found a beginner program and got started.  Now, what I did not fully take into account was that the beginner training program for a half marathon does not define beginner as someone new to running but someone new to running the half marathon distance.  The "suggestion" is that you are able to run for at least 30 minutes continuously to start the program.  Being the undying optimist that I am ( ;-) ) I decided to do the program even though I was just starting out as a runner in general.  Well, needless to say, that only lasted about two weeks.  Since then I have just been running to build up strength and endurance, which is fine, but as I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I have been losing focus and motivation.  Last week I signed up for a few races (yippee!) and this week I am getting back on an actual training plan.  I am still not a "beginner" according to the half marathon guidelines but I've decided to mesh two different plans together and I think that will help.  For the first 6 weeks I am going to use a 5K training plan and for the following 8 weeks I am going to use the half marathon plan which should take me right up to the race itself :).  I think this will be a great way to train since the 5K is more within my range and will help me build up to the half training plan.  I am looking forward to having a daily schedule since I think not having one contributed greatly to my "slump" of the last couple of weeks.
My schedule for this week:
Monday: Weight Training
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: Weight Training
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: Spin 
Sunday: 3 miles
Total of 12 miles for the week

My weekend was pretty quiet.  I went on two wikes with BF and the dog and it was nice.  Things are really starting to melt here so even though things are pretty gross and smelly I just remind myself that everyday will get nicer and nicer.  I am just impatient to start biking to work but there's still a good amount of snow on the trails (no studs on my bike).  I am looking forward to watching Boston tonight (I DVR'd it)- hope everyone who went did well :)!!

Happy Monday!

'Find a new trail, a different town, a place you've never been before to run' 
Jason Karp

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tummy Troubles

I was back on the treadmill today for my run.  My original plan was to try and go for at least 3.5 miles - I have been stuck on 2.5 for a few weeks now and I really want to push past that.  I can't tell if it is a physical limitation or a mental block.  I mean when I hit 2 miles I feel done and don't feel like I can go any farther but part of getting better is pushing past the discomfort.  I am leaning more towards mental as the real culprit.  For me running is very mental- "you can do it" "keep going, 2 more minutes" "it's only .35 more to one mile" etc.  Part of the current problem, I think, is that I know I can do 2.5 miles, it is within my range so if I am tight on time or am feeling a little less than motivated all I have to tell myself is "you can do 2.5 miles, no problem".  I am hoping that going outside will help me with this running distance rut.  If I am outside I don't mind going 2 miles in one direction and then turning around and going back 2 miles.  On the treadmill (while I am definitely warming up to it) it is hard to make myself stay on there for an hour or more and since my miles are so slow right now trying to get in 4 miles, plus a W/U & C/D, takes at least an hour.

So, back to my original plan.  I was fully prepared to take that hour and turn it into 3.5/4 miles.  Everything was fine, I was getting the "done" feeling at 2 miles but was getting ready to push when I literally felt a different kind of push.  Now, I have never had tummy troubles while running-I think the main reason is that I just don't run long enough times for this to be a problem, it's usually about 30-40 minutes.  My biggest issue to date has been hydration (either too much water = having to pee every 5 minutes or not enough water = killer dehydration headaches for the rest of the day) but tummy, no problem.  Well, today it was quite the opposite.  I didn't feel any grumblings before the run but, like I said, around mile 2 it started to make itself known.  I thought I could still make it to 3 miles but about .25 of a mile later it was all I could do to make it to the bathroom.  I do think this was a fluke.  I mean until I start running for 1+ hours I think I can plan around the tummy issues but man, it was pretty freaking uncomfortable.

Ok, there is a super great giveaway going on at My Reason to Run- it's for a running skirt!  I am really excited about this because I think the running skirts are soooo cute- I'm just not quite ready to buy one (they are reasonably priced but I just don't know how I'd feel running in a skirt so am a little nervous).  If you want to enter to win an awesome skirt from go HERE (until April 29th) and good luck :)!

There is also a giveaway for compression socks (something else I really want to try out) at Lil Runner.  She is taking entries until April 23rd- check it out HERE and good luck (again :))!

Looking forward to a great weekend...hoping to get out there, finally, for a run and hike.  Happy Friday and good luck to all those racing this weekend!

'Keeping my eye on today is about all I'm capable of.  And today, I think I'll go for a run'
John Bingham 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So today I signed up for a series of races that are coming up over the next couple of months.  I am actually excited about this because it is just what I need to help me get out of my current rut.  Technically I am planning to sign up for a half this fall but I haven't officially started the training plan yet (it's a 12 week plan and I am still building up to be able to start it) and I was hoping to get some shorter races in beforehand.  I also think I needed some tangible short term goals to work on (other than losing weight which can be overwhelming at times).  I looked at the local running calendar tonight and went a little crazy- I was signed up for four races within an hour.  The first one is a 5K the 8th of May, then a 4 miler a week later, on to a 12K 3 weeks after that, and finally a 5 miler on June 12th.  I think they are all within my range (if I pick up the pace like right now) and I think it's a pretty good progression of distance.  I can't wait :)!

My run today was pretty good.  I almost didn't go because of a late, late lunch where I overindulged a bit too much (he he he) and feeling a little sore from the run/weights yesterday.  But I got my lazy butt up and hit the gym for my usual 2.5 miles (man, I really need to get off that number :)).  Since I knew I wasn't going to increase the mileage tonight (I felt happy just getting there) I decided to at least pick up the pace.  For the first mile I ran at a 12:28/mile (about a 1:20 faster than my "usual" pace) and for the second mile 13:22 (about :26 sec quicker).  It was hard, definitely, but it felt really good to push myself in some way.  I was able to do the whole first mile without pausing or slowing down (yesterday I wasn't) and for the second mile I walked for 1 minute at the half mile point.  I think I might try and aim for 12:30 as my pace for now (until I feel ready for another increase) I mean it was hard but I was able to keep up with it so I think it's within my capability.

Another great day- I really do feel refocused and raring to go.  YIPPEE!!

'We run because it makes us feel like runners, no matter how slow or how fast we go'
Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Well, I have been a little disconnected the last few days.  No new post, no new run, no new workout.  I had a lot going on last week - new job, new classes, and the BF was out of town all week- so, five days without a run.  The funny thing is that I'm not upset about it.  Yesterday I thought about the reasons for not running.  I also reevaluated where I was fitness wise and why I started running to begin with.  I think I just needed to reconnect with running.  I'm still a beginner and for me that means running hasn't become a habit yet.  It isn't second nature for me to get my shoes on and go for a run regardless of what's going on or how I feel...yet.  I am still at a point where I can easily talk myself out of a run if I am not feeling up to it (or into it).  When this happened last week I got upset with myself but now I just feel like it's a part of becoming a runner- I am still learning to make running an integral part of my life.  I've still made a lot of progress over the last few months and I think my resolve is solid and I will keep improving.

Today was great.  My new office building has a little work out room so as soon as I got off I went down there and hopped on the treadmill.  I could definitely feel the five days of not running (or working out at all) but it felt great to get on the 'mill and get through the usual 2.5 miles.  My time was a little slower then it had been last week but not as bad as I thought it would be.  It just felt like I was back on track when I was done :).  I am very grateful to have that treadmill at work, I think that will help me on days that I am not feeling motivated to go out and run- no stopping by the house before the gym (or even changing my mind on the way to the gym)- it's there and there are no excuses to get out of running.  Just what I need :)!

I also did my weight training routine today.  This was great because I had only done it one day last week and my goal is to get two days a week in.  I could feel a bit more of a burn today but it was the good kind- like I was accomplishing something by lifting those weights.  I am hoping to get my second day in on Thursday.

I actually signed up for a challenge that Amanda at Run to the Finish is putting on.  The challenge is to commit to 3 changes for 30 days.  You get points by sticking with your changes (and a couple of other ways) and at the end she is having a giveaway for some great prizes.  I thought this would be a great way for me to get out of my slump.  My challenges are:
    1. Commit to lifting weights 2x/week (have been aiming for this for awhile but somehow only do it 1x/week)
    2. No eating after 7:30pm
    3. Upping my runs to 5 days a week (right now I am only averaging 2-3 and I would really like to start building mileage).
I think that this will be a great challenge and am looking forward to sticking with my changes :).  Make sure to check it out for yourself HERE.

Looking forward to a great week!

'Life is short.  Running makes it seem longer'
Baron Hansen

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chugging along...

So today was a challenging run.  I had originally planned on running 4 miles (I am getting a little too "stuck" on the 2.5 miles) but when I got on that treadmill it was like I had no energy at all!  I was able to pull out my usual 2.5 but it was rough- it almost felt like it was my first run ever (well, not quite that bad :-)).  I think that since I am starting work this week and am having to get up earlier I am just a lot more tired.  Monday was a great run and even though it was just 2.5 I felt really good - and that was after a three day "break".  I'm not too worried about it though, it really did feel like very low energy rather than sore, tired legs or incapable lungs.  I am planning on doing some intervals tomorrow so I am hoping that puts a little spring in my step, I better get a good nights sleep :-)!

So, as much as I love living in Alaska I can sometimes get very frustrated with it.  The last few weeks have been gorgeous and sunny- not too warm but warm enough to have things melting nice and slow.  I was loving it!  Then low and behold we get a little snow storm on Monday night and now it is cold and snowy (and it feels like winter!) and, to be honest, it really sucks!  I am reading about everyone getting nice warm weather and I get this...bummer for me :( !!  Ok, enough of the sobbing over something that happens every single April...

Happy Hump Day to all and to all a good night :-)!

'Winning has nothing to do with racing.  Most days don't have racing anyway.  Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up'
Amby Burfoot

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thank You

I am really glad that I made the decision to start this blog.  If I hadn't then the mood I was in yesterday may have affected me more than it did.  With this blog I was able to write and share what I was feeling which made me feel a lot better and allowed me to get out of my funk a lot quicker.  I want to say thank you for all of your comments, they were all encouraging and I had a smile on my face when I left for work this morning :-)!

I did run today and felt great about it.  This week is going to have to be a treadmill week for me.  The BF is out of town for work and  I am starting a new job so the treadmill is more convenient right now (come on snow...MELT!).  I was a little nervous about my run since I hadn't exercised in three days but I got on the treadmill and got my first mile in without stopping - YAY :-)!  For my second mile I had to take two 30 second rests but I didn't walk at all, I even averaged 13:20/mile which is actually about 40-50 seconds faster then the last time I was on the treadmill.  It was weird, my legs actually felt better when I ran a little faster and seemed to tighten up if I tried to slow it down.  Overall it was a great workout and I feel like I am back on track with everything.  Thanks again for your support and I am looking forward to a good week.

' Often, the enjoyment is the training before and the memory after'
Doug Kurtis 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bump in the road

So I have hit a little bump in the road with running and weight loss.  I haven't worked out since Thursday's run.  No running, no cross training, no weight lifting.  I can't really explain what happened- the week was fine and I was jazzed about Thursday's run and then bam, nada.  I had a lot going on Friday so I decided to use it as my "rest" day.  Saturday came around and I went on a long walk with the BF and dog.  I planned to run later in the day but it didn't happen.  I decided to do weights instead but that didn't happen.  I thought I would just move it to Sunday but nope, no workout.  I think I have hit a bit of a wall.  Not the losing weight plateau or time to change the exercise routine slump- I just started to think about how far I have to go to get where I want to be.  It's been about three months since I started running and about a month since I started paying attention to what I'm eating and the sad thing is I still have a long, long, long way to go.  I think it will be 6 months to a year before I am at the weight I want to be and probably just as long to get into the physical shape I want to be in.  The last couple of months have been going pretty good but it's hard when you realize that results aren't instant, it takes a lot of time and a lot of continuous effort (naive to think otherwise I know).  I'm sorry that this is a downer post- I think the three days without a workout is affecting my mood :-).  I know that tomorrow is a new day and I have already planned when I am going to run and what I am going to eat for the day and for most of the week.  Monday is a fresh week and I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  Even with the "feeling down" attitude I know it's just a phase, part of realizing that it took a lot of time for me to get to where I am (pounds to lose, metabolism to reboot, stamina to rebuild), so it will take time to get back to a lighter, fitter me.   As long as I keep pushing forward and go on that run tomorrow I will be fine- it's just a bump in the road.

On to other, better, news...I lost 1/2 of a pound this week.  Nothing like last week's big loss but I am ok with it.  I figure that since I lost double my weekly goal last week I can afford a smaller loss this week- and the good news is that at least I didn't gain any poundage :-)!  This week I am going to focus on what I eat and the calories I am taking in.  If I figure out the amount of calories of the food I want, before eating it, it really helps me keep the overeating in check.  I also want to stay away from all prepackaged, processed foods this week.  I am think about making weekly challenges/goals like that for myself but need to take a hard look at what I actually eat before deciding what needs to go.

I am also really excited about another giveaway that TMB @ Racing with Babes is putting on.  It is for a Moving Comfort sports bra- I don't know about everyone else but a good sports bra is pretty essential for me!  To find out all the ways to get an entry in go here.  I love all the giveaways!  So much fun and great prizes.  Might have to think of one to put on myself in the near future :-).

Hope no one was discouraged by my ranting blog today- just needed to get it all out :-).
Have a great week!!

'Once your a runner, it's always there in the back of your head'
Bill Rodgers

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Run

Yesterday I had a really good run.  It was only 2.33 (still can't seem to get past 2-3 miles but getting there...) but it was great!  I ran outside again and was expecting it to be a toughy but this time the stars seemed to align and everything went well.  It was a nice day which always puts me in a motivated mood, I was trying out my new Garmin (which I freakin' love!!), and I was rockin' a new pair of kicks- they are Saucony's Progrid Triumphs and they are wonderful.  I did a lot of overwhelming research to find a good pair of running shoes and it came down to these and a pair of Brooks.  I don't know how the Brooks would've been but these were like running on clouds (ok, maybe an exaggeration but they were great and my shins didn't hurt at all).  I was also a little surprised to see that my miles averaged just about 13 minutes.  Even on the treadmill I ran at about 14 minutes so I was shocked to see this faster time out on the pavement.  At first I thought I was just pushing to hard and that I wouldn't make it far at that pace but it was actually hard to slow it down so I just went with it.  Even with a couple of hills that was my average time.  I was thrilled (I know 13 min is pretty slow but when you're coming from 15 it feels great :-)).  Overall it was a great run and I can easily make it into 3+ miles, I just have to suck it up and do a hill to get the extra mileage.

Today I am going to try my version of intervals (?)- jog the first mile and then alternate 1 minute of walking with 1 minute of sprinting for the second, and hopefully third, miles.  I don't know if this is true interval training but I thought I should throw something like this into the mix.  I'm going to do this on the treadmill so that I have some control over it.  We'll see how it goes :-).

There is a giveaway for Run Like a Mother being put on by Happy Runner.  Check it out HERE to find out how to enter.  

"As every runner knows, running is about more than just about putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are"
Joan Benoit Samuelson