Thursday, December 31, 2009

Unintended Rest Day

Running Log:
Rest Day

This will probably be my lament for the next year. I intended to run earlier, but life got in the way.

I woke up and took Hudson to daycare. Evan and I planned to spend the day together. I should have come home, ran, and then moved on with the day. That didn't happen. I got ready at a leisurely pace, and then Evan and I went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks and then on to bowling with school friends.

I had to run to the grocery store yet again. I've been there four days in a row. Let's just say I didn't plan ahead this week.

I fully intended to run once I got home at 3:30. However, Eric was home, and we decided to go get haircuts. We picked up Hudson, and all four of us got a trim.

I fully intended to run once I got home at 5:00. I didn't anticipate a long phone conversation with my sister.

Now it's New Year's Eve, and I really don't feel like running. I feel like eating my snacks and drinking my Smirnoff's. (It would be wasteful to not drink them.) My usual rest day is on Friday, but I think I'm going to move it to today. I am okay with that though, because I will start the new year off with exercise.

My biggest goal in terms of exercise and health are just to be more consistent. I am off to a good start with three months of running and giving up soda. I would certainly love to get faster, and hopefully my consistency will help with that.

Here's to a healthier new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Felt Good Tonight

Running Log:
2.033 miles - 30 min.
Interval #2 on treadmill
Interval speeds of 4.8, 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, and 5.2
Arm strength training 3 min. 8 lb. weights

I spent the entire day with my mom, and it was heavenly. What is it about being with mom that feels so comforting? I made the wise choice to leave the two little people at daycare. I got to relax in my childhood home, laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, and enjoy both breakfast and lunch with my mom without having to watch two little boys. A perfect day.

I left my run until late tonight, but I was pretty motivated to do it. I didn't feel like I was dragging like I usually do when I wait until after 9 p.m. to run.

Could I possibly be getting my stamina back? Please?!

When I run outside, I am consistently able to run at an 11:30 mi/min. pace. I would really like to increase that to a 10:00 pace. I'm not sure if this is an attainable goal for the year. I don't know enough about running to gauge whether or not shaving 90 seconds off of a mile is a short term goal or a long term goal. Anyhow, it's what I'd like to be able to accomplish.

I really don't even want to consider training for a 1/2 or a marathon unless I can run a 10 minute mile. Maybe that thinking is off as well. Even running a 10 minute mile puts me at running for over two hours for a half marathon. And that is a really long time to run.

On another note, the pain in my hip that I never mentioned before was nearly gone today. Maybe the stretching I have been doing over the past couple of days is actually helping. The pain was so bad I was hobbling around like a 90-year-old lady. Today it felt good.

Run: good. No hip pain: good. Day with mom: great!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Run With Boys

Day 4 No Soda
Running Log:
3.1 miles - 40:06
Avg. speed - 12:56/mile
Max speed - 10:33/mile
Leg strength training 3 min. 8 lb. weights

Today the boys joined me for my 3.1 mile run. Actually, I should call it my 3.1 mile walk/run. I am definitely not used to pushing 70 pounds of BOY, a jog stroller, two blankets, and all their assorted gear. Even with all that and having to stop to walk every four minutes, I still managed to finish the run in about 40 minutes. That was my time for my first 5K back in October when I ran with nothing but my flailing arms and legs!

And like any good mom who needs her kids to maintain for 40 minutes, I plied them each with a box of candy. Man, the little one would eat candy constantly if I let him. He is seriously my kid.

Evan was happy because he had his MP3 and candy. Hudson was happy because he had his new computer and candy. Mom was happy because I managed to get my run done early.

I still feel so slow, but I have to look at the progress I have made. Three months ago, I never would have been able to run 3.1 miles in 40 minutes pushing the boys. I must be getting stronger. Long term goals at work here!

Yeah, I'm not so good with the self-portraits. It was tough trying to get all three of us in the shot.

This is the view I had for most of the run. At some moments during the run, the boys were being so still and quiet that I would yell their names to make sure they were alive and breathing! I guess they were just in a candy stupor.

Hi boys!

This is not my street, but it is my neighborhood. It was an overcast and drizzly morning. Even still, I got hot with my jacket on and had to remove it pretty quickly into my run.

On a separate note, today was a really tempting day for soda. After running and showering, the kids and I went to Me N Ed's for some pizza before heading to the zoo. Usually fast food places with a soda fountain will have a light lemonade or punch to choose from. The choices today were terrible.

There were the usual regular sodas, one diet, and one sugary tea. No juice. I couldn't choose the sodas because I gave it up. I couldn't choose the tea because it has caffeine, and I gave that up as well. I ended up drinking water with lemon. I so badly wanted to take a sip of Evan's root beer, but I resisted. I should have brought my enhanced water inside in my purse. That would have been a much better option.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gave up caffeine and soda, but not alcohol

Day 3 of No Soda!
Running Log:
2.133 miles - Interval #1 on treadmill
4 minute interval speeds of 4.8, 4.9, 5.1, and 5.2

(My apologies if this post doesn't make sense or has words spelled wrong as I am a bit tipsy as I type this! It's Eric's fault. He's the one who suggested the yummy lemonade. I gave up soda and caffeine, but not hard lemonade!)

I always have great intentions of getting my run in early. It will help me start my day off on the right foot. Unfortunately, I rarely follow my own advice and instead get my workout done late at night. I leave it to the end of the day when I have all sorts of reasons and excuses for not getting on the treadmill.

Today was one of those days.

I took the kids to daycare and planned to spend a lovely day by myself. (Don't judge. I NEED a day to myself now and then.) Anyhow, I dropped them off, grabbed a hot apple cider and a slice of banana bread from Starbucks (giftcard), and then drove over to my school to get some papers I needed.

After that I returned home fully intending to do a little web surfing and then exercising. Well, web surfing turned into a 2-hour ordeal. How in the heck does checking a few blogs, checking facebook, and checking email turn into a 2-hour project?

Then Eric called me because he ripped his pants at work. He wanted to know if I'd bring him some new pants. I said sure as long as he took me to lunch. I drove the 45 minutes to deliver fresh non-holey pants, and we had lunch at Applebee's. Yum.

I decided to drop by the eyeglass doctor to get my glasses adjusted on the way home from pants delivery. I love my glasses, but they are so tight that they leave dents behind my ears and give me a pressure headache by the end of the day.

Got my glasses adjusted, got gas, went to the grocery store where I purchased hard lemonade, and picked up the kids. By the time we got home, I needed to clean up the kitchen and referee the children.

Now I was in a quandary. I knew I'd be consuming the yummy lemonade, hot wings with blue cheese dressing, and potato skins with sour cream. You'd think it was a party around here or something, but nope, it's just Monday night. I knew that I needed to get my run in BEFORE all this indulgence or it simply wouldn't get done. I waited until Eric got home, told him I needed 32 minutes, and hopped on the treadmill. I am rather proud of this part of my day!

Other than my nagging hip pain, it was a good interval run. Then I went and negated all that effort by partaking in the above mentioned snacks. Bad Heather. Oh well. It is a rare thing for me to have hot wings, much less drink. I feel pretty good right now. I'm sure I'll feel pretty icky in the morning.

I plan take the kids on a 3 mile run in the morning, and then we'll head to the zoo. The zoo is the best place for a 2- and 5-year-old to walk off excess energy. Season passes makes it economy friendly.

To sum up: I procrastinated in getting my workout completed, got it done, and then ruined the effort with spirits and snacks. Not too bad of a day all in all!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Did it!

Running Log:
2.54 miles
30 minutes
Avg. speed - 11:51/mile
Max speed - 10:29/mile
Will be doing 3 min. strength training on arms with 8 lb. weights

In the words of my two-year-old, "Did it!" That's what I wanted to shout after I got back from my "long run" today. I have been avoiding my long run for several weeks, so I finally got back out there today and just did it. Only, it wasn't a very "long" run. Just 30 minutes. My longest run to date was 47 minutes, but I am going to have to build back up to that over the next few weeks.

This run was rather difficult for me. I huffed and puffed and tried to suck in air. But I kept going. I read something the other day that really spoke to me. You never regret the runs you complete, but you do regret the runs you skip. Sooooooooooo true. It may be a difficult run, a slow run, a stomach cramping run, or a huffing and puffing run, but once you are done, you feel so much better. You just don't regret completing a run. You never look back and say, "Man, I wish I hadn't gotten that run in today."

However, the runs you skip only serve to make you feel bad and to remind you of something you didn't do. I'm not saying that I am striving to be a perfectionist, but just that if there is no real reason to stay home, I need to get my butt out there and just get it done.

Sporting my new running gear that I got for Christmas. I LOVE my running pants. I want to wear them all the time now. They are just comfy. Who needs jeans when you can wear slimming and soft yoga-type pants?

I am also wearing my new pink jacket. I love color, and this little jacket fit the bill. The only problem is that I wore it over a long-sleeved running shirt and got way too hot midway through my run. There is nothing fun about trying to disrobe in the middle of a run. Then I spent the rest of my run yanking on the sleeves around my waist to keep the jacket from falling off.

Also notice the Garmin watch. That was my early Christmas present from Eric. I love my husband! Lastly, the Ipod Nano? Shuffle? Nano? I can never remember which one I have. I don't like wearing it on my upper arm, so I wear it low where I can change the songs if I so desire.

I have only recently started running with a hat. It helps keep the sweat from running into my face. And maybe someday I will find my own sunglasses and be able to give Eric's back to him. His glasses are a bit big on my face and started bouncing around on my nose as I ran.

And I'm going now. In just a second I'll be off and running. Yep, watch me fly. Off I go. But wait, a quick hug for my one and only.

And one more hug.

There I go. I'm not actually running in this photo. I always do a five-minute warm up. There is a manhole cover that I walk to, and that is where I start running. Strange, I know, but it works for me.

Tough run, but I know that my endurance is low. I will work back up to where I was. Hopefully it won't take too long. I did 30 minutes today. Next Sunday I will increase that to 33 minutes. I'll keep adding 3 minutes each week until I am up to an hour. Then I don't know what I'll do!

Oh, did I ever mention that I want to run the 1/2 marathon next November here in Fresno? I'm not sure it's doable next year, but it is stirring in the back of my mind. One thing I do know I can do is find a race to run each month. There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of a race. Maybe someday I'll win a ribbon. Someday. I can always dream.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year Starting Early

Running Log:
Interval #3 (I follow the No Excuses Workouts plan and do interval runs every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) Usually these runs are done on the treadmill to be able to accurately measure my speed.
2.076 miles
30 minutes - interval speeds of 4.8, 5.0 and 5.2
3 minutes leg strength training with 8 lb. weights

It took a bit of effort to get dressed into my workout clothes and onto the treadmill, but at 9 p.m. last night, I finally got my workout done. Since I am on vacation for another week, I had hoped to do all of my workouts outside rather than on the treadmill, but things didn't work out that way. Eric wasn't feeling great, and the rest of us were just LAZY. So, the treadmill it was, even though I would have rather stayed on the couch watching riveting tv such as Cops and Cheaters. Good stuff that stimulates the brain!

I called this post "New Year Starting Early" because I promised myself a few things starting the day after Christmas. I don't really want to make New Year's Resolutions because that always sets you up for failure. However, if I make my non-resolutions starting the day after Christmas, they aren't really resolutions...more like improvements for myself!

Anyhow, I am giving up soda. That's the big one. And that started today. I already gave up caffeine a few months ago. People always ask me why I would do such a thing. The answer is because I don't drink coffee, which leads to a puzzled look. Then I have to explain that normal people who are hooked on caffeine can start their day with coffee. I, however, have to start my day with soda to get that same buzz. And I don't wish to do that anymore, diet soda or otherwise. So I gave up the caffeine.

Now I can't even drink caffeinated soda at all because when I do, it gives me headaches. I accidentally drank Barq's root beer thinking it didn't have caffeine, but it does. Ouchy headache. Quitting also gave me monstrous headaches for the first week of withdrawal. I don't want to go through that yet again. Now I start my day with an apple, a fiber bar, and water with enhanced flavor...when I am on track with my good eating habits that is!

So, back to the whole giving up soda deal. I am doing it because I LOVE soda. I would drink it over any other beverage. Always. There isn't a soda I don't like. I like every flavor, every variety, every color, every size. Root beer, cream soda, Pepsi, Coke, ginger ale, Dr. Pepper, Mountain get the idea. My absolute FAVORITE is an ice cold Pepsi out of a 20 oz. bottle. Oh heaven. And I haven't had a Pepsi in months. I don't even know how long it has been. But I am taking a lesson from my husband who had his cancerous kidney removed in September and is avoiding soda altogether. I am so proud of him for ordering water when the rest of us have soda.

My goal is to give up the bubbles for a year. I know that seems like a long time, but it is certainly doable. I figure if I can go without soda for a year, I may never need to drink it again. There are people out there who don't drink soda, right?

I might just go really crazy and give up candy next! Shudder. In case you can't tell, I have a major sweet tooth that needs controlling.

The other non-resolution I am making besides giving up soda is to keep working out and never quit. I am pretty proud of myself for not completely giving up on my running and exercising through the holidays, even if I did back off of the rigorous schedule I had been maintaining. Previously I would have berated myself for taking two days off, and then never gone back. I am an all or nothing kind of gal.

My goal is to keep up with exercise 6 days a week which also includes strength training 4 days a week. I'd like to go strong with this plan for a good three months before making excuses to relax again.

Then there are always the eat better resolutions, but I think I'll stick to the no soda and keep exercising non-resolutions for now. That's enough to keep me busy. The healthier food is a come and go type of thing. I am considering giving up the candy for Lent, so we'll see in a few months how I'm feeling about that.

So for me, it's Happy Early New Year with a few self-improvements along the way.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Running Log:
2 mile run
Avg. speed - 11:48/mile
Max speed - 10:30/mile

Here I am on Christmas Eve morning before I took off on a 2 mile run. Ever since Thanksgiving I have eased up on my running. Thankfully I haven't quit, which is what I would have done in the past.

I had a really bad run on Tuesday (let's just say something I ate didn't agree with my stomach, and I ended up having to walk the last mile home at a rather quick pace). I didn't run on Wednesday, so I was bound and determined to get in a run Thursday morning before leaving for my mom's house in Chowchilla. I knew I wouldn't be exercising on Christmas Day, so I needed to get it done. Once I got back from my run, I felt refreshed and ready for the afternoon.

Once Christmas is over, I intend to step it up in the running department. I took a much needed break over the holidays, but it is time to focus again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pokey Slow

I already have a blog that focuses on my two kiddos and our family, but I thought it would be fun to have a blog that is more about me. If nothing else, this blog can be an online record of my running journey.

I have never enjoyed running, but in recent months, it has become something of an obsession. It started when I decided to sign up for the Susan G. Komen race in October of 2009. My mom is a two time breast cancer survivor, and I wanted to do something to honor her.

I didn't make an effort to fund raise, but I did pay my entry fee! It's a lousy excuse, but I was struggling with the concept that I'd be running 3.1 miles let alone trying to raise money for the honor of doing so. When I started, I could barely run for 60 seconds without wanting to keel over.

Imagine my surprise when I started training using the Couch to 5K online program and I actually started enjoying my run! I was also staggered by the fact that I could run continuously for 30 minutes by the end of the program. My longest run to date has lasted 47 minutes. My fastest 5K (of the three I have run so far) was 35:16. And that is an unofficial time since I can't find results posted anywhere.

So this blog is more about me than anything else. Peanut and Chicken get all the glory on the other blog. This one is mine!

Like the description says, I am a pokey slow runner but trying not to care. It's hard not to care, but I am trying.