Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Midweek Run

Oh boy, another week is almost gone! I got up around 7 today to do a midweek run with a friend. It was supposed to be 5 miles plus a warmup and cooldown. I ended up getting in 5.5 miles with some stretching at the end. Not going to lie, I could've definitely pushed it harder. I'm stressed with life in general right now though, and on an emotional level, I more so needed the hour of chatting with my friend that I got in over the run. Much better for the soul!

Thanks for all the nice comments recently! I'm happy that my experiences are helpful to people out there. I've always been a big workout fiend, but I don't think that until now I've ever really had my act together when it comes to my health. I don't know if it was that I didn't think it was possible for me to be thinner, so why try or what. I'm sure there was some level of fear of failure and self doubt that crept in there! I would say though that over the last year, I've really come to the realization that I have to make decisions in my life that make me a happier, better person. That includes all kinds of decisions, especially the decisions I make about my health. Since I've realized that, I have been much better about doing things that work for me in all aspects of my life: eating, sleeping, working out, relaxing... finally, it's all coming together! Let's just hope I can keep it up! The best part about it is that I no longer care how much I weigh or what size clothing I wear. My body is what it is, and as long as I take care of myself, then I am exactly the way I should be. That attitude has allowed me to lose 15 pounds! WHOA!

Good luck on your health journey! Make sure to take some time for yourself today!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slooooooow 2 Miles

Today's workout was a "simple" slow 2 miler. I got up early and headed out in the cool, crisp morning for a 2 mile run at a pace of 11 minutes per mile. Easy peasy right? No! I felt so sluggish! It just goes to show you that there are days when you feel great and days when you don't regardless of what your workout is. You just have to push through and FINISH. Finishing is the key! I hope everyone else out there had those kick butt workout days instead of the day when you feel like your legs are lead and it's impossible to even put one foot in front of the other. Dramatic, yes, but that's how it felt today!

In any case, I'm glad I did it. I hit exactly 2 miles in 22 minutes, but that included stopping at some red lights, so not sure what my exact pace was. I did some stretching and that was it for the day. I have class for 10 hours today, so that's all I've got in me! It was 452 calories, so I'll take it!

Have a healthy day! Make sure you take the time to do one thing for yourself... you're worth it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Five Weeks til the Marathon!

Whoa, five weeks to go and it is getting intense! And time consuming... but that's what I signed up for! Today was an 18 mile run, and as I posted before, I finished! The first 6 miles was great. I felt strong, I didn't take many breaks, and my body felt pretty good! After 6, I stopped to use the bathroom, had some water/Gatorade, and my first Gu. I use the vanilla bean flavored Gu with caffeine. It tastes pretty close to vanilla icing, which may seem uninviting when you're running, but it's pretty good!

After that 6, I decided to break the remaining 12 miles into loops. I should mention that at this point, it started raining and the temperature was probably somewhere around 45 degrees F. Oy! So anyway, I have a 3.2 mile loop that I do from home, so I did that twice. I had another Gu at the end of that, and I was on my way for my final loop (6 miles). Throughout the run I was drinking my water and Gatorade because I have a handy dandy Fuel Belt that allows me to carry 20 ounces of fluids with me.

The final 6 miles was tough! I was drenched from head to toe, and my hands were absolutely freezing! Pittsburgh is a hilly place too, and I would say mile 14 - 16 were pretty steadily uphill. I stopped to walk when I needed to, but overall not much. As I was running miles 17 and 18, I definitely started to feel it. My feet were tired, and my cold, wet socks were not helping the blister situation on my feet. BTW, I'm just leaving the blisters so they can callous. Oh fun! My feet are going to be so ugly when this is done! My hamstrings were also getting pretty tight, so I had to stretch here and there when I was stopped at red lights.

All in all, I FINISHED and I finished in 3 hours and 19 minutes, which is right on the pace my running program wanted me to run. Awesome! I got back home, and I was freezing cold, totally drenched, and pretty exhausted. I know things went much better than last week though because after a half hour that included stretching and a hot shower, I was feeling fine. I had some more water/Gatorade (a total of one bottle of Gatorade today), a container of chocolate milk, and a Clif bar to give me some quick calories during my recovery.

It is now 5 hours later, and my legs feel fine. I can feel a bit in my feet from the pounding, but my knees, hips, and ankles are great. Let's hope I can keep things going for the last 5 weeks!

I Just Ran 18 Miles!

More about that later... just had to post it really quick before I head out for meetings and homework!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Push It!

Today's run was a fairly long interval workout, and I definitely had to "Push It!" In fact, as I was doing the fast parts of the intervals, I literally was repeating the words in my head over and over to keep me moving. The run went like this:

1. Slow jog over to the track at school, which is about a half mile away
2. 1 mile at ~8:45 min/mile pace
3. 1/2 mile recovery walk/jog
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a total of 4 intervals
5. Slow jog home

All in all, it was 7 miles. Phew! I burned 1327 calories, so I've had some eating to do to make up for it! The faster portions felt pretty good! That is way faster than I usually run, and I think it's mostly because I think I'm supposed to be slower than that. By repeating my mantra "Push It" during the tough parts, I was able to make it through those intervals really well. Love it! The somewhat strange part of the run is that during the whole thing, there was a guy playing bagpipes up the stairs from the track while his friend (who was wearing a business suit) watched. This was all on my university campus around 10 in the morning. Huh.

In other news, I had an awesome self esteem boost at the mall! I'm in a fashion show at a brunch this weekend (long story, not really that interesting either), and I had to go to Anthropologie for a fitting. I'm 5'8.5" so she decided I would look good in a one piece jumper thing. Of course, I never, ever try on jumpers because I think my hips would look HUGE in them. I decided to be open though, and I tried it on and LOVED IT! So, I am now the proud owner of a romper... it was awesome! I think that is a huge step in body awareness for me. So yay!

Hope you all have a wonderful, healthy day! Make sure to take time for yourself! You and your health deserve it!

PS - Here's the link to my new outfit:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday = Short Slow Jog

Mondays are for slow short jogs in the marathon training plan. Today was a 2 miler, and I did it at a 10:20-something pace. It felt super slow! My heart rate stayed much lower than my tougher runs, so I'm thinking I meet the goal of the easy run. It was slightly rainy but warm in Pittsburgh, and it was actually quite peaceful. When I got back I did a little core work and wrapped up with a stretch. Pretty no frills for the workout today! Tomorrow I'm going to do some weight training, and I'm thinking I'll try to find some Jackie Warner stuff On Demand. She's got some awesome workouts!

In other news, I'm done doing all responsible things for the day like homework, cleaning, taxes, etc. So now it's early and I have time to relax... and guess what graduate school has done to me! Robbed me from the ability to just sit and relax! I'm so used to doing work from morning until bedtime that I'm literally sitting here thinking, "Hmm, there's got to be something I should read or write or do right now!" I hope this feeling fades after I graduate in May...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

16 Miler

Yesterday was long run day, and I decided to make it 16 miles. I've had to change around my program a teeny bit because of my vacation this month and the shorter mileage I did there. The weather is absolutely gorgeous here, and I set out around noon. I planned out an 8 mile route that I was going to repeat. Let's just say this was my WORST RUN EVER!

I have a fuel belt that I usually wear that has water bottles and pocket in it so I can carry Gu. For some idiotic reason, I decided not to wear it yesterday! I thought stopping after 8 miles for water and a banana would be enough. Well, it wasn't! My first 8 miles felt great! I stopped at my apartment and had some water and the banana. I headed back out again, and at mile 12 I completely bonked. Unfortunately, I was 4 miles from home so I had to make my way back! The heat and my lack of fluids just killed me. I ended up getting all cramped in my legs and had to walk a large portion of the end of the run.

When I got home, I was feeling so awful! I had a banana and a Clif bar with some water, and after about a half hour I started to feel better. Thank God! Dehydration is not fun! I will not do that again! Today I picked up some Gatorade so I can bring that with me next time I run. This Sunday is 18 miles and there will be no craziness! LESSON LEARNED!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Facing the Music

I decided to weigh myself to see what kind of damage I had done on vacation. I did well at eating vegetarian, but 3 days in Napa equals LOTS OF WINE. Oooh, it was fun! But anyway, could have been bad right? Well, I decided to face the music and check my weight today and guess what!?!? I lost weight on vacation! WHAT!?! That's crazy! That puts me at a total of 12 pounds lost over the last 3-4 months. Not super fast like people who are super-focused, but it's been an "easy," slow process. Feels like I've hardly changed my habits! Woo hoo! I really think it's a testament to the importance of journaling. Gotta do it! I use and I love it! I highly recommend it!

Today is a quick run because it's all I have time for. Life is so busy right now! I can give myself 30-40 minutes to exercise though because it's critical! I hope you can too!

Have a healthy day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vacation is OVER!

I just got back from vacation, and I already feel BUSY!!! I guess that's what happens all the time though! Vacation was very nice! I loved Napa, and I ate some really awesome food! I did not weigh myself and don't plan to for another week or so. I'm going to let my body get back to normal. No need to torture myself! I did get in one long run of 14 miles while I was gone. I also did a short run and lots of walking around Napa and San Francisco. Overall, it wasn't too bad in terms of eating and exercise. Today I got in a 3 mile run to get myself back into the swing of things. I averaged a 9:27 pace, I think, which is faster than normal for me! Woo hoo! I have to get back into long runs this weekend. Only 7 weeks till the race! OMG!!!

Vegetarianism is also going well. I only had one slip on vacation, and it was actually me being polite. I know, I know... excuses. We were at a winery though, and the chef made us a little snack (specifically for us). It was a quail salad on a little crispy baguette. When a chef hands you quail, you eat it! Other than that, being veg is EASY in California!

Time to make some dinner! I got myself a head of cabbage and I plan to saute it with garlic and onions (and little veggie broth). I'm going to eat it with some whole wheat pasta with it as well. Should be yummy!

Have a healthy night!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another long run complete!

I had another long (tough) run this weekend. It still snowed for the majority of the weekend, so some of the sidewalks were a bit messy. I went out for 2 hours and 20 minutes, which could've been 14 miles, but instead was more like 11. Wet snow on an uphill makes for rough running! I was totally exhausted when I was done, so I just relaxed the rest of the night. That run equaled 2400 calories burned, so I had a big whole wheat pasta dinner... making up some of those calories today too!

Next week, I will be on spring break (YAY) and I'm heading out to California. I'll be visiting my boyfriend's family and also going to Napa and SF. Can't wait! We're already picking out restaurants to go to. The ones in Napa all use the farm to table philosophy, so we'll be eating super fresh yummy food!

Hope everyone's workouts are going well! Have a healthy Monday!