Friday, May 21, 2010

New Goal and a Little Advice!

I've been spending the last few days looking for a new apartment and packing up my old one. This included a two day trip to CT apartment hunting, including an unexpected stay in DC because of missing my flight. Not good! Luckily I have great friends there, so I had an unexpected visit with them. Needless to say, I have had little time to work out.

Today I went out for a 3.2 mile run and really pushed it. While I was driving around CT looking at places, I was listening to the Top 20 station on satellite radio, and Bulletproof was on over and over. Now, I love it! I downloaded it and played it over and over while I ran. I finished in ~28 minutes, which is awesome for me! So this brings me to my new goal...

Sub 2 hour half marathon!

I need your help though! My average pace right now is probably in the 9:30 to 9:45 range depending on the distance I'm running. The race I'm going to run is in October. So I have a bit of time to get myself going. I need help figuring out how best to make this happen. Any good speed workouts you know of? Or maybe I should run a certain mileage each week with tempo and intervals thrown in? With a couple 5K's or 10K's here and there to test my pace? I have no idea!

Also, I'm looking for a new heart rate monitor. It was a casualty of my flood. :( I think with my new running goals it's time to invest in a GPS watch. I really want something that tracks calories well too though. Does anyone have a favorite GPS watch? I have used a friend's Garmin but the one he had was huge. I want something that's a normal watch size. Thoughts???

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hot Yoga!

Last night, a couple of friends were heading to a local yoga studio for an hour and 15 minute class. I haven't been to a real yoga studio in a few years, so I decided to join in. It was hot yoga, so the temperature in the room was probably somewhere around 95 degrees. It wasn't exactly Bikram temps, but it was hot. It felt SOOOOO good! I was surprised at how strong I am and how flexible I was. There were some poses we did that are in the Yoga X DVD and I've definitely improved. Gotta love that! After 75 minutes in the heat, I was literally drenched. It looked like I had jumped in a pool in my clothes. I felt super refreshed and relaxed when I was done though. And today, I have some pretty sore arms and obliques. Love it!

The next couple weeks should be busy for me! I finally accepted a job offer and will be moving to Connecticut by the end of May. First time not living in PA! I know, I've lived a sheltered life. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Foot in Front of the Other

It has now been over a week since the marathon and my hips feel great. I've definitely been taking it easy and stretching things out. I graduate on Saturday, and I've been pretty busy getting things taken care of around the apartment and hanging with friends. For those not geographically located near me, let me tell you... it has been cold in Pittsburgh! Yesterday it was 45 degrees and raining! Ummm, pretty sure it isn't March anymore!!!

Today I went out for a long-ish jog. I did one of my favorite loops where I run from my neighborhood to one of the others in the city and back. For those who have never been here, Pittsburgh is quite a hilly place. This run in particular has a pretty steady incline for over a mile. Today, it went so well! It's so easy to get tired and give up when you're running up a never ending hill, but today I just kept thinking "One foot in front of the other." Before I knew it, I was at the top, and I was lucky enough to spend the rest of the run going back down. Phew! Toward the end of the run, I even got the elusive runner's high where I really felt like I could go forever. It's almost like taking a step is effortless. Your body just does it without thinking and you could run faster and further than even before. Love that feeling!

As I wind down my time in graduate school and try to work out what's going on next in my life, I'm going to try to use that same mantra: "One foot in front of the other..." Hope you have a happy and healthy day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

First Run Since the Race

Well, this week was quite the hectic one! I had 2 final exams, a final presentation, a FLOOD, and a final report to write. I moved into my friends' apartment for a few days and lived out of a suitcase. I didn't get to workout because I was busy all week. Wow, it was so yucky! I felt so gross by the end of the week. Sluggish... it was hard to sleep even!

Today I went out for a jog and it felt awesome! I'm still working on relieving the stress of the recent weeks, so I really pushed it. I literally ran as fast as I could for 3 miles. I felt pretty strong! I did a long stretch when I got back, and now it's time to relax.

I've already decided I'd like to run another marathon. That was quick! I definitely want to train for a sub 2 hour half marathon for the fall first though!

Hope everyone else is doing well in their healthy life journeys!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Recovery Day 1

I woke up the day after the marathon feeling pretty good considering the IT band pain I experienced during the race. My hips definitely hurt when I walked, but I'd say it was the same level of pain I'd experience from a killer boot camp class. I had a massage scheduled for 10 AM so I could really get the kinks worked out.

Now, in my last entry, I mentioned how my life outside of working out had taken a bit of a turn... breakup, broken air conditioner at my rental unit, no job, etc. I literally thought to myself, things really can't get worse, can they? Well, let me know tell you they can and they did!

Not 15 minutes after my last blog post, my apartment flooded. I'm not talking overflowing bathtub flood. I'm talking deluge of water flood coming out of my toilets. Literally, water was gushing out of the toilets, sinks, and showers. I, of course, have no idea what's going on, so I think the toilet must be overflowing. Weird, since I wasn't using the bathroom, but when water gushes uncontrollably from your toilet, what else do you think?

I leap from my comfy spot on the couch (soreness... what soreness?) and I try to turn the water off on the toilet. Hmm, that doesn't work. So I guess I don't have an overflowing toilet. In the meantime, my cats (I have two) are a little freaked and running around a bit trying to figure out what's going on. The water continues to flow until it covers the living room and both bedrooms. I run around and pick everything up off the ground and call my landlord.

It turns out that the flooding came from the rainstorm over the weekend. The drain on the roof was clogged, and when they went to unclog it, they went a bit too fast. All of the rain from the past couple days was up there, and it quickly gushed into my apartment. Wow. So there I am left with a mess to clean up and a massage to get to!

I left my landlord there to deal with the mess. I went over to massage, which I was only 5 minutes late to, and I had a great relaxing hour! My legs were in decent shape according to the massage therapist, and my back was as well. She worked mostly on my hamstrings and quads, which has helped tremendously with the hip pain. Today I am moving around just fine.

It's finals week (plus all that other fabulous crap I'm dealing with) so my workouts will be light. I walked to school today which took about 20 minutes, and I'll walk home later. I'll just have to make sure I get in a nice stretch sometime later on.

Have a healthy day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Aaaannddd we're done!

Phew! The marathon is done. Before I tell the whole story, I have to say a couple things. I'm happy I'm done and that I finished. I have had a really rough few weeks with school ending, falling and hurting my knee, getting a cold, ending a relationship and dealing with some BS that seems to be going along with that, trying to find a job (which is still not quite settled), dealing with my condo (I'm a landlord)... pretty much life has been rearing its ugly head at me. I am being seriously tested everyday or so it feels. When I started the race, I was so stressed and angry and in a bad mood from other things in my life, so it was hard to concentrate.

That being said, I feel like I did pretty well. The last long run I had was my 20 miler! All those physical things I mentioned above led to a super lazy taper. The race started at 7:30 AM and it was in the upper 60's and humid. Right after the gun went off, we started moving. The thing about big races (we had 16000 runners in Pittsburgh) is that it takes FOREVER to cross the start line. I think we started around 7 min and 30 sec after the official start. Thank God for chip times!

I lined up around 4:45 and 5 hour pacers because I figured that was a safe bet for my finish time. My first marathon (in 2005 in NJ) was 4 hours and 57 min. Almost immediately after the race started, the skies opened up. It wasn't a torrential downpour during the whole race, but there was a steady rain the whole time. My whole body was soaked. Shoes, socks, capris, shirt... Let me tell you, everything is much heavier when it is soaked with rain! I tried channeling all the stress from the last few weeks into the race. I actually felt pretty good physically for the 19 miles.

At mile 20, my hips started to hurt from some IT band issues. I don't always have IT band issues, but I can tell by the way they felt that it was the IT band. It was way worse on the right than the left. Let's just say that sometimes it felt like bone was grinding on bone in the middle of my hip. Ouch! I decided to do some walk/jog combinations for the final 6 miles of the race so I wasn't in too much pain. Even walking hurt, and there were several times where I took a step and almost fell on the ground from the pain in my right hip.

I think I needed some of that quiet walking time by myself. It was kind of peaceful and quiet in some of the neighborhoods and I took some time to just think and look around at the scenery. Miles 21 to the end were mostly flat and downhill, so I jogged here and there when I felt okay. I stretched a few times as well.

At mile 25, I decided it was time to go! I did one final stretch and I just ran. It's crazy what your mind can do for you... it didn't hurt and I felt like I could go and go! A few of my friends were at the finish line with a sign cheering me on as I came through. I was smiling and fist pumping as I passed by and made my way to the finish line for a final chip time of 5 hours 13 minutes and 41 seconds. Not too shabby for the state I'm in emotionally, plus the rain, plus the hip and the need to walk a bunch at the end!

Here in lies the danger of marathons... I know I can run faster but I really don't want to do another one. I wonder though if I will... I think after a few years you forget the pain and then it sounds like a great idea. Stay tuned for 2014!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Marathon Tomorrow!

Hey! I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I've been dealing with a lot outside of my workouts, and so I've been pretty much hanging on for dear life here.

BUT, the marathon is tomorrow! The weather report shows thunderstorms so hopefully that won't happen. If it does, they'll cancel the race. :( That would be so sad! If you feel like keeping up with my progress, I'll be using Tweet my Time. My twitter name is alissa0728. Follow me!