The Silly Things We Runners Do

Happy Tuesday!

Training over the last month as been sporadic at best. This is partly due to a hip issue. I tried to go for an 8 miler Sunday only to be doing the walk/run thing after two miles and being surprisingly ok with it. It got me wondering why the hell am I doing this when it hurts.
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The answer is simple, I love this sport and I can’t sit still!

Since Memorial Day I have been having some hip pain. I tweaked something trying to do those hill repeats. This pain has been nagging me for sometime off and on.

This all started back in 2005 when I was 35. One of my long time friends from high school was the last of us to get married. She had a crazy fun wedding! Of course, because I love to dance, I danced like it was 1988 only to wake up the next morning feeling like I was 88. At least my hip did. On my right side I had such a pain I couldn’t believe I didn’t notice it the night before. I can probably thank my buddy Jack Daniels for that oversight.

Anyway, I was on my way of getting into killer shape so I couldn’t imagine that dancing could do that. Still, I worked through it in pain, strength training and running. It would feel better then it would get worse again. I managed to reach my goal because I’m crazy like that.

I let this go for almost a year.

I finally decided to go to the orthopedic doctor to get it checked out. He took x rays to make sure it wasn’t arthritis. Arthritis??? I’m only 35. Thankfully it wasn’t. It was just a bad case of tendonitis which was quickly fixed up with some prescription Naproxen.

Fast forward to now, my hip pain still flares up now and again. I take my Naproxen, stretch, and hope for the best.

Sunday, I still ran despite the pain. It wasn’t great with the humidity and the pain.

Throughout it all I just kept thinking; what sane person would do this? I think many of us who run go despite the weather or pain. We do it because we love it and can’t imagine not being able to.

What silly things do you do that you know you shouldn’t? Do you ever run/workout in pain?

Running Is Contagious

I wasn’t sure if this was an appropriate title but I went for it anyway.

A funny thing happened when I was training for my half marathon in the spring. I’ve heard it said that that runners like to talk about themselves when it comes to running. Shamefully, I am like that. Why go against convention, right???

Anyway, at first I wasn’t sure if I should talk about it for two reasons.

#1 – I don’t look like a runner. When someone overheard part of my conversation, they thought I was going for some kind of training for work. Then when I told that person it was a half marathon training, they looked at me like I had two heads.

#2 – I don’t want to sound like I am putting anyone down. I know this sounds really stupid but I know that some people may take offense to it like I’m bragging or something. Am I proud of myself for doing this, hell yes! I mostly feared the reaction like the fit mom.

Not insulting at all!

Not insulting at all!

I don’t think it would have been to that extreme but you get what I’m saying. I felt like I had to justify my excitement.

The results were quite the opposite.
inspire2[1]

I have people in my department who used to run years ago, picking it back up. I really love hearing about how they felt when they ran a mile or what their time was and how it’s improved. It’s really cool! I have such a sense of pride with that. I wouldn’t say this happens daily but it does happen a few times a week. I really never thought that it would bring such positive changes to people I work with.
to-inspire[1]
My coworkers and I are talking about doing some races in the future and I look forward to when we do.

Have you ever unexpectedly inspired others? What are accomplishments were you afraid of telling people?

Vacation Hangover

Hello all!! I’m back! I’m happy I’m home but not so much with going back to work.

I want to first thank my girls again for filling in for me last week. Allie at VitaTrain4Life, Kim at Day With KT, and Sarah at est. 1975.

My week was pretty awesome. It was nice to get away with my hubby for the week. Now that the kids both have jobs, neither of them came up. That made me a little sad.

We got there on Sunday and didn’t do too much. We unpacked what we brought with us and since it was close to dinner, I got that ready.

I have learned a lot over the years of camping. In years past we usually packed a bunch of junk food that we normally don’t have around the house. We’re on vacation right?? Last year I started to replace some of the bad food with healthier options. More fruits and veggies and less chips. I’m not saying I didn’t bring any but I wanted to limit it.

Exercise was changed up a little. I did bring my running gear in case I was able to get a few miles in. We were on the go almost every day doing something. Mostly fishing and a ton of hiking. We were fishing for Brook Trout which are scattered in streams all over in the area. To get to some of these place you had to hike through some pretty rough terrain.

Creek 1

This was one of the easier spots to get to.

Creek 2

It mostly was like this.

At one location, to go up stream, we had to climb these big rock outcroppings. This is the Adirondacks so that isn’t unusual. I never did get any running in but it was nice to change it up a bit.

The rest of the time we hung out by the campfire or I managed to finish a book I had been working on – Stephen King’s Duma Key.
Duma Key
Yes, I am a huge Stephen King fan from way back and when I don’t read blogs or anything about fitness/running, I read his work. If your a fan, don’t miss reading it.

What did you do last week? What have you been reading?

Fitness Do’s & Don’ts – Guest Post

It’s finally Friday!! I can’t believe my vacation is almost over! BOOOO!!

I wanted to finish up the week on a hilarious note. Sarah from est. 1975 has graciously agreed to stop while I am vacationing. I am so honored to have her here. She is one of my favorite bloggers. Quick witted and sharp tongued, you will laugh until you pee! So bring your Depends and visit her site! You will be so glad you did! P.S – For even more laughs, follow her on Facebook and Twitter too!
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So Kris told me that this guest post didn’t necessarily have to be about fitness, but it just seemed wrong to write about anything else. And since I don’t actually *have* any fitness to speak of, that left me a bit stumped. I mean, how are you supposed to write about health when you are perhaps the unhealthiest person in the world?

Well, since I can’t exactly lead by example, I’ll lead through cautionary tale. Without further ado, let me now present to you:

FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO IN YOUR QUEST FOR FITNESS

1. DO NOT attempt to exercise without bike shorts. If you’re like me, you know that the whole phenomenon of Thigh Gap is decidedly Thigh Crap. If you’re like me, you barely break a sweat and already the monster known as chub rub is rearing its evil head. If you’re like me, you know if you get chafed down there, it’s going to bring a swift end to whatever is currently passing as your “exercise regimen.”

But not to worry. The solution is simple: bike shorts. Wear them under your yoga pants, or your sweatpants, or your exer-pris. (I just made that word up.) Bike shorts are not overly stifling and they prevent chub rub like woah. Oh, and don’t fret – if you’re low on funds or clean laundry, you can always achieve the same basic effect with baby powder or Monistat Soothe Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel. (link to http://www.amazon.com/MONISTAT-SOOTHE-1-5OZ-CONSUMER-SECTOR/dp/B005MZM8JE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1403483780&sr=8-4&keywords=monistat+gel)

2. DO NOT attempt an exercise program taught or led by someone you dislike. I realize that by saying this, I am risking an immediate attack on my person by a gang of angry fit ladies with shake weights and kettle bells – but I cannot stand Jillian Michaels. Sorry ‘bout it.

I tell you this because the reality is that if an exercise program is taught or led by someone you don’t like, you’re simply not going to stick with it. This could mean a celebrity trainer such as Ms. Michaels, or a Zumba instructor that moves too fast, or a yogi at your local studio that’s a little too touchy-feely. If you’re not comfortable with an exercise video, you’re not going to work it; if you’re not comfortable in an exercise class, you’re not going to go. Period.

And that is why my copy of Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred has never been watched. Nope. Not even once.

3. DO NOT expect to become fit overnight. This is a serious problem for many folks and one that I in particular have never been able to overcome. I’ll count calories for a minute and then get frustrated when I actually weigh *more* than I did before I started. I’ll go for a long walk every day for three days and then grumble because I’m tired and sore and my kneecaps feel like an those of an 80-year-old woman. I’ll eat healthy for a week, not feel any different, not lose any weight, and then become resentful at all of the missed pizza and cake opportunities.

And those are the times that I decide to just give up.

And giving up is NOT how you get healthy.

Basically what I’m saying here is this: if you harbor expectations for immediate fitness success, prepare to be disappointed EVERY TIME. You best believe I speak from experience. Only the patient, the determined, and the realistic will achieve results. And yeah. I don’t achieve results.

4. DO NOT go out and buy hundreds worth of dollars of athletic clothes and equipment until you are absolutely 100% sure you’re going to stay committed. Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you’re thinking of taking up running. Great! Running is literally the cheapest sport in the world – you don’t even need a ball. You can just run right out the door in your busted high school gym shorts and that ratty “Where’s the Beef” t-shirt with the hole in the armpit and a pair of decent sneakers. You literally do not need ANYTHING. ELSE.

Sure, in time you might want to upgrade. No judgment here! You can buy the special sweat-wicking socks and the expensive running shoes and the infinite variety of little techy-type gadgets that measure every possible shit. Just buy them LATER. Do you hear what I’m saying? Because if you quit after four days, not only are you going to feel bad for quitting, you’re going to be in the hole for hundreds of dollars of gear you didn’t need. That’s a surefire recipe for a shame spiral right there.

Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.

*shoves pristine tennis racket under the bed with foot*

*shame spiral*

*eats entire bag of Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s Potato Chips*

5. DO NOT tell yourself continuously that you’ll “start tomorrow.” I think I’ve done this every day of my entire adult life aaaand well lookie here! Now I’m almost forty. Yes, forty — arguably the most difficult time in a woman’s life to lose weight and get in shape due to the metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying perimenopause. If I’d stopped telling myself that I’d “start tomorrow” when I was 25 and I’d actually STARTED TOMORROW, I would have found losing weight, getting in shape, and staying healthy to be a whole lot easier than they are now. Now it’s an almost Herculean task fraught with frustration, bitterness, stiff joints, sore muscles, back pain, and strange smells.

Also doughnuts.

I mean, what?

SARAH’S FITNESS DON’TS

 

Fitness – Fad Or Lifestyle – Guest Post

Today Kim from Day With KT is joining us.

When I first started corresponding with Kim I knew I had found my kindred spirit in the bloggy world. I know many people say that internet friendships are fake but I don’t believe it for a minute. I knew that if we lived close we would totally be going on runs together or having coffee. You can also find Kim on Facebook and Twitter!

Her daily 44′s continue to inspire me each week. She even runs miles equivalent to her age every year on her birthday!

Fitness:  Fad or Lifestyle?

only a fad

I think everyone who works out has their own reasons behind why they do the things they do.

Many people are just jumping on whatever the current trend might be – running, Insanity, yoga, 7 minute workouts…..

There is nothing wrong with following these fads as long as you don’t try to push beyond your limits!!!  Programs like Insanity and P90X aren’t designed for people who have never worked out before!!

It’s easy to jump into something just because “everyone” is doing it but we always need to work at our own level.
lifestyle

There are also people who have made fitness a lifestyle.  These are the ones who don’t even have to stop and think about “if” they are going to workout or be active – it’s just a matter of “when” and “what” they are going to do.

People who have chosen fitness as a lifestyle are usually open to trying new programs/workouts but they often have something that is their “go-to” when it comes to fitness!

For me, fitness is definitely a lifestyle and, while I love doing a variety of things to workout and stay fit, my number 1 will always be running!!!
i love running

So, is fitness a fad or part of your lifestyle?

The Power Of You! – Guest Post

Happy Monday! Right now I am enjoying the woods and all it has to offer except for the deer flies. Lots and lots of deer flies. I hope to come back fresh and invigorated!

For my vacation I called up some of the best bloggers out there to guest post for me. These gals can write their asses off and inspire the heck out me in more ways than one!

I wanted to start the week of with a bang and feature my hero, Allie at Vitatrain4life! If anyone has read her blog you would know she just returned from competing in Duathlon World Championships in Spain. A tremendous athlete and all around great lady. You can also follow Allie on Facebook and Twitter!

On the right of me is Brittany of Your Own Balance and on my left is Carly of Fine Fit Day

On the right of me is Brittany of Your Own Balance and on my left is Carly of Fine Fit Day

 Kimberly at Manifest Yourself, Cassandra at Losing It In the City and Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama

Kimberly at Manifest Yourself, Cassandra at Losing It In the City and Nellie at Brooklyn Active Mama

 

Never Underestimate The Power of YOU!

POWER OF YOU

Way back in 2006, I was the Fitness Director at a local gym.  I was in charge of about 12 other trainers and they all had pretty much the same qualities – fit, healthy, and confident.  One afternoon this very overweight guy walks into my office and says he’s thinking about becoming a trainer. Um, what?  Now, I was relatively young, and had my own ideas about what a trainer should look like (see above) because most often clients want someone they can emulate.  Let’s face it; trainers are usually picked by how they look.  But, this guy intrigued me.  At least he had the confidence to walk into my office and declare his intentions.

Turns out, he had already lost about 150 pounds!  About two years prior he had gone to the doctor and was told one simple thing, “If you continue like this, you’re going to die soon.”  My friend in the chair had a wife and two kids, so he was obviously blown away by this declaration.  The doctor wrote him a prescription with the name of the gym I worked at on it.  That’s it.  How cool is that?  Even cooler is that the patient filled the script.  In fact, he came directly to the gym and started working out that day.

He went on to lose another 75 pounds, was one of the most popular trainers at the gym, and also taught packed spin classes. He was the definition of inspiration.

Did he ever look like the other trainers at the gym? No.  But everyone knew his story and wanted to “be like Mike,” which actually was his name, and they weren’t talking about looks, but mind and spirit – arguably, much more important qualities.

My point is that people often look at me, and the things I’ve accomplished in racing and find it inspiring.  I’m so grateful for that and, the reason I became an instructor and trainer in the first place was exactly for that reason.  But, don’t underestimate YOU.  Wherever you are in your journey, chances are you’re inspiring someone else.

I find inspiration everywhere – from people in my classes to the first timer who is scared to get on that treadmill.  So, the next time you’re getting down on yourself for not starting that training plan or diet, or for choosing the beach over Cross Fit, know that someone, somewhere is inspired by what you’re doing and what you’re putting out there.

The best part is, it doesn’t even have to be related to fitness!

My intention is for you to look at your summer from a different angle.  Be a little kinder to yourself while you’re pushing toward your goals, whatever they may be.  Be ok with where you are in your journey since you own it!  And know that someone you probably don’t even know is being inspired by you.

Who inspires you?

Where do you find inspiration this summer?

a51f602c06d0c6a00cc5e213d60d34fdAllie Burdick is a competitor, writer and SAHM to twin boys.  She tries to not completely exhaust herself on a daily basis and enjoys the journey by blogging at http://www.vitatrain4life.com. Join the party!

Ride For Roswell Recap

New Years goals are funny. Each time you tick one off your list you get a feeling of accomplishment. This particular goal left me feeling so inspired as well!

Roswell Park Cancer Institute is a nationally recognized, local cancer hospital. Great works have been done there to bring us closer to finding a cure. Ride For Roswell is one of their biggest fund raisers.
roswell

 

When I arrived at the University of Buffalo, I could feel the positive energy. There were so many people, I couldn’t believe how they pulled this off year after year.

Ride Pic 6

 

I texted my friend and ride partner, Liz to let her know that I was at the check in area. Check in was a dream. I got in and got my packet with no problems. Liz met up with me and got her number too. There were different ride identifications to put on yourself and your bike. Liz, who is an avid bike rider said that she can’t put on the helmet sticker because she doesn’t have one. What?? No helmet? This proved to be a problem a little later.

We got ourselves over to our Bert’s Bike team tent, got our shirts and a draw string backpack LOADED with stuff. Mostly snacks for the ride but there was a ton. Trail mix, Clif Bars, and some other things.

We got ourselves prepped and got a quick pic in before the start.
Ride Pic

We decided on the 33 mile country route which started at 8:30. They called for all of the 33 mile people to get to the start line. Just as we were about to take off someone yelled over to Liz. Remember when I mentioned she didn’t have a helmet? Well, now this is a problem. One of the volunteers yelled over to Liz that she is not allowed to do the Ride with no helmet. Oh crap!

Liz was apologizing to me but I said don’t worry about it. I told her there were a few bike vendors including the one we were riding for that should have helmets for sale. She wound up buying one from Bert’s and we managed to get going. It was pretty quick so we only started maybe 15 minutes late. It wasn’t a race so I didn’t think it would matter. I was right about that too thank goodness. Our only concern that we would get lost if we didn’t catch up. This wouldn’t have been an issue anyway because there were so many volunteers either on the side of the road or driving around there was no chance of getting lost.

The ride was beautiful. The country road took you through farm areas and wood lined streets. After about 10 miles we came up on the first rest stop.
Ride Pic 4

The rest stop provided riders with water and sports drinks. Food included cut up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, orange wedges, cut up bananas, and granola bars.

We felt pretty good still at that point. The weather was sunny but it was supposed to get into the high 80′s. At this point it was an hour into it and you could start feeling the heat.

The second rest stop was more of the same.
Ride Pic 3

We left and had about 13 miles remaining. At this point our asses were starting to feel the burden of sitting on a hard bike seat. We felt strong though. This part of the route had some more hills. I was thanking out loud the benefits of spin class. I never had to shift to make them easier and each one burned up them with no problem.

Ride Pic 2

Close to the finish!

We got to the finish in about three hours.

The after party was fun. I still couldn’t believe how seamless everything went. This even was a well oiled machine with everyone working together to make it a successful event. This is something I want to do again next year.

How was your weekend? 

 

The Curveballs of Life

Hello all!

Summer is officially here! I am very excited since this last winter was such a drag! Along with summer comes the usual busy weekends.

This post is to really just to check in with everyone. I have had a few curveballs that have made my posting a bit infrequent. I usually don’t like to go too long between posts but there has been so much going on that my enthusiasm for writing has diminished.

For one, some things have been going on with my youngest that I am trying to help him through. Not sure if I would ever go completely public by writing about his struggles but suffice it to say that when one family member has a problem we all share that burden as a family. Trying to help him by being supportive while spending time every week to take him to his appointments has left this working Mama emotionally and, progressively, financially drained. I try to be the rock but I feeling like I am going to crack some days.

This is where I need to get in my runs and other types of physical exercises to keep my sanity. I haven’t been able to really follow my plan for a new training schedule like I wanted to. I do get something in as much as I can every week. Participating in the 3.50 mile Chase Corporate Challenge last Thursday was a welcome break and boy did I need it. I have the Ride For Roswell this weekend too.

I say curveballs because I want to stay positive. I NEED to stay positive. I know this will pass and in time he will be better. This just something we have to get through.

Has life thrown you any curveballs that seemed difficult to get through? How did you deal with it?

 

 

The Facts About Cancer – Ride For Roswell Edition

roswell
The Ride For Roswell is coming up quickly. As I mentioned in my post last week that this was one of my New Year’s goals.

I really believe is this amazing cancer research hospital. They need the help from our community to keep their research going to finally cure cancer!

The American Cancer Society posted this years cancer facts.

1. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cases and about 585,720 deaths from cancer of all age groups combined. The break down with kids is shocking; 10,450 new cases and 1350 cancer deaths are expected to occur among children ages 0-14. In the age group of 15-19, there will be approximately 5330 new cases and 610 deaths.

2. Anyone can develop cancer. 77%, however, are in people over the age of 55.

3. Most cancers can be prevented.

4. The 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2003 and 2009 is 68%.

If nothing else, we want this percentage up. The real goal is to find a cure. This is where you guys can help. Everyone is touched by cancer either directly or indirectly.

Please help me help Roswell Park Cancer Institute find a cure by donating to my ride. My donation page is here. Thank you for all of your support!

How were you touched by cancer? Tell us your story below in the comments.

 

 

Stay Fit While You Travel

With summer basically here and the kids out of school, it’s time to think about vacation!

Most people don’t think too much about exercise when they are away but that can be the best time! Depending on where you decide to travel, the possibilities can be endless.

Planning a beach vacation? No problem.
Beach

Typically, in most resorts, the beach itself is completely accessible. Why use the resort gym when you can walk or run for miles on the sand. Running and even walking on sand is a great workout. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

Camping? Gotcha covered!
Camp Trail 4

Bring a pair of hiking boots or a pair of trail runners, find a trail and go! This is one thing I can really get into! I love exploring new trails and roads. Walk, run, or hike and take in the woods around you. Only downfall, you may need to pack some bug spray.

 

Hotel trip? You’ll be surprised!
Aria

When booking your hotel, try to find one with a gym and/or pool. Check out their classes if the hotel provides that service. It’s easy when you roll out of bed in the morning and take the elevator (or stairs) down to the gym. No driving anywhere!

Hotels are getting pretty savvy to this growing vacationing trend. Some even provide their own hikes like the Aria Resort and Casino. They provide a Hotel Hike. Yes, a hike. This hike has you working out the same muscles as a “real” outdoor hike. The hike leader walk you past the casino, restaurants, art installations, and shops. Who wouldn’t like to window shop while getting your fit on…AMIRIGHT?

What is your favorite vacation spots and what do you like to do?

My Next New Year’s Goal – Ride For Roswell!

Hello All!

I had a list of goals to kick off the New Year.

First was my very first half marathon. Check!

The next one was doing the Ride For Roswell.
Ride For Roswell Registration
I try to support Roswell Park Cancer Institute the best way I know how…I run as many 5K’s that I could afford that benefits this amazing hospital. Since purchasing my bike two years ago, I had my sights set on doing the ride. It’s not a race but you can pick the distance and have to complete that distance in reasonable amount of time.

This is one of their bigger fund raisers and the participation is amazing. To get the complete information about the Ride For Roswell click here.

I have the pleasure to be doing the ride with my good friend Liz from work. We have the privilege to ride on the Bert’s Bike and Fitness team.

We decided not to totally kill ourselves and picked the 33 mile route. The way my ass felt after doing 17 miles last weekend, I have a feeling that I will be in need of sitting on a donut for that entire week afterward!

This is where we need your help! My Ride For Roswell site is here. Our individual goal is $200 per person! What ever loose change you can spare would help this great cause. Simply click on the link and donate whatever you can!

Thank you for your help!

Do You Remember Benji? – The Spin

The ladies at The Spin asked us this week to recall our first movie. I had to really think but I am pretty sure that my very first movie outing was to see Benji in 1974. I was 4 years old and remember quite vividly how that movie affected me.
Benji Movie
I had always loved animals from a very early age. This is a children’s movie but some of the scenes may scare smaller children. I should know because I was one of them!

Benji is a mixed breed dog who lives in Texas and is a stray. He ventures from house to house making friends with everyone. Two kids, Paul & Cindy, are his closest buddies.

He also makes friends with another stray, a Maltese named Tiffany. This movie has police trying to catch some pretty bad criminals and somehow Benji and his human friends get caught up in the middle of it.

The part that got me was at one point the bad guys get a hold of Benji and Tiffany, in an attempt to rescue Benji, bites one of the bad guys which results in that guy kicking Tiffany hard enough to injure her. I remember completely loosing it in theater at that point. I don’t remember what my mother did to calm me down but I remember the scene and me crying. What’s weird is that writing this is getting me choked up all over again with the memory!

In the end everything turned out fine. It really was a sweet movie with a lot of funny scenes but I would recommend kids who a bit older to watch it. I would guess that any animal lover would be affected pretty deeply regardless of their age.

What was your first movie that you remember going to?

 

Happy National Running Day – Why I Run!

I’m sure you guys all know that today is National Running Day. Well, I didn’t until Cori at Olive To Run had posted it. Yes, I’m sort of hanging my head in shame right now because of it.

The question raised by her is simple, “I Run Because…” and fill in the blanks. Below I list some of the reasons that I choose to run ever single week.

I Run Because It makes me feel young! For me, I run because it proves to me time and again that my age and body type does really matter that much. Sure I would love to be younger and thinner but I have accomplished more now than I did then.

I Run Because I can run races with my son! I really love being able to connect with my son with running. Going to races with him are one of the highlights with motherhood!
rp_Salmon-Run-Pic-225x300.jpg
I Run Because…It keeps me healthy! The benefits I get from running is helping my cardiovascular system stay in top shape as well as keeping my bones strong.

I Run Because…It makes me feel strong! I love the physical and mental toughness I get with running long distances.
after run 2-16
I Run Because…It boosts my confidence in myself!When I decided to train for my first half marathon, that little voice inside me had doubts that I could train for it let alone actually complete one. Doing so raised my confidence in myself that I know, not just think but know, that I can do anything I set my mind to. That alone keeps me going every day.

Post Half Marathon!

Post Half Marathon!

 

Now I want to know….

Why do you run?

If you have a blog post about it, head on over to Olive To Run and link it up!

New Summer Training Routine!

Happy Monday!

Is it me or do nice weather weekend seem to just fly by!

Saturday I decided that instead of spin class I would go on a very long bike ride. I bought my Trek 7.1 two years ago and don’t go out on it nearly enough.

I figured that even though I haven’t done spin in a month I could handle this no problem. Well, let me tell you my ass has never hurt this much. It hurt to go up the stairs let alone sitting. I couldn’t believe it. My legs felt great though. I did 17 miles which took me approximately an hour and twenty minutes.

I had mentioned that after my half marathon I felt a bit lost. My entire life for 16 weeks was consumed with training and then it was over. Well, I decided to step it up a notch. I am not really training for anything in particular which that, in it of itself, will make it more difficult at least mentally. When you have a specific goal it’s seems, at least for me, easier to focus.

I used the FIRST training plan for my half marathon. Boy, did I love it. I had running gains like I’ve never had before. I figure why change. I am going to do another 16 weeks only this time I will try (try is the best to describe it) to do the full marathon training. This will be a challenge for not only the obvious reasons (extra long miles and faster paces) but we are really busy during the summer and weekends are typically jam packed with things that we do so the time factor will really come into play.

On top of this, I want to squeeze in more weight training. To take my physique to the level where I have always wanted to, I have to add in strength training. I did some when I did my first 16 weeks but this time around I want to add in more. So instead of one day per week now it would be 3 – 4 days. Again, time will be the big issue but if I want it bad enough I know I would be able to do it.

So, this week I start this new training cycle and we shall see where it goes.

Do you need to work toward something specific in order to stay focused? Do you have any new goals for the summer?

Memorial Day Runs

I can’t believe how fast the long weekend came to an end. It always seems to be the case when we go camping.

I was determined to get in some running while we were there. I was a little bummed I didn’t get a chance to run on some of our trails but I did get in a short distance day and some hill intervals. How else do you work off the beer??
Camp Road
Saturday, I did a 3.5 mile run. It wasn’t as long as I wanted to do but the effects of beer, camp food, and little sleep compromised my energy. That coupled with the fact that it’s really hilly. Most of the time my runs are done mostly on flat roads. I get excited to tackle the roads near camp because they add an extra challenge that I don’t usually get at home.

My first two miles were great, both in the low 10 minute pace. My turn around point was at the bottom of a very long, slightly steep hill. That kicked my ass for the rest of the run. So, I did what every self torturing runner would do, I decided to do hill repeats on that same hill the next day.

To say that it was painful would be an understatement. I didn’t know exactly how long this hill was. All I knew was that it curved and sloped up gently for 50% and then it straightened out with a sharp incline. Curious, I measured the distance. I started my decent and was shocked. My watch said .25 mile. WTF?? That long??

At that point I said “screw it, let’s do this thing!”. It was in the low 70′s and sunny with no shade. The first one was a valiant effort. Made it half way up with a little speed then slowed WAY down on the sharp incline. The second attempt was slower than the first and the third (and last) was even more slow.

Camp Hill

View from the bottom.

That area also happens to be where most of us get cell phone reception. There were a couple of people making there calls while I was running. I’m sure they thought I was completely nuts!

We will be back up there in a couple of weeks. I will have to bring better food choices if I want to tackle this hill again.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

 

Graduation – The Spin

When I graduated from high school, I got married right away. I had always thought about college through my high school years and never once thought that I would do what I did.

After graduation and getting married, I started to work full time. College at that point was only a thought for me and never really seemed much like it was ever going to be a reality. We both had to work to survive and the last thing that I ever wanted to do was move back home.

The years went by quickly. I worked at one dead end job after another until I finally got to stay home with the kids for a couple of years. It was during that time that my husband decided to go back to school. His employer paid for it all as long as he maintained an B or better. I watched him work his job and school for almost year before I got the idea to do if for myself. I asked him what he thought if I went back. He thought it was a good idea. I didn’t have an employer at the time to pay my way so it was going to be an expense but definitely well worth it if we could manage it. I was 32 years old.

I went to Niagara County Community College for Drafting and Design which is an engineering discipline if anyone didn’t know. College was interesting. I was one of the “older” students. I made some friends with the younger student and they often reminded me how old I was compared to them. Thirty-two is not old by any stretch of the imagination. Managing a family, household, and eventually, work was challenging but I would do it all again. The focus and determination I had as an older student helped me out a ton! I graduated in December of 2005 with my Associated Degree.

Buffalo Greek Fest 5K Recap

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend!

This last Friday I ran my first 5K since my half marathon. I didn’t what to expect because I just started training again this week. Like I mentioned before, I am trying to build on what I have done so far. I took an unplanned two weeks off before starting this so I wasn’t sure what I would do.

The night was a little chilly. After having unusually warm weather in the beginning of the week, the temperature shifted to being colder than normal. Don’t you love Buffalo weather?? At least the rain tapered off.

I wanted to do this race for awhile now, primarily because I love Greek food. I know, sad but true.  I felt really inspired to try to make some healthy versions of my Greek favorites!

Anyway, the race started at 6:30. I really like the evening races more than the morning ones from some reason. I think it’s because I actually feel more energized from eating and drinking all day rather than trying to choke something down first thing in the morning.

I went into this as a go all out type of race. A 5K pace is much quicker so I really wanted to see how far I came.

First mile – 10:19. I felt great my first mile. I wanted to try to go as fast as I can and still maintain a steady pace without burning out early.

Mile 2 – 9:33. The second mile had some downhill so I took total advantage of them. I passed a bunch of people during this time. This stretch was on a main thoroughfare so half the street still had traffic. This part I didn’t like because I hate the smell of exhaust fumes. We finally turned down a side street that didn’t have much traffic.

Mile 3 – 10:30. The third mile started off fine. I was good for about a half mile. Once we turned on to the next main street we found ourselves against the wind. I should have realized that with the treat of having a downhill stretch would result in an uphill stretch the next street over. Needless to say with the wind gusts and the uphill, I slowed way down. I still had a good last mile time wise.

Greek Fest 5K

The home stretch!

Mile .1 – 1:20 – I tried to muster everything I had in the last half mile. It still didn’t seem that fast.

Summary – The race was a lot of fun and I will definitely do it again next year. The cooler temps helped because I do run better in it. The after party was ok. I was hoping for a little variety with the Greek food…it was a Greek Fest. Those who like to drink could pretty much do so all night until about 9. Unlimited beer for all participants.

Did you do any races? What makes you decide which race to do? Do you prefer morning or evening races?

 

Remember Interactive Wednesday! Send in your questions and I will answer them and feature your blog too!

Joys of Aging – The Spin

This week’s prompt is about aging. This is a topic I have been whining talking about a lot lately.

I started my blog to show that age is just a number. That’s not to say that 44 is old because it’s not..really. You can get fit at any age if you put your mind to it. I am still a work in progress.
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Back when I was a teenager and my parents were in their 40′s, I really thought that they were old. Then, I met my husband’s parents who acted even older at that age. I never understood it. Maybe it’s the sign of the times or maybe because my perspective is different but I don’t consider myself “old” at all. My kids do but I figure that’s normal.

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I have found that at my age I am actually comfortable in my own skin. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like to have the body I had even 10 years ago. In my younger years, particularly when I was my kids’ ages, I used to really worry what people thought. I never said or did anything that would be considered out of turn. I also preferred not to be noticed in case that would make someone say something nasty. For that, I have been told even in recent years, that some considered me “stuck up” for lack of a better term. That was never the case at all. I was just afraid to be me.

Some unpleasant things that comes with aging are the aches and pains from creaky joints. It’s a small orchestra playing for me every morning when I get out of bed.

Another thing happened at a wedding not too long ago. I found out the hard way that I shouldn’t be bouncing around on the dance floor with a bladder that hasn’t been emptied recently. Maybe I better sign up for that Pilates class after all.

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

 

Post Half Marathon Confusion/Goals & New Blog Ideas

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m sure anyone who has trained for some big event goes through this. I took last week off, partly to get rid of this chest thing and partly to figure out my next step. I still would like to do the Ride for Roswell (more on that later) and I’m still thinking about possible signing up for a sprint Duathlon. These were all on my New Year’s list.

Still, I can’t help but feel a little lost. I loved the structure and discipline of training for something. Now that’s it’s done I’m left to think of what’s next. I know I can still add structure and discipline into my everyday training but it’s just not the same.

I think I my just print up a new training schedule and follow that for another 16 weeks. My goals are simple now. I would like continue to build on what I have already done. I loved doing the half marathon despite being sick. I know I can work my way up to finally achieving my goal of no walking.

My other is to improve on my 5K times. My 5K’s are pretty slow and my ultimate goal right now is to get under 30 minutes. I know it’s possible now more that I thought last year. I have only done two 5K’s while I was training so I am curious to see how I do now.

Lastly, I would like to do some 10K’s. That is another distance that I have grown comfortable with so I plan to sign up for some of that too. The quantity of races will be based on my summer budget.

New Shoes

I finally received my new shoes. I have been reading many posts on how great Brooks running shoes are. There is so many positive things said that I decided that I wanted to try them.

Aren't they pretty??

Aren’t they pretty??

These are the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14. I can’t wait to start tearing up the roads with them.

New Blog Ideas

I have wanted to get more interactive with my readers and feature their blog as well. I would like all of you to email me a question and when I answer it, I would feature your blog as well. This could be any question. No holds barred. Whatever you want to know, I will answer it.

I know this concept isn’t new but I really think it would be a great way interacting with everyone. It will be my new Interactive Wednesday posts so I hope everyone will participate! I know I could possibly be opening up a gigantic can of worms with this but I don’t care. I think it could be really fun!

So start asking and I will do my first post this Wednesday!

Do you ever feel a little lost once a big training event is over?

What do you think about Interactive Wednesdays?

 

 

Grand Island Half Marathon Recap & One Year Blogiversary

Blogiversary
I didn’t plan it this way but it worked out that my one Blogiversary was the same time as my first half marathon! I talked to so many wonderful & wonderfully skilled bloggers this last year. I never imagined that when I started to blog that anyone would read it let alone respond to it. I hope this next year will be even better than the first. Thank you for welcoming me into the fold!
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Back in the fall when I first made the decision to actually train for a half marathon I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. When I started to tell people about planning to run one I got anywhere from “deer caught in headlights” look to “wow, that’s great” which is translated into “ok, yeah right”.

Frankly, the more I spoke of it the more I thought I must have lost my mind. I haven’t run further than 3.1 miles in years. Well, if you have followed along with my training progress you have seen that as the weeks went by, the more I was actually running. Sure I had my great days and I have had pretty shitty ones too. In all I compiled 15 solid weeks of training.
GI-2014medalAwards

The day started off ok. As I left my house for the 40 minute drive to Grand Island, the sun was poking out a bit so I was hoping it would stay that way. I was a little stressed out from the get go. Pre race jitters were overwhelming. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning to go to bathroom and pretty much stayed up the entire time until my alarm went off at 5:00 am. Another thing that I was stressing about is my dog Suzi. I now know she got hurt outside somehow but at the time all I knew is that she was in terrible pain and couldn’t even get up once she laid down. So, not a good start at all.
Half Marathon Shirt
Once I got to Beaver Island State Park it was chilly and over cast. Grand Island is next to the Niagara River which was still full of floating ice chunks. I got there early and waited in my car because the wind was coming off the river and with the ice, it was really cold! Then it started to rain. Luckily, once the race actually started the rain stopped.

The course was a big out and back loop. Not the most interesting scene-wise but pretty flat and fast. The first part of the loop the wind was to our backs. The sun started to poke out a little and it made me regret wearing my Under Armor Cold Gear pants. Despite having to cough here or there, my first half I felt pretty strong and had a good steady pace. The first half looked like this:

Mile 1: 11:31

Mile 2: 11:41

Mile 3: 11:27

Mile 4: 11:16

Mile 5: 11:18

Mile 6: 11:20

The second half was the problem. Once that icy wind hit my already taxed lungs I knew my goal was not going to happen. I went into this hoping for the best. I figured that I may have a problem with being sick all week so I went into this race with the thought of just doing my best. In the second half I took advantage of the many water stations that were available. I slowed down and even walked where I had to. The last mile I kicked it in to finish strong at least. The second half looked like this:

Mile 7: 11:46

Mile 8: 12:57

Mile 9: 12:47

Mile 10: 13:14

Mile 11: 12:37

Mile 12: 12:35

Mile 13: 12:53 + .10 (0:17)

After the race was over I grabbed a bottled water, chugged it, and headed for the car. If I do this next year I will have to check out the post race party.
Half Picture
My overall experience was a positive one. Despite some of the issues, I think I did ok. My goal was to run the entire way through without walking and that didn’t happen. So, back to training some more and hope that I could earn that badge (sticker) of honor for my car.

Did you do any races this last weekend? What where they?