Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Love Your Big Sweaty Butt!

Today's run will come later today with Heather if we can avoid downpours and thunderstorms. I will blog about it tomorrow! :)

In the meantime, I came across this really awesome video today. Anyone who likes the Colbert Report and running will be in heaven. Please, watch this video and I hope it intrigues and humors you as much as it did me!

Here is the link in case I can't get the video to work:

Firstly, Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard Professor of Biological Sciences identified humans as being unique mainly because we sweat and chew. According to Lieberman, our big, beautiful butts are our strongest muscle. Because of our derrieres we have the power to push ourselves forward and not fall flat on our faces every time we take a step. A huge deal when running :)

Next, we cool our body through sweat. Lieberman explains how other animals, such as dogs, cannot cool themselves while running. They must choose to either pant or run. I guess this is how our ancestors killed prey before the invention of tools. We would chase down animals until they chose running for too long and their bodies overheated and we could kill them. Gruesome, isn't it? But fascinating!

So the moral of the story is that we should all embrace our posteriors and remember that they keeps us from plunging face first into the ground. And to revel in our stinky sweaty musk because it means we wouldn't starve if somehow transported to caveman times.

I also wanted to touch on shoes. Colbert shows us his Vibram-type shoes and they discuss which is better to run in. Although Lieberman seems to lean towards minimalist and barefoot running, he says that shoes are good too. As long as our form isn't doing anything that would hurt us if we ran barefoot. Good to know!

Therefore I would like to share with you the shoes that I have :)
For speed work I run in my Pearl Izumi Em Road N 1's. I won these at a Run for Boston fun run :) LOVE THEM! They are a neutral road racing shoe.

My main shoes are the Saucony Guide 5's. I have a pair in red/gold and in yellow. These shoes are a trainer and have moderate stability.

To switch it up every now and then I also have a neutral trainer. The Saucony Ride 4. I love this shoe, and unfortunately will have to retire it soon. But the Ride 5's have some awesome colors... and the Ride 6's might even be out!

Finally I have my trail shoes, which are also Saucony! (surprise, surprise) These are the Guide TR 3 which are just like my red and yellow pair but a bit more weather-proof and with greater tread. I use these shoes for the trails and icy winter sidewalks. :)

I just can't help it! I absolutely love shoes, and my favorites are Saucony's. They fit my foot shape perfectly and are well made and (usually) have awesome colors to pick from. The toe box is large enough that I just don't encounter blisters, even in a brand new pair. That in itself is worth it's weight in gold. The Pearl Izumi's are also a wonderfully comfortable ride. They too have a spacious toe box that spares me blisters, and none of my shoes have any heel slippage :)

What animal would you chase if you had to catch your dinner?
What shoes do you run in? Why do you like them?

Safe and happy running!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Worrying Gets You Nowhere

It's amazing what 10.5 hours of sleep and over 3 water bottles can do for you... I feel much better! Although mentally I am dreading this day. 13 hours of work? No, thanks! Ah, well. Money is always nice.

This morning's workout was a bike ride... outdoors! I felt like I had a sticker slapped across my forehead that said "HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHE'S DOING."
Now, let's face it. I do know how to ride a bike. I'm just extremely unstable and a huge worry-wart. "What if I fall? What if ...." Okay, it's pretty much just what if I fall and get hurt. But by the end of the 50 minutes and 9+ miles, I was doing better. Feeling a little more at ease and confident. I wish I had brought my new phone with me because the scenery along the canal was gorgeous this morning. There was literally smoke on the water and the sun hit it perfectly and the air was cool even though it was pretty humid still. And I saw four rabbits.

But now I want to talk about my new phone :)
That's right, it's waterproof! It's the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. I got the blue one and I absolutely love it... Even though I'm not 100% sure how to use it yet. And I'm not sure if I'll ever actually put it underwater (what if?!) but it's really cool that it would (should) survive. Perhaps I'll test it to the max this weekend.

I'm going camping with my fiance and his parents :) I'm going to get my 10 mile long run in. As best I can... However we are leaving Friday night at about 10:00 after Brian has work and band practice and I have both jobs. We won't get to the campsite until about midnight, and then setting up the tent... And I have no knowledge of the area for running... And there are bears and wildlife...

I'm just a big ball of worry today!
My running worries are: GI issues, getting hit by a car, having a random heart attack/severe dehydration in an area where no one will find me, stepping on a snake, twisting my ankle... wait, why do I run again?! Oh, yeah. Because running also relaxes me and makes me worry less about such things. You can tell it was a cross training day!! What worries you most about running? (if anything)

Safe and happy running!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Catching Up

Where do I even start! Working two jobs has me pretty tired and tight on time. These next two weeks should be a bit slower, and I am thankful for that. Why don't I start with Thursday's speed work?
I was aiming for about a 7 minute mile, which would have been anything less than 1:45 per split. Didn't happen. But it makes it something to work towards! The effort was definitely there even if the pace wasn't.

Saturday's long run was a 9 miler and was tough to get through. My legs were tired from the busy week, and I think I was a bit dehydrated. I really need to work on drinking more water. I checked out a new section of one of my regular routes and quite enjoyed it! I wish I had brought my phone on that run because it was an awesome view. At one point the path went up and over a highway and it was really awesome to be standing on top of the traffic on just a little pathway (there was adequate fence/railing/stuff). I also saw 4 other runners, which was awesome. One at the beginning of the run during mile 2 and three during mile 9. This was extra cool because I was out the door around 6:30am. My internal clock doesn't let me sleep in. Ever.
Here were the splits:
As you can see I was a sloth on Saturday. I was hoping for a quicker run about a minute faster for each mile, but I'll take what I can get. I still don't want to push it too hard and further injure my knee. I've been down to 2 sessions of my physical therapy exercises per day and it seems to be okay. there are minor aches and pains but I think it has more to do with the humidity than with my injury, because it is more of an ache instead of a burning. Also, it's around my knee not under the kneecap...

The rest of Saturday was nice. I spent it up north with my out of state family from: Indiana, Colorado, and Maine. I missed my New Hampshire family during the insane workweek. After a lot of porch sitting, the fiance and I stayed at my mom's house and went even further north for a gathering of his family. It was our nephew's 2nd birthday party :) lots of cake, presents, balloons, food, and a pool. Which was awesome in the heat! I hopped in and hung out with the kids, monitoring those that couldn't swim. Also walked back and forth and did some kicking to try and rehab the ache out of my knees. Which actually worked because the muscles felt a little less sore and my knees a little less achy :)
Today would never show that the pool helped, though! I felt slow today too. Although my moving pace is faster than what my Garmin was telling me during the run. The humidity this morning felt like I was running through not only soup, but chowder! It was insane how humid it was. Going uphill for most of the run didn't help me either. Annnnd since I was just out and about exploring, I explored a little too much and did 5.1 miles instead of the 4.5 I had planned for today. Kinda good though. I don't mind front loading the week to make the long run on Saturday easier. I saw two runners outside today :)

Well, that's an abridged version of what I've been up to this week!
What time does your internal clock wake you at?
Have you ever daydreamed or miscalculated and done more than you intended? Less?

Safe and happy running!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

COS, here I come!

This morning's run was really nice once I dragged my butt out of bed. I saw another runner at the beginning and after about .4 miles we met up and ran for a couple minute before he veered off onto another road. It was really cool because I've never seen another runner out in the morning, especially at 6:05 am! The road was covered in snails, and the way the sun hit the pavement you could see all their little slimy trails and where they'd been. It was poetic, if you think about it... They mostly went in circles, haha. I also passed a couple roadkill that smelled wonderful (vomit). Annnnd saw a biker around 6:30. People are getting more active in the morning!!
Tried for negative splits, and definitely got them! :) it was a wonderful run with the sun and a brisk temperature of about 50 that actually felt refreshing.

I also had my doctor's appointment follow up today. They bent and swiveled and poked and prodded and decided I don't need to come back unless I'm having issues! Doc's orders are to finish out my physical therapy appointments and once my formal PT is done, after about 6 weeks of at home PT I can start phasing out the annoying beastly brace! :) Very excited for my prognosis.
But that's not the only reason I'm excited!! On July 30, 2013 I will depart my beloved homeland and cruise the skies to Colorado Springs! I finally bought my ticket. Now all that's left is to register for the Beulah Half Marathon :) How embarrassing would it be to go to Colorado and not even have registered for the race I want to do!! I'm going to wait until Friday's paycheck to register for the race... Unless I get even more nervous about the trip and register today (could very well happen...)

This will be my first flight ever, and I could just about vomit from nerves and excitement.

So, have you ever been on a plane? How was your experience?
Any recommendations of things to do or bring? Things NOT to do or bring?!

Safe and happy running!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Functioning Alcoholic :p

First off, last night was a blast.
I actually got my lifting in after work, which I didn't think I was going to do. And I'm squatting 110 now for 3 sets of 10, which I'm pretty happy about. Especially since it doesn't hurt my knee :) After lifting I went home for a quick shower and my family arrived. We went to UNOs for dinner and drinks.
My first legal alcoholic beverage was champagne at the house before we left. Then a wildberry lemonade at UNOs. After dinner we went to a local bar for some shots. 2 Jagerbombs, a Kamikaze, and something my sister ordered for me which was really good.
I'm pretty sure it was vodka and cranberry of some sort. Yum! I really enjoyed this night out with my family and friends :)

Since everyone had things to in the morning (work for most of us), we called it an early night and Brian and I were home by 10, sleeping by 11. It made for a functioning day today, though!! :)
No, that wet hair is not from sweat! It is from the complete torrential downpour that was thrust upon me from the sky during my first mile this morning. And no, those are not raccoon eyes, but makeup from last night smeared everywhere from said rain and me trying to keep the droplets out of my eyes. The sad part is, it barely sprinkled for the last 35-30 mins of this run so I had actually dried off some by the time I got back in, if that gives you any indication of how wet I really was!!
Not sure if you can see the difference in color from the front of my shirt versus the back. The wetness line is just to the left of the seam. It was actually kind of fun to run in the rain, and it was my first rainy run that was voluntary. It would have been better if I had a hat to keep the drizzle out of my eyes, but it stopped in the beginning of the run, so that was good.
This run was a very hilly run as well, and I did it without my knee brace going totally by feel. I tried to be very in tune with my body and take shorter strides to make things a little easier on my joints. My pace didn't suffer from changing my strides and taking it easy, so that was awesome. Right now my knees feel awesome. My left shoulder did get really tight and kinda crampy during this run, though. I made mental check-ins every now and then to be sure and keep my shoulders relaxed and my arms down towards my waist instead of tucked up close to my chest. Perhaps the dehydration from last nights alcohol caused this? My shoulders don't usually hurt unless its the end of a long run and very warm out.
On a funnier note, I seem to be tripping over my own two feet. A lot, lately. And always with someone around to see it. I actually tripped just moments ago while I was putting a paper away in the midst of writing this post. My first conclusion was that I was drunk from last night, and that's why I was functioning so well this morning. Since I didn't drink that much and I really feel fine today, I ruled that option out. I think the real reason I keep tripping is because for physical therapy, my left hip was so tight that my left leg was actually a bit shorter than my right from the way my hip was rotated. Since I have stretched it out tremendously and my legs are now the same length and looseness, I think this is why I'm tripping all over the place.

And on that note, have you ever had a chiropractic adjustment or anything that moved your hips around altering your legs just slightly enough that you walk in circles or trip like a fool? (I've felt like I'd been veering in circles from the chiropractor before)
Also, tell me about your 21st birthday! If you remember it, that is ;)

Safe and happy running,

Monday, June 17, 2013

3 sets of 21 :)

Ahhhh. After Saturday's run I went to the beach with my fiance and roommate. It was really nice to just relax in the warm sun. Yesterday was a wonderful rest day with my fiance. We took it to celebrate my birthday by going to Outback Steakhouse for lunch and then to see the movie This is The End. Very hilarious. I highly recommend it if you like those stupid-funny movies.
This morning held 45 minutes on my spin bike. It was supposed to be 4.5 miles of hills, but I couldn't drag myself out of bed and drive to the trails. And then I didn't want to be rushed when I finally decided to get up. I did seven and a half minutes for a warm up and cool down with three sets of eight 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow and two minutes rest between each set. Now, you may be wondering why the title of this post is 3 sets of 21. That's because today is my 21st birthday! My family and I are going out to dinner and drinks to celebrate it tonight... for the third time. :p There can never be too much celebration!
I walked into work to these awesome balloons :) Definitely brightened my morning! Later today I'll do weights on my lunch break and the off to spend time with my family! :)

When you don't feel like working out do you suck it up and do it anyway, pick something else to do, or just forget about it and move on?

Safe and happy running!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Elliptical Kicked My Ass

I did end up getting yesterday's cardio in. After work I hauled my butt over to the gym and hopped on the elliptical. I haven't done the elliptical in what feels like forever, but because I was looking at some elliptical workouts on Pinterest, I thought, "It can't be too difficult... let's try some of those ideas out!" Apparently I have multiple personalities because I really did think 'let's,' as in more than one person in my head.... That's an issue for a whole other blog though :p

What I ended up doing was a five minute warm up at around 5.5 mph and then picked up the pace alternating two minutes forward and two minutes backwards at about 7.2-7.5mph. I was pretty impressed with my speed, even though my legs were screaming at me. I continued this alternating until minute 29, and from 29-30 I did an even faster minute going forward, and it was around 10.8 mph. Then I cooled down at around 5.5 mph for five minutes. Looks easy in writing, not so easy in actuality!!
\While I felt wonderful afterwards (albeit very sweaty), this morning was a different story. Granted I've had much worse soreness from workouts, it was still pretty difficult to make my legs move this morning. Mainly my upper legs killed (glutes, hamstrings, quads and inner and outer thigh/hip area). But I got up and got out there. Here were my results:
I'm pleased with this, even though it felt like I was putting in more effort than I should have to reach this pace. I started the run with Nick, my roommate, and once we got to the path he took off like a muscle car and I putted along like a jalopy. No big deal though. Honestly, if I hadn't asked him to run the night before and heard him up and about this morning, there's a very good chance I would have slept in and perhaps not gotten this run in. My bed is getting angry at me for missing so much quality time with it... :p

Yum! Breakfast was one egg and two egg whites scrambled with basil, oregano, chives, and baby spinach with a side of whole wheat toast and grape jelly and chocolate milk and water. Pretty good, but it's noon and I'm kinda starving again. If I thought having a swimmer's appetite was bad, this runner's appetite (especially after longer or more intense runs) is something to be reckoned with!
I can't really complain though. Last night I went to the movies with a friend and it was the first time I had seen myself in a more full-length mirror (the mirror we have shows from shoulders up pretty much). I was definitely pleased with the results of all my hard work. Besides feeling happier and more calm from my workouts, I'm starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin, which is a big deal. Yay! Body love .x3
My kittens got a workout in too :p
Annnnd Rest :)

So an update on my races and overall training. My cousin's house is in the middle of the area in Colorado that has the wildfires going on right now. So far their house is safe but with the fires only 3/4 of a mile away they aren't in the clear yet. So I'm not sure what is going to happen this summer with my Colorado half marathon I was planning on doing. More on that later when I know more. I have two more long runs of 9 miles and 10 miles and then I start a two week taper for the Boilermaker 15K :)

Do you  have any pets that you love more than life itself? How about pets you can't stand?
What workout always makes you sore?

Safe and happy running!

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's All For Buttery Popcorn...

I could not get out of bed today for some reason!! I kept mentally telling myself to but my body just did not want to hear it. So I slept in the extra hour or so I usually use for my morning cardio. Bad idea. I always end up feeling more tired throughout the day if I stay in bed than if I drag my butt out and get something done.
Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't like to wake up. This is my baby kitten Ollie (we call him Smalls cuz hes just a baby :p) stretching his way out from under the bed. I love him. Okay, enough about my cats!
I did make it to the gym to lift during my lunch break and came back to the office to this wonderful garden salad :) I also want to throw a shout out to my friend Jessica who started doing the New Rules of Lifting for Women with me at the very beginning of the summer. I honestly expected her to quit once life got in the way (most of my workout buddies come and go... mostly go), but she is still with me and lifting strong! She is much more confident in the gym and has mentioned how much stronger and energetic she feels! Another shout out to my friend Heather who is truly impressing me with her commitment to her new lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating. She, too, is reaping the benefits of an active life and has astounded me with how committed she is! :)

Later today I plan to do some cardio (probably elliptical; I haven't done it in ages). Then my friend Deirdre and I are going to catch up a bit and go watch The Great Gatsby. The movies are definitely motivation for me to get my workouts in. I absolutely love popcorn soaked in greasy butter. Sometimes I go to the movies just for the popcorn. Oh, and the cherry slushies (which are now free refills!!!). But enough about my indulgence later... I'm making myself crave it!

So tell me, what do you say to yourself to get yourself to work out when you REEEALLY don't want to?
Do you have any food that completely negates your workout, but you engorge in it anyway?

Safe and happy running!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Enough Hours

The past couple of days have been extremely busy! Monday was both jobs and my workouts, Tuesday was jury duty over an hour away from my apartment, and yesterday I was crazy busy trying to catch up at work and ridiculously tired from jury duty.

Tuesday was pretty much useless. I just gave up on trying to work out. I had to be up, showered, and out the door at about 7 am to make it to jury duty by 8:30 am. And then I was the 3rd to last potential juror of the day called. I didn't get called until 3:45 or so, and after a tirade of questions I was excused at about 4:30. Cue the over an hour drive home and this girl sat for 10-11 hours straight causing knee pain to return quite forcefully. I mean, I usually sit a lot at work but get up every 15 minutes or so to grab a piece of paper or do something. This was just solid sitting with a lunch break and only 2 five-ten minute breaks. Ugh!
Between Monday's long day and Tuesday's long and boring day, I was absolutely exhausted yesterday. Much like the picture above. Not to mention I had so much to catch up on from my missed day. I apologize for the short hiatus, but I really couldn't bring myself to do much more than was necessary yesterday. I went straight home from work and slept until my much needed physical therapy appointment, and after that I was kind-of a vegetable just zoning out till bedtime. My PT guy agreed that the knee pain was most likely from sitting so much lately. We altered a couple of my exercises and it's feeling better today, thankfully.
Yesterday's workout (besides my PT) was an easy 3 miles. I was pretty pleased with what my easy pace was. I tried to run by feel where I could breathe deep but was a little huffy-puffy. A 9:25 pace is about where I was before track and my whole knee issue started, so I'm almost back to square one (Which is a good thing in this case!)

Today's run was some speed work. Apparently I'm not the best at counting in the morning, because when I was figuring out what to do for my intervals, I thought I'd have a half mile warm up, half mile cool down, and 1.5 miles of intervals for a total of 2.5 miles. Three miles later I was very confused. Oh well, it helps make up for Tuesday's missed workout!
My legs felt sooooooo heavy for this run. And it shows. My recovery pace is usually a minute and a half faster, and I was doing my fast sections slower than I usually run my half mile sprints. The effort level was there, but I'm not too pleased with this workout. I'm all out of whack today and just hoping I make it to the end of the day without any major issues. I've already endured several paper cuts.

The rest of today holds job 1, job 2, and then sleep.

Have you ever had jury duty? Were you picked or dismissed?
What's your "happy pace," or the pace you usually go for kickass runs?

Safe and happy running!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Means Hills

Yesterday was a wonderful rest day. I spent the day with the fiance's family for our nephew's and niece's baptism party. Most of the day was spent outside in the beautiful sunny weather, and I definitely got some color (aka burnt). The evening was spent snuggled on the couch watching movies. Perfection for a rest day!

However, this morning I'm back to the daily grind. First up: hills. Did my best to be out the door by 6 am and missed it by only a couple of minutes. I arrived at the trail at 6:17 am and set off to do some trails. I was very pleased with this trail run. I just got into a groove and pushed it, because I absolutely loved the feeling of pushing it on Saturday's long run. I wanted another tough workout to make me feel invincible!
And push it, I did. I didn't even realize that I ran the first mile in under 9 minutes. Granted the first mile was much less hilly than the second two, it was also on grass which is a lot spongier and difficult to really push off from. Once I got into miles 2 and 3 came the real hills and harder packed dirt with some mud here and there. As you can see by the elevation gain for mile 2, I definitely hit more hills! Up 117 ft only down 15! The others were more up and down.

The rest of the day holds work at the College, or Job #1, and then straight to Dick's Sporting Goods, or Job #2. I hope to get some lifting in during my lunch break for Job #1, and then as soon as I get home from both jobs I am passing out! I'm getting tired just thinking about all I have to do today. It will be nice to be making more money, and I'm still really glad I got up early for my run, but it is definitely a coffee kind of day.
What physical activity are you proud of lately?
How do you deal with life when your schedule gets hectic?
What would your perfect rest day consist of?

Safe and happy running!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday Long Run

I lifted for a quick session yesterday after work and today was the long run! I was a little concerned whether or not my knee would hurt for this run. Since Thursday night some of the burning irritation has been coming back around the top edge of my kneecap. Yesterday it was a little worse. It may have been the weather agitating it, but that makes me sound incredibly old... I shouldn't be feeling aches and pains from the weather already!!

Either way I laced up my shoes and headed out the door with my brace on to see how much I'd get done. This long run was a first, because I did it with my (much faster) roommate. It was my first long run with a running buddy and I really enjoyed it. Not only did he have me pushing the pace because he's 7,000 times faster than me, but it was really nice to have conversation. It made the run go by faster and was more pleasant than those runs where you're alone and all you have for conversation is the voice inside your head saying "are we done yet?"
Here are the splits for our run. (Again, if you click on it, it will get big enough to read.) I felt bad because I was slowing him down but this was a really good run for me! It's almost consistent negative splits which is awesome. And not only that, it's only about 10 seconds slower than what I ran the Boilermaker 15K at last year. Which is completely awesome and makes me wonder if a PR is in reach for this year, despite my knee injury. During the run and after the knee actually felt really good. While doing my physical therapy my hip popped and shifted quite loudly, and I'm still not sure if it was an okay pop or not. I took some ibuprofin just as a precautionary measure and may ice it if it begins hurting. As of right now though I'm doing okay.
This was my reward to myself for finishing my long run. NO. For completely killing that run :) And let me just say they were the best blueberry pancakes I think I've ever eaten. Even though it made enough to feed small village. I stuck them in the fridge for later, or for my roommate as his reward for running with me.

I definitely want to do more running with him. Especially speedwork. Imagine how fast I'd be if I consistently tried to keep up with him! Big dreams, I know. I do have to still take it a little easy with the knee until I'm completely in the clear. I'm definitely not going to go back to not being able to run for two months. Not an option.

Not too much to say besides that today. I think I'm going to lay down for a nap and wait for the fiance to get home from golfing. Oh, and let my wonderful Garmin that I could not imagine ever running without again charge.

Safe and happy running!

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Half-Year Struggles

Short post today. My workout was just some time on the bike. I went out with the fiance and the roommate last night, so getting out of bed for my workout was a triumph in itself. I did seven and a half minutes for a warm up, a ten minute tempo-type session, five minutes easy, another ten minute tempo session and I finished up with seven and a half minutes of a cool down.

The real topic on my mind is New Year's Resolutions. Mine for this year is no fast food. So far, so good, but last night was challenging! I love the late night drive-thru. While the fiance and roommate shoveled in Taco Bell, I snuggled in the sheets. So of course today all I've been thinking about is how much I want fast food and how it's almost been a half a year since I've had any.

Last year's resolution was no soda and I made it through the entire year without any. Even this year, I've only had it a handful of times. I know I can do this resolution too!

To try and get out of the slump and also make up for the above pictured cheese, bacon, and sour cream covered waffle fries and everything chicken wings I helped devour last night, I made a really healthy lunch today. A salad from my garden, a delicious pasta salad from my boss (she loves me!), a sandwich, and this wonderful bowl:

Now, share what your New Year's Resolution was :) Have you stuck with it?
Are you going to make a New Half-Year's Resolution? Tell me what it is!

Safe and Happy Running,