Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
The holiday weekend is almost here, and I'm excited to say that I've got no plans! I want to hang out and enjoy the sunshine. I'll be running with my sister tomorrow morning, and I hope I can keep up with her! (Which reminds me, I owe a race report from last weekend...the short version is that we both rocked!)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
They gave me a stop watch and a couple 5-gallon water jugs (which they didn't think I was strong enough to carry, but I proved them wrong!). I manned a water stop at the 5k mark by myself. I didn't have a table, so I had to put the cups of water on my car. I filled the cups as quickly as I could and started handing them out as the fastest runners were going by less than 20 minutes after the start! I dropped a couple of the cups as I was handing them out. There's a skill to giving water to runners! Note to self: you spill a lot less as a runner if you take the cup with both hands.
It was a relatively small race, with 130 runners. The organizers were really happy with the turnout. It's not advertised that well, so it's mostly a community race, with a lot of the runners running it every year. The course is tough, with many grueling hills.
Let me tell you, it feels really good to have 100 people say thank you, one after another. I did the best that I could to make sure everyone who wanted water got a cup. There was one woman who was running toward me saying, "hurry, hurry!" She wasn't quite yelling at me. I think she was anxious to get the water, and she may have been telling herself to hurry.
The race director also ran the race (and got second place in his age division), and he even thanked me again while he ran through the water station. They wouldn't have had a water stop at the halfway point if I hadn't shown up. I'm really glad that I helped out.
After the race, they gave me a free t-shirt (is it bad luck to wear a shirt for a race that you didn't run?), and invited me to the "after party." They gave out trophies made of coal to the winners. They had a lot of awards to give! In addition to the usual age division awards, they gave an award to the 30th finisher (because it was the 30th anniversary of the race), the oldest and youngest finishers (age 77 and 18 respectively, I believe), the "Clydesdale division" winner (weighing over 190 pounds), and my personal favorite, the "clock stopper" award to the last finisher. There were two men there who ran the race every single year that it was held.
The race was sponsored by Mrs. T's pierogies, among other local companies. So each runner (and volunteer) got to eat pierogies after the race, and we were also offered beer and birch beer. It really felt like a run community event. It wasn't the type of race where people don't stick around if they didn't win an award. After the awards were given, people hung around and partied for a while.
I was thanked several times by a bunch of people, and they even joked that I should get a special award for helping out. They said that I was a lifesaver. I brushed it off and sid that I was happy to help. I didn't want any special recognition. I was just proud to be involved. It felt really good to help, and I have to admit that their thanks and compliments made me feel good about myself.
My sister and I have a goald of running the race next year. Part of me wants to volunteer again! I wish I could do both. The only thing I can think of is to try to recruit someone to help out at the water stations next year.
Although I do love running races, I can't wait to volunteer at one again!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I found out that the Coal Cracker 10k race was June 12, and I knew that I was not ready to run it, so I suddenly had an idea: Why don't I volunteer? So I e-mailed the race organizeer (and found out that it's my neighbor!) and asked if they need volunteers. He said that they could always use extra help, so I'm volunteering this morning! I'm not sure what they'll ask me to do, but I'm going to show up at 9:00 am and help out in any way that I can.
I'm trying to think of some good encouraging comments to give the runners, like, "You look strong!" and, "Good job, keep going!" Eh, I'm not that good at comments...but I know enough not to say, "You're almost there!"
I don't even know what the route is, but I'm going to have fun! I'm going to bring my camera, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to take pictures. If I'm handing out water, the runners might get mad at me for taking pictures of them instead of giving out water. lol!
So, in other running-related news, recently I decided to train for a half marathon...and then I decided not to. lol. I think I'm just being too ambitious right now. I should focus on what's directly ahead of me, which is The Loop 5k on June 26. I'm sooooo excited about this race! First of all, it was my first ever 5k race last year, so I want to try to beat my time. Second, my sister is running it with me! She started running this year, and she's getting so much better than me! We've run together a bunch of times (which is a lot of fun!), and she doesn't get out of breath as quickly as I do, and she can run faster! I'm jealous, because I've been running longer, but mostly I'm so happy for her! She is so ready for this race!
After the 5k, we might train for a 10k in August. We're going to work on increasing distance and see how it goes. I'm having foot issues lately. I have so many random pains when running! First it was my shins, then my hip flexor, and now my right foot! My foot goes numb, once it started hurting a lot in my instep and was sore for a few days, and the other day it went numb and I got a blister. Maybe it's a shoe problem? But I've had these shoes for a few months...
In non-running news...I have to have minor surgery on July 16. I won't go into the details, but I have to have a polyp removed from my uterus. The doctor says that it's pretty common, and I'll be able to continue running as soon as I feel better. Hooray!
Also, I'm planning a trip to New York City! Last year, the hubby and I finally got to take a vacation week together, and we did a bunch of day trips, including Niagara Falls, New York City, Wildwood, and a local brewery. We loved NYC and vowed to come back to see more. We might stay overnight one or two nights this year! It's so exciting (but a little stressful) to plan a vacation!
Okay, I think we're all caught up now. Pretty much...I'll be posting pictures from the race later, if I get to take any pics.
Have a great day!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Warm up walk: 3 minues
Sprint: 1 minute
Walk: 1 minute
Repeat sprint/walk intervals 8-10 times. I repeated 8 times, because I didn't want to injure myself on the first try. They didn't define "sprinting" but they did say that if you're not out of breath after a minute, then you're not running fast enough. I ran at a 9:40 pace, which for me is pretty fast, but I think I was still holding back a little. I was afraid I would either wear myself out too quickly or injure myself. By the last two sprint intervals, I was pushing the speed up a little, just to see if I could handle it. I'll try a little harder next time.
After the intervals, I still had some time to kill at the gym, so I kept doing intervals, but at more of a "jogging" pace of about 11:00 minute miles. The funny thing is, that's a fast pace for me, too! My usual "training" pace is about 11:30 to 12:00. But after running fast intervals, it was really hard for me to slow down. I wanted to keep running fast!
Good news: I haven't had shin splints for a long time!
Bad news: Hip flexor pain pretty much every time I run...
More good news: I ran with my sister on Saturday! It was the first time I'd ever run with another person, and I really enjoyed it! The time went by really fast, and I think we both ran a little faster because we had someone to compete with. I hope we can run together again soon!
Friday, February 26, 2010
1. Best Meal Ever - When my husband and I celebrated our first year of dating, we went to a local seafood restaurant for dinner. We were the only ones in the restaurant, and it made the evening so romantic! I don't remember much about the food (although I'm sure it was good), but I loved the atmosphere.
2. Best Sleep Ever - These questions are tough to answer! (And I'm only on number 2!) I used to go out to see bands, and sometimes I'd be out all night. I'd usually drink something with caffeine, which would help keep me awake for the long drive home, but it would disrupt my sleep once I actually got home. So I'd sleep maybe a few hours and feel like a zombie the next day. But the next night, I'd have the best sleep ever. (Looking back, I really miss those crazy nights hanging out with bands, but I don't miss being so tired all the time.)
3. Best Cup of Coffee - I was going to say the one that I'm drinking right now, but I thought of something else. Last August (I think), I tried to go a whole month drinking only water. I think I made it a few days before I gave in and drank a cup of coffee. That was the best cup of coffee ever.
4. Best Romantic Moment - When my husband surprised me with roses. It wasn't a holiday or anniversary, so I wasn't expecting it at all.
5. Best Childhood Memory - Ooh, tough one! I'd have to say, any time I went camping. Especially with my Gram. She would wake up early and make the best breakfasts.
6. Best Moment of Your Life - It would be nearly impossible for me to pick the best moment. Graduating from college, getting married, driving to Chicago for a conference, driving to Delaware to see a band, seeing Muse for the first time, seeing The Drama Club for the first time, finishing my first 5k race. Oh, and the first song I learned to play on my grandfather's electric organ. There are probably a million moments that could qualify.
7. Best Moment of Revenge - Getting to tease my husband for falling asleep at work. He teases me all the time, and I finally have something on him! lol
8. Best Thing that Someone Has Done for You - Love and support me unconditionally
9. Best Thing You Have Ever Done for Someone - see #8
10. Best Life Changing Moment - Probably finishing my first 5k. That's something that, through most of my life, I NEVER thought I could accomplish, and I knew that it would change how I felt about myself for the rest of my life.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today's run was depressing. I ran for 4 minutes and had throbbing, aching pain in my shins (mostly the right one, but also the left), so I stopped and walked the rest of the time that I had. Depressing...but I'll try again. I'm wondering if I should see a doctor about my shin pain. I'm also wondering if I'm wearing the wrong type of shoes...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
(Can you tell that the sign says "30" in this picture?)
When I started running, I couldn't help but think of the Presidential Fitness Test in high school where you had to (among other things) run a 10-minute mile. I was not athletic as a teenager. I couldn't even run a quarter of a mile without stopping.
So, when I started running last May, I always had it in my mind that I might one day be able to run that 10-minute mile. I tried once last year, and I ran for about 8.5 minutes at the right pace bfore stopping. I felt like if I didn't stop, I'd fly off the treadmill, and I didn't want to hurt myself.
I thought that my 30th Birthday might be a good day to attempt the 10-minute mile again. This time I made it! I tried not to get my hopes up too much, because there was a chance that I wouldn't be able to do it, but I knew that if I tried hard enough, I probably could.
I have evidence! Now, technically, this says that I ran 1.00 miles in 10:03. The counter turned over to 1 mile at 10:02, and I pressed "stop" one second later. I'm counting this as a 10-minute mile because I ran at 6.0 mph (and even ran at 6.1 for about a minute in an attempt to make up for the time it took the treadmill to get up to speed).
I find it funny that for some people, a 10-minute mile is easy! For me, it's definitely a challenge. Speed isn't really my thing, but I was really happy to accomplish this goal. What a great way to celebrate turning 30, by proving that I'm in the best shape of my life!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I was sick with a sinus cold last week. Luckily, it only lasted a few days, and I'm back to normal now. It's good that I got over it quickly, because my birthday is tomorrow! The last time I had a cold was on my birthday two years ago, and I was pretty miserable, so I'm happy to be over it!
So...I'm turning thirty tomorrow. Goodbye twenties! I'm not sad about it, because it's not something that's in my control. I'm just looking toward the future with a positive attitude. I guess I'm no spring chicken anymore, but I'm in the best shape of my life right now! I'm training for my first half marathon!
Speaking of training, I had to take about two weeks off because of shin splints. I finally feel like I'm really ready to get back out there and train again, so I'm planning on running tomorrow. I might try a special challenge tomorrow, just for my birthday. Tune in tomorrow to see what the challenge is...
In other news, I started reading the Beck Diet for Life. There are a bunch of bloggers reading and following this book right now, and it sounded like something that I'd like to try. I did the first experiment yesterday, where I ate a hearty breakfast and then waited until I got actual physical hunger pangs before eating lunch. Well, I didn't end up eating lunch until almost 2:00 pm! And you know what? I didn't really mind waiting that long. It was actually kind of boring. I felt like I was sitting around, waiting to feel hungry. But I learned a lesson in really paying attention to what I'm actually feeling. At one point, I wanted to eat because my cubicle neighbor was eating a taco salad that smelled really good. But I recognized that I only wanted to eat because I smelled food. I wasn't actually hungry.
So far, I really like the advice in the book!
I'll leave you with a picture of my sis and I at our birthday party last Sunday. The best thing about being a twin is having someone to share my life experiences with!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This is me being disappointed and angry at the rain that came early:
Wow, that's an ugly picture of me...well, the rain wasn't afraid of my "angry face" and just kept on falling. I'll have to try an 8-mile run on the track tomorrow after work. Ugh...I can't wait for Spring!
My shins were hurting anyway, so I could probably use another rest day. (Trying to see the positive in the situation.)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I think I might need to eliminate one of my running days. Monday is a "recovery" run, so I might change it from a 3-mile easy run to a 3-mile walk. I don't really know what I'm doing. This is all trial and error for me.
So, today is a rest day, but I don't feel like resting. The weather is beautiful outside! It's almost 40 degrees! This is Northeastern Pennsylvania in January, people! I should take advantage of the nice weather!
I'll share an excerpt of the e-mail I just sent to my sister:
"I'm really fighting the urge to exercise right now! lol. I got an urge to get up and do some squats. I don't know why. Then I reminded myself that my legs are tired, and I need to rest before my 8-mile run tomorrow. So then I got an urge to those side crunches that I saw people doing at the gym. Ab work is okay on a rest day, right? Why is it so hard to rest?? LOL"
Reading back over that, it sounds sort of like I'm addicted to exercise! I don't think that I am, but I do tend to have an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to diet and exercise. I think that's why it's hard for me to rest, or to have a "cheat" day in my diet. It feels like I'm giving up and going back to the days when I ate junk and didn't exercise.
My sister Tonia wrote a blog about her "all or nothing" approach: http://unorthodoxliving.blogspot.com/2010/01/all-or-nothing.html
* * * * * * * * *
In other news, work has been really stressful this past week, but running has really helped me keep my sanity.
I got my picture taken for my new driver's license today! The picture came out okay, I guess. My face looks so wide! I think they stretched the picture or something.
I need to post more pictures in my blog. I like seeing pictures in other blogs.
Here's a picture of me feeling happy because the sun is shining:
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Yesterday was my first indoor track run. Overall, I enjoyed it! First of all I need to say, holy cow the gym was crowded yesterday! I went right after work, and I intended on using a treadmill, but they were all taken. So I made a quick decision to try the indoor running track.
I like running where I feel like I’m actually going somewhere.
The track is cooler in temperature than the cardio room, and they have big fans running at two spots on the track.
I got to experience running with other people (even though I was passed by all of them. ha!).
The track is more forgiving than pavement or cement.
One lap is 1/8th mile – it made it easier to do my 2-minute running intervals, because I knew that I had to run one lap, plus about 30 seconds. It kept me from looking at my watch too often.
The track circles a bunch of basketball courts, so I had to keep an eye out for stray basketballs.
I actually nearly got hit in the head by a soccer ball.
People were playing catch with a football right on the track and didn’t move out the way when runners came by.
People were sitting on the track.
No TVs like in the cardio room.
One lap is 1/8th mile – a long run gets kind of boring, compared to running outside.
Like I said, overall it was a good experience, and I’d run on the track again. But it was a big pain in the butt to have to dodge people while running. At one point I found myself thinking, “I paid for this?” I talked to a friend this morning about how crowded it was, and she said that it would calm down later in the semester.
I went to the rec center today at lunch time, and it actually wasn’t too crowded. I used an elliptical machine for 30 minutes, and while I was working out, most of the treadmills became available. It seems that the rec center isn’t very busy at noon.
I wanted to mention, there are some really hardcore cardio queens at the rec center! The girl next to me was really pushing hard on the elliptical machine. Man, I felt like I was putting in a good effort until she started!
I’m still avoiding the weight room…I do need to get into a regular strength training routine, though. My sister and I are going to start a 30-day challenge with EA Sports Active for Wii on February 1st. She’s nearing the end of her first 30-day challenge. I started one last month, but I slacked off. I end up signing up for too many things, and I don’t have time for all of them!
I've been growing my hair longer, and I'm getting that urge again to cut it off. I just measured my ponytail, and it's just about 8 inches long, so I think I'll let it grown a bit more and then donate it again. I wonder how many times I can donate my hair over my lifetime if I just keep growing it out and getting it cut off....
If anyone else wants to check out Locks of Love, you can go here: http://locksoflove.org
I'm off to daydream about the cute haircut I'm going to get in a few months.
Next up: a blog about my first indoor track run!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I took some pictures of the fire:
Monday, January 18, 2010
After our workout, we went to a nearby grocery store to get a nice salad from the salad bar. I love to load up on my favorite fresh veggies: spring mix lettuce, baby spinach, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and broccoli. I also tried bean sprouts (yum!), and I had some imitation crab meat.
Next, we went shopping. My sister is the best good luck charm when I'm shopping. I always find the best deals when I shop with her! I got a tank top for $1.50 and a hooded jacket for $5! I got a major craving for pizza, but we really wanted to get coffee at Dunkin Donuts, and pizza & coffee didn't sound like a good combination. It took some willpower, but we walked away from the pizza place. We got coffee and split a chocolate glazed donut. YUM!
When I got home, I had to talk myself into doing a 3-mile run. Okay, it wasn't too difficult to talk myself into it. It was in the 40s today! Cloudy, but with occasional breaks of sunshine. My Monday runs are always an "easy" 3 miles. The idea is to keep my muscles limber after my long run. It's hard to take it easy, though! Whenever I do a three mile run, I'm tempted to push myself faster. However, I was feeling a litte sore from yesterday's 7-mile run, so it was pretty easy to keep a slow pace.
I ran for just over 2 miles and then twisted my ankle. I'm not sure what happened, but I stepped down with my left foot, and it just rolled outward, twisting my ankle. The ground wasn't uneven, I just stepped weird. I'm a clumsy person, so it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. After a quick, "Ow!" and hobbling for a few seconds, my ankle felt okay. I was 2/3 of the way through my run, so I just kept going. I don't think I injured myself.
It was hard to stick it out! I always think that a 3-mile run will be easy and quick. It never is! Maybe when I'm done, I think, "That wasn't bad." But while I'm running, it doesn't feel easy! Running is a challenge, but I love it.
I got Chocolate Cheerios! I'm going to try some as a snack this evening, either dry or with almond milk (my new favorite kind of milk). I'll let you know what I think.
My glutes and hip flexors are feeling stiff, so I'm off to take a warm shower.
Have a great day!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The weather was okay! It was about 35 degrees with a light wind that picked up towards the end. I actually had to take my gloves off because they were too warm. I wore an UnderArmour shirt, a long sleeve shirt, and an Old Navy hoodie. I also wore a winter hat and put the hood up. I sweat a lot when I run, and I was afraid my neck would get cold. I wore Cuddl Duds pants under my sweat pants, but I probably would have been fine without the Cuddl Duds. I've worn just sweat pants when it was in the 20s. My legs don't really feel cold when I run. I was a little warm (I don't like to be too hot when I run), but mostly I was pretty comfortable.
One thing that I didn't anticipate was black ice. The road had a light glaze of ice on it, and some of the sidewalks were a little icy. I didn't slip or fall (thank God), but every once in a while I could feel my foot slide a little when I pushed off. I had to take it very slow and careful.
Because of the ice, my pace was a little slower than usual. I estimated that it would take me 30 intervals (2 min. run/1 min. walk) to complete 7 miles, but it actually took me 35 intervals. I love that my Garmin Forerunner 405 keeps track of my intervals, but it was hard for me to hear the beeps with my hat, hood, and iPod. I had to keep a close eye on my watch so I didn't miss my cues.
The thing I love the most about run/walk intervals is that I finish so strong! On my last running interval, I really pushed myself to keep a good pace. It makes me feel so good to be able to keep proper form and finish strong, instead of shuffling my way back home. I used to get really tired when I ran without walking breaks. My form would suffer, and I had trouble picking up my feet when running. Thank God I never tripped and fell! I tend to be pretty clumsy, but I've never fallen while running (knock on wood, lol).
As I type this entry, I can hear rain hitting the window. I lucked out and beat the rain! It makes me feel so proud that I woke up at 6:00 am on a Sunday to run 7 miles. Of course, now I feel like going back to bed. :)
Oh yeah, I should mention that I joined Tall Mom's 1000+ club. There are almost 300 runners who joined and will endeavor to run 1,000 miles in 2010! I'm counting walking and elliptical miles. I'm not sure if that's okay, but she did say that we could "run, walk, or crawl" our way to 1, 000 miles. Here's a link to Tall Mom's blog: www.tallmomontherun.com. I'm so happy to be part of this group! It's going to be a tough challenge for me, but I'm willing to give it my all.
Have a great Sunday!
Today I'm setting out for a LSD run. When I decided to train for a half marathon, I figured that training in the winter would be tough. I decided to join a gym at work so that I could run on my lunch break or after work during the week, when it's too cold outside to run. I scheduled my LSD runs for Sundays. I knew that I might have a problem running outside at home on Sundays, but I didn't think I'd have to skip a whole month's worth of long runs! The last long run I did was in the middle of December. It seems like the weather is bad every Sunday, with ice and snow, and really cold temperatures! I'll run when it's in the 20s (I've done it a couple times and didn't mind the cold at all), but when it's in the teens and windy, that's too cold for me! It's been really frustrating the last couple of weeks. I've been trying really hard to stick to my training schedule, and I hate not being able to give myself a star sticker for the day. It's very frustrating.
So, my training schedule says I'm supposed to run 8 miles today, but my last long run was only 6 miles. I'm going to try for 7 miles, but really I'll be happy if I can only manage 6. It's not like I haven't been running at all. I did 5 miles on Wednesday, and I felt like I could have managed another mile if I had to.
Some notes on my training plan...last year when I was training for some 5k races, I had shin splints all the time. Constant pain, running or not. I had trouble walking up and down stairs. I really shouldn't have brushed it off. One day I decided to make my treadmill run a little less boring by trying a run/walk interval run with 2 minutes running followed by 1 minute of walking. I was thrilled to discover that I was able to finish my run strong, and I had no shin splints! It felt almost like a small defeat, to take walking breaks, but it meant so much to me to get rid of those horrible shin splints! I decided to change my training and only do run/walk intervals. So that's what I've been doing, and I haven't had any pain!
The thing is, I was a slow runner before, and now walking breaks are slowing me down more! But it averages out over time. Before if I ran 3 miles, I'd start out with a pace of about 11-11:30, and finish with almost a 13:00 pace. Now I can run at 11:30 pace (walk about 16:00) consistently for the whole run. I think that in the long run (ha ha, a pun), it will work out fine. I'm not really concerned with speed. I'm amazed that I can even run 5 miles!
Well, I'm just about ready to set out on my run. We're supposed to get some rain/freezing rain today, so I'm going to run back and forth on my street. It's slightly uphill one way, which makes it really hard for me, but I want to stay close to home, just in case it starts raining.
Hopefully, I'll be back to post a blog about how my run went!
(Oh, and I have to remember to write about the gym that I joined - I love it!)