Sunday, January 24, 2010

No LSD run today

I got all ready to run, and as soon as I got out there, it started to rain. At 33 degrees, I'm not prepared to run in the rain wearing a fleece jacket. I ran about 1 mile before going home.


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

Rest Day - Learning to Take it Easy

Today is a rest day. My training plan includes four running days, two cross training days, and one rest day. But I'm so used to working out that it's hard to rest! I really need to rest, though. Yesterday during my three mile run, my shins started hurting. That's a sign of "too much too soon." I increased my mileage too quickly. I know what I'm doing wrong, but it's hard to stop. I hae a training plan, and I'm trying really hard to stick to it. It's just that for the past three weeks, I had to skip my long run. Now that I'm back on track, I'm doing too much at once.

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:

* * * * * * * * *

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

My First Track Run!

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!

Locks of Love

A few years ago, I had an urge to get my long hair cut off, and a co-worker suggested donating my hair to Locks of Love. Locks of Love is an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer. My hair was long enough, so it was a no-brainer. I had my long ponytail cut off, and I sent it to Locks of Love.

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:

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 was woken up this morning by a phone call at 4:00 am. My brother in law was calling to say that he heard on his scanner that there was a fire on my street. He named the house number, and I said, "Oh, that's across the street," meaning that because it was an even number, it was on the other side of our street. I groggily said goodbye and hung up. I looked out my window, and it was the house directly across the street! There was an orange glow coming from the roof, but I didn't see any flames.

Very soon after I woke up, a bunch of firetrucks showed up. They worked very quickly, banging on the doors of neighboring houses, trying to get people up and out of their homes. Luckily, no one was living in the house at the time. We watched as they kicked the doors in (this was a double home, so it was like two houses sharing a wall in the middle) and smashed out windows with axes. It was creepy to see them standing on the roof, especially when there were 10-foot high flames.

The whole neighborhood (or at least, just my street) was awake at 4:00 am, and we were all outside watching the scene. There must have been at least 50 firefighters, and at least four firetrucks. The fire was out by 6:00, but of course they stuck around to keep an eye on the house. I was an hour late for work because the firetruck was blocking my driveway.

Thank God no one was hurt! It seems as if the fire started in the attic. The houses are pretty much destroyed. They didn't burn to the ground, but I think there's a lot of damage. I can see through the front window and right out the back of the house.

I have a funny taste in my mouth all day, probably from breathing in smoke. My hubby said his stomach didn't feel good this morning. Our water was brown this morning, but it seems clear now. I'm not sure if I should wash my dishes yet, though.

Work was interesting. It was the first day of the semester, so I knew that it was going to be crazy. I got a cup of coffee before work, hoping that it would be enough to keep me going all day. I didn't go to the gym, and I feel bad about that, but I just felt too tired. I didn't want to phone it in at the gym. When I work out, I want it to be worth it. Don't worry, I'll work hard tomorrow.

I took some pictures of the fire:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great Day with my Sis

I love my sister. We always have fun when we hang out together. We both had the day off from our jobs, so we decided to spend most of the day together. We started by working out. I love that we're both active and into a healthy lifestyle. We did an EA Sports Active workout on the Wii so that my sister could get the "Workout Buddy" trophy. (She has to come over to my house sometime so I can get that trophy!) It was a tough workout, too! Lots of lunges and squats. We laughed through almost the whole thing. We weren't really competitive, except that I did race her around the track during the last running exercise.

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

I did it! 7 miles done!

I ran 7 miles! I was sooo happy to be done! Overall, I'd say it was a great run. I didn't have any major pain, and I was pretty tired by the end, but not completely wiped out. It was a bit boring to run back and forth on my street (one way is 0.25 miles), but I listened to my iPod, so that kept me going.

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: 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!


I need to write more blog entries! I'm going to start logging my training, so I don't ramble to my friends and family about running all the time. I don't have many running friends, and I'm sure my family isn't nearly as interested in my training schedule as I am. lol!

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!)