Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Today was day 3 of 3 days of running…in a row. Whew! The last time I ran more than 2 days back to back was at the end of November and that was on the treadmill, no more than 3 miles and was broken up into intervals. It doesn’t compare at all. I almost wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off, especially with the sheer amount of miles I was attempting to conquer within the last 3 days…19.1! But, I did it. And I did it with style! Haha. My first 4 miles of today’s 8 miler I did at or below the 10 minute per mile mark. Wow! And then, the last 4 miles were right around 10:30-10:45 per mile. Not much of a drop in pace, if you ask me. I felt really good for today’s run, not really feeling fatigued or tired at all. I had a nice little “bounce” in my step for the majority of the run.
Part of the reason I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish what I started was because I had to stand up for 8 hours at work yesterday, so my feet were really tired and my lower back was feeling a little compressed when I got home last night. Thankfully, sleep fixed all that for me and I felt good when I woke up this morning…well, aside from being a little sleepy, that is. I’ll get back in the habit of waking up before 7:30am…heck, I’ve GOT to if I’m going to make it through the summer months running 3-4 times per week. I’ve already decided that I will be investing in some running lights so I can get up at around 5am and be running by about 5:30 during the hot summer months.
Anyway, my legs are a little tired after 3 days straight of running, but other than that, I feel really good. So, my grand total for the month of April is 82.3 miles. My goal mileage for May is 90 miles…on the dot. I’ve already got my schedule worked out so that I can hit this goal.
The other thing I have to report is that I signed up for my next event: the Autism Speaks 8K. I’ll get to run around the Camp Mabry National Guard base in Austin, TX. I’m really looking forward to it.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Because I needed to get a 4 mile run in before the end of the month…and before tomorrow’s 8 miler…I made myself get out of bed by 7:15 this morning. I woke up rested and clear-headed when I rolled out of bed. My alarm actually went off at 7am, but I laid there trying to get my sinuses to clear out for another 15 minutes before getting up. I brushed my teeth, got my coffee brewing and turned on Good Morning America. At 7:50, I ate my bowl of honey nut toasted oats with a banana and skim milk, then I got dressed for running. I filled up my gym water bottle with filtered water and my running water bottle with Gatorade, then I headed out the door.
When I got to the gym, I did chest/shoulders/triceps strength training for about 45 minutes (305 calories burned). Then, I changed from my regular heart rate monitor to my Garmin and headed out to the car. I plugged my earbuds into my phone and strapped it to my arm, hid my purse and locked the car. Then, I headed out for my 4 mile run. The way I initially started going got shut down about a ½ mile into the run and I had to take a detour. I miscalculated at what mileage I needed to do my turnaround to hit the 4 mile mark and ended up going 4.75 miles instead (burned about 613 calories). Even better!
As a result of all this, I feel absolutely fantastic today! I just want to listen to music and dance! Tomorrow, I plan to wake up at 7am again so I can get my 8 miler in before it starts warming up.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Well, this morning was my 2nd official organized 10K event, the Schlotzsky’s 31st annual Bun Run. This race isn’t anywhere near as big and popular as the Capital 10K that I ran a few weeks ago, so I was able to find free parking. After I parked, I started getting my stuff together and ready to go. I reached into my purse to pull out my earbuds only to find that I hadn’t put them in there. They were sitting on my side table next to the couch. Ugh. Great. Now I had to run without music. How boring is that going to be?
I ate my Clif Bar and pinned my bib on, then stashed my car key in my sports bra (I really need to buy a SpiBelt or similar). At 7 o’clock the air horn sounded and we were off. Again, it wasn’t like the Capital 10K that took me 11 minutes to get to the start line…I was there before I know it, hitting start on my Garmin. It was odd running without music. I listened to people around me chatting with each other for the first mile before the conversations dropped off as everyone hit their pace. I discovered that listening to the hundreds of footfalls around me was oddly relaxing and worked to help me “zone out” like listening to music does. As we neared the turnaround for the 5K distance, there was music. I thought they just had some speakers set up, but no, it was an actual band playing music. That was pretty cool.
After the turnaround for the 10K distance, at mile 4.5, there was an autistic guy walking toward us and calling out our numbers as we passed him and telling us “good run!” That was really sweet of him, and excellent of him family to get him out and active and social like that! Put a big smile on my face.
As you can see, in mile 5 I hit my “groove” and got my fastest mile time for the whole 6.3 miles. It felt really good.
As I crossed the finish line, the announcer was reading out people’s bib numbers and then pulling up their names on his laptop and calling out their names. Well, I was one of the lucky ones to get a shout out as I crossed the finish line! Woohoo! I crossed the finish line and, of course, forgot to immediately hit stop on my Garmin, but it wasn’t too far after that I remembered to hit it. My final time, according to my Garmin, was 1:02:48. That’s 4 minutes faster than I ran the Capital 10K! hooray!
I made my way to the post-race expo area and got my free half banana and package of peanut butter crackers. Yum! Then I picked up a free water bottle (pink, of course!). The lady I used to get acupuncture from was there with a booth for free Chinese pulse readings (I had run into her before the race and talked to her briefly). Right next to her was free 5 minute massages for the runners. So, I snagged a free leg massage. Felt really good. It was a little tender when she massaged my IT band area on my right thigh. I’m thinking that I really need to make time to roll my legs after I run. I need to make sure I hit the IT band when I do that too. I do NOT want an IT band injury. Or any other injury, really.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
One of my co-workers, and someone I would probably call a friend as well, is revamping what he eats. It started with Lent. He gave up all processed food for 40 days. After Lent was over, he went to Chik-fil-a and ordered chicken nuggets and a small fries. He said when he got done eating, he felt gross and greasy. Since then, he has dedicated himself to removing as much processed food from what he eats as he possibly can. His dedication to this motivates me to make the move back to a mostly processed foods free diet. When I was eating mostly fruits and veggies with just enough protein thrown in and next to no processed foods, I felt GREAT! Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of processed and fast foods. As a result, I’ve been having bouts of indigestion and heartburn, problems that I have basically gotten rid of.
After talking with Alex (that’s his name), I realize that after losing 40 pounds in 8 months that I am probably a little burnt out on losing weight. That’s why I decided to take a couple weeks away from the scale. Besides, the scale has said the exact same thing for a whole month now, down to the 10th of a pound even. I am determined to get my eating back on track. I want to start tracking my food again and not eating so much “junk.” To do this a few things will have to happen. First, I absolutely have to track what I’m eating…all of it. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Second I have to be conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth. And, more importantly, I have to be aware of how MUCH I’m putting in my mouth because, you see, while my choices may be good, I may be eating too much food in general. Too much of anything is never a good thing, even if it’s a good thing.
After I get paid next week, I’m going to put together a kickass grocery list and I’m going to set myself straight in the eating department. What I want to do for breakfast is get some whole grain waffles, chocolate PB2 and bananas. I’ll toast the waffles, mix up a slightly runny mixture of PB2 and slather it on the waffles, then I’ll slice the bananas and put those on top of the PB2 slathered waffles. YUM! I need to get some apples and start eating an apple with my standard lunch of a bell pepper with tuna salad in it. My snacks are going to be cucumber with hummus (or Weight Watcher’s whipped fat free cream cheese) and the other is 0% plain Greek yogurt with blueberries and 2 stevia packets. Then, for dinner, 1 serving of protein and 3.5 cups of steamed veggies. I’m thinking of maybe adding a second apple to my dinner, sort of as a desert.
I need to refocus myself. If I can do that, then I’ll be fine. When I’m focused, I don’t have a problem staying motivated.
Friday, April 26, 2013
I had my annual physical for work this morning. I think I had said before that I was feeling nerdy and that I was excited to see what my labwork and vital signs looked like now that I’m a runner. Well, last year’s numbers were basically perfect…so, of course, this year’s numbers were beyond perfect. If that’s even possible. Ha! So, my blood pressure was 100/60!!! Wow! And my resting pulse, according to the EKG, was 63! That’s around 10 bpm less than what it was last year. I knew running was doing all sorts of wonders for me and my body. That just makes me love running even more!
So, my local animal shelter where I adopted my “kitten” (Oliver) from is promoting their dog walker/runner program. If I were to sign up for this program, I would take a 2 hour orientation class and then I would be able to go to the shelter during their normal hours of operation and sign out a dog and take him for a run. And I wouldn’t be restricted to running only on their property. I can sign out the dog and go wherever I want to and run with the dog. How cool is that?
I first found out about this program a couple weeks ago when they had an adoption event at the local food trailer park and I posted a comment on their Facebook post that if I already lived in a house I would come find me a running buddy. Well, they responded that I could sign up as a volunteer dog runner/walker and take dogs out for runs basically whenever I want. This peeked my interest but when I said something about it on my Facebook and I got a couple responses from people, one of which said that when they signed up to do basically the same thing at an Austin shelter, they wouldn’t allow you to leave the property with the dog, so I got discouraged. Well, they posted specifically about this program on their Facebook page the other day and now I’m all excited.
If I do this, then I have a few options on how I could structure my with doggie runs. First, I would do one, maybe two with doggie runs a week. The short run option is to park at the shelter, pick up a dog, and then go for about a 3.5 mile run and then call it a day. (In all honesty, though, I would probably head back out and run another 3 miles after I dropped the dog back off at the shelter.) Another option is to run the approximate 2.75 from my apartment to the shelter, run with the dog for 3.5 miles, then run back home, for a total of 9 miles. Another option is to park at a park about ½ mile away from the shelter, run to the shelter, pick up a dog, run the loop, then run back to the car, for about 4.5-5 miles. Or, since they allow you to take the dog wherever you want to run with it, I could pick up the dog, drive to Town Lake (Ladybird Lake) trail and run a 7 or so mile loop around the lake with the dog and then drop the dog back off. Or, I can do that at just about any other running/hike & bike trail in the Austin area.
I’m excited. This is a really good way for me to get experience running with a dog so that when I do get my own dog, I already know what I’m doing and just have to train the dog to run alongside me. And, it’s awesome for the dogs to get out and run around and not be constantly cooped up in the shelter. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, there will be a dog I run with that I just can’t resist and end up adopting. I doubt it, though, seeing as how I live on the 3rd floor of my apartments and have no yard and sometimes spontaneously stay at work for 16 hours at a time. Not a good idea if the dog can’t let itself out through a doggie door to go potty. So, I will have to refrain from falling in love with any of the pooches I take out for runs.