Monthly Archives: September 2010

Options

I still haven’t made up my mind about the marathon, but I’ve got a few options:

– Train for a few more weeks and decide whether I’ll do the race then

– Drop down to a half marathon or 10K

– Don’t go

The last one is the worst, but I’m considering a combination of the first two — keep training, keep my long runs up as much as possible and run the half, but that’s provided EnviroSports will allow me to do that. I hope they will, but we’ll see.

The advantages to doing a half marathon definitely outweigh the advantages of just not going: lower risk of injury, more time to get in better shape for Big Sur and the knowledge that I didn’t quit training. It’s all up in the air at this point, but I’m hoping for some clarity soon.

On an unrelated topic, I am no longer allowed to buy pickles.  I simply cannot be trusted with them.

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Ouchies

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been the best or most consistent about marathon training. I’ll drop a day or two and then it becomes a week (sometimes more). I got sick last month and was derailed for a WHILE. On Sunday, I did a ten-mile run and now my shins really don’t like me. At first, I was positive it was just initial soreness, but attempting to run last night, I made it about a mile before they became pretty uncomfortable.

My apprehension is running so much that I end up injuring myself, giving myself shinsplints or worse. I set out to go run a trail today, only to get to the park as it was closing. No run. I have every intention of getting up early in the morning to try to run before work. I’ve never been successful at these kinds of plans, but as September closes and I creep closer to my October 30 marathon, I’m more and more committed to crossing the finish line.

The challenge and difficulty with running is that in many ways, it’s very inconsistent. I’ve never been good about keeping a pace, especially if I’m taking walk breaks — taking walk breaks meaning I can recover, but it also means I’m more likely to push the tempo when I am running.

I really, really, REALLY want to do this race, but part of me is wondering if maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to skip the October race and focus on getting in shape for Big Sur training.

I dunno . . . It’s just a thought, but I’m a little discouraged with so little time left and the fact that I have only scratched at the surface of long runs.  I haven’t decided what to do, but for now I’m trying to remain optimistic and believe in myself. (Plus, my training is giving me some sexy legs — not ready to relinquish that just yet.)

Thoughts? I’m open to all opinions — I don’t want to get hurt, but I’m trying to decide if it’s wiser to push myself for 7 more weeks or if I should call it a wash (the race doesn’t even have a finisher’s medal – a little ridiculous, if you ask me . . . if I’m going to run 26.2 miles, you should give me some bling, please).

Seriously, I’d love some advice here . . .

I’m posting this video because I love it and it makes me happy — it’s definitely on my favorite running playlist.

Running on vacation

 

We will attempt a run in Fresno. No promises.

 

After a week that had “Could have been MUCH better” written all over it, I’m really looking for a long run this weekend . . . Except I’m going to be out of town. Normally, I love the trails at Rancho San Antonio Park, but this weekend, I’ll be tracking down some trails in the magical land of Fresno.

I’m not entirely looking forward to it, though — Fresno is hot, which means I’d have to get up pretty early (or wait until I’m home late tomorrow night), and and it’s a birthday celebration weekend, so there will likely be some drinking.

I’m making a  preemptive strike though and bringing my own water bottle which I intend to keep filled and drink from all weekend. If I don’t make it to a long run today or tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll be fine to wait until Monday, but I’m trying not to get derailed on training anymore.

Healthy eating will be interesting — aren’t vacations a test in resolve, anyway? I’m keeping Rachel’s rules in mind as I head out.

Stronger

 

Yeah, my arms don't look like that, but maybe someday . . .

 

The challenge and the unique experience of running is something that changes with every workout. Every time I lace up my shoes, I have an idea in mind of what I’ll accomplish. Somedays, I par the course, others I rock it solid and then there are always days when my ambitions supersede my abilities for that given day.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I set out to run 7 miles at Rancho San Antonio Park, an open space preserve with miles and miles of running/hiking trails but two miles in, my goose was cooked. I’m certain it was my not-quite-as-hydrated-as-I-could-be status, not to mention the surprising 90-degree+ heat (my weather app predicted 82 – lies!), but it just wasn’t gonna happen.

Two miles in, I was exhausted beyond exhausted, I was sooooooooo hot (not in the good way), and starting to feel a bit lightheaded. Big red flag. I trotted back to my car, guzzled some of the originally-cold-but-now-almost-lukewarm water in a bottle I’d left on the passenger’s seat, and resolutely drove myself back to my apartment.

Some food and water later, I decided I should try to keep my mileage goal. I laced up my road shoes and headed out for a five-mile road run.  MUCH. BETTER. In the time that I’d left the park, eaten dinner, and let it digest enough to head out to road run, the temperature had dropped over 10 degrees and I was feeling so much better. I tried to keep up a steady pace, but found myself pushing a bit harder eventually hitting a 9:23 pace for a short while — WHOA.

For my 12:30/mile-average self, that was huge, but taking that break to cool down, refuel and try again made so much difference. I finished 4.5 miles in just under an hour with very few walk breaks and I realized: I’m getting stronger.

My body is responding to this training. The longer I wait to take a walk break, the fewer I find I need. For a girl who’s only slightly scared of the big 26.2-mile run on October 30, this is confidence inspiring. I’m stronger — mentally and physically. Though my goal may only be to finish without dying or not be kicked off the course, I’m so much more confident that I’ll actually get there.

What is your biggest challenge to working out? Is it mental or physical?

To Garmin?

What do you think?

I’m thinking of getting a Garmin. I’ve been hearing some buzz all over the blogosphere about how much people like these, how great they are, but I’d like some honest feedback from users . . .

I’m a bit tech-challenged in some areas. I can learn, but there’s a lot that confuses me (still). Is this easy to use?

One of the reasons I’m considering throwing in the towel for my iMapMyRun app on my iPhone is because my iPhone is soooooooooo bulky. I realize that a wristwatch-type device is much smaller, but is this lightweight?

Something I hate about the iPhone app is that sometimes the GPS schitzes out and it won’t upload the runs consistently. Is the data consistent?

Just a few remaining questions . . .
There are a lot of modelswhich do you use? Why do you like it?
Do you have any complaints? What are they?

Really, any information would be helpful . . . This seems like a great device to invest in, but I’m hesitant to invest in a pretty pricey piece of hardware if I’ll be challenged to use it or if it won’t be as helpful as I hope it will be. (In all honesty though, I’m leaning pretty heavily in the ‘yes’ direction – I just have to make sure I’m covering my bases.)

So gimme some feedback! (Please?)

The Rock-out Workout

Alex and me - pre-rock-out workout. Note how intact my hair is now. Not so much afterwards.

I am by no means a doctor, dietician, nutritionist or physical trainer. I am not an expert in anything, except perhaps in how to ruin your sleep cycle or which flip flops will suit your day-to-day activities best, but I would be remiss to not pass on this bit of wisdom . . .

Last night, I learned that you can work out while you rock out.

Now, I’m not talking about a new playlist for your iPod (though we all know how helpful those are) — I’m talking about using an actual concert in place of your trip to the gym. Are you confused? Don’t be — I’ll embellish.

I’m calling it the Rock-Out Workout and I’ve devised a few strategy points to remember if you’d like to try it out yourself.

1. Pick music you can really MOVE to.
No disrespect to Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones or Jack Johnson (all of whom I love and have seen in concert), but they’re not exactly the type of music I go for when I want to shake my booty — and I do like to shake my booty no matter how ridiculous I look. This weekend’s concert choice was Green Day . . . and they . . . were . . . FANTASTIC.

Love them, love them, love them.

2. Stand up and dance.
The best part of the concert last night was the energy. We had lawn seats at the Shoreline Amphitheatre so it was cool and became progressively more crowded — for a rock concert, being able to feed off of the intense energy of the performers and the crowd is a feeling like no other. I was pretty tired from a long run earlier that day, but as soon as my man took the stage, I was rockin’ pretty hard. Bouncing up and down (great for the calves on that incline, by the way), waving my arms and dancing for three hours.

3. Fuel yourself appropriately (or not).
Nutritional fact: a jumbo-sized bag of cotton candy has less than 200 calories in it. I picked up one of the $6 wonders and split it with Alex — fast, easy, sugary fuel. I may have contributed to the slow rotting of my intestines, but sugar rush + rock concert = pretty darn awesome. Beer helps too — but don’t mix beer and cotton candy. That’s not bonafide nutritional advice, that’s really more to spare your tastebuds. (The flavors don’t exactly mesh well.) Plus, you’ll only eat a third of the bag anyway — one bite for me, two for him . . . one bite for me, two for him . . .

Our seats were on the lawn - not amazing, but it was still a great show.

4. Go with someone who’ll enjoy it just as much as you will.
I LOVE Green Day. Alex LOVES Green Day. And of course, Alex and I love each other. Basically, it was one big love fest (okay, maybe that’s my would-be contact high talking). I am a big believer that concerts are experiences and you should experience them well. Go with someone who will have as much fun as you will — you’ll keep rockin’ hard, keep dancing all night and bounce up and down like schoolgirls (okay, that was me). My point is: you’ll have more longterm energy for your rock-out workout if you’re with someone who’ll be equally energized that can help motivate you.

5. Have FUN!
Concerts are great fun — I love going to as many as I can reasonably afford. Really, there’s something very special about seeing someone whose music you really love performing live. Even though I’m surrounded by thousands of people, some part of me feels like they’re playing just for me. Dorky, I know, but that’s exactly how I experience it.

~~~~~~~~~

The Rock-Out Workout definitely works your calves and gives you some fun, quality cardio. I really wore myself out working against gravity on the incline of the amphitheatre lawn, so much so that I really thought hard about giving Alex my keys so he could drive us home (it was midnight and I was exhausted — I would have found a way to snooze on the 15-minute drive).

Like I said, I’m not an expert, a trainer, or a dietician, but this seemed like a repeat-worthy practice for future concerts.

Concert tickets? $40
Beer and cotton candy? $30
Rockin’ out with your boyfriend/best-friend-of-almost-a-decade to a band you’ve both loved for almost 15 years? PRICELESS.


What is your favorite Green Day song? Do you have any fun concert stories?