Monday, May 18, 2015

Sugar. Also, about those relay races I already paid to run...

May 9th : 5 miles easy. 10+ min pace.
May 10th: JM Ripped in 30, level 2
(New week)
May 11th: JM Ripped in 30, level 1
May 12th: Rest day. Quick yoga and planks before work. 
May 13th: 3 miles, TM.
May 14th: Rest.
May 15th: 6.5 miles, outside.
May 16th: JM Ripped in 30, level 2
May 17th: 3 Miles easy w D, 10 strength

Weekly totals:

Run: 3
Strength: 2
Rest: 2 

Remember this? Workout recaps? 

*hooo*

There. I just blew some dust off my keyboard. I am feeling pretty good from a week of mindful eating and trying to stay active. 

I have also cut waaaay back on the sugar. 

Sigh. Sugar. Like a bad ex-boyfriend. Keeps coming around tempting you when you know nothing good will come out of it. 

Actually, I ended up marrying the only real boyfriend I've ever had so what do I know.

Sorry. Let's focus. 

I love sugar, remember? We were talking about sugar. I know a lot about sugar.

Now, I don't mean I'm giving up all sugar because a lot of whole food have natural sugars, with which I am ok. I eat at least one apple daily, which can have up to 20g sugar. I am fiiine with that.  I am talking about the processed crap that I can't seem to turn down. 

Cake? Who said cake? Chocolate? Let me get my fork. 




Just like with cutting meat out of my diet, cutting out sugar and processed junk ultimately helps me make better choices through the day. 

Let's face it, my body is that of a 38 yr old, NOT a 28 yr old. I am much more sensitive and ... erm, delicate than I used to be and instead of fighting it, I need to learn to adapt. 

So, more consistent exercise and less cookies. 

The good thing is, once I get going, I truly do enjoy workout out and getting in a good sweat. I read somewhere that once you make it a part of your life, you don't try to fit it in, you just do it. I also love making run dates with friends, which is basically like multitasking because you're working up a sweat and catching up on life!

Sure, I am married, work full time, commute, have 3 growing kids and a busy schedule, but I can make this part of my day easily. No excuses, right?

Right.

Besides, the 1st of my two relay races this summer is less than a few weeks ago.
AHHHHH....



Friday, May 8, 2015

They say you never regret a run, and they're so, so right.

I have this habit.

Every few weeks I will blog about something mundane, something that's gotten me somewhat motivated again to start running. Then, I run a little. And then I run not at all. I take a blog break. I throw tiny pity parties, and I don't even offer hors d'oeuvres. Yes, I had to google how to spell that word. What kind of party is that, anyways. At least serve some cheap wine.

I decide yet again to write another post about how *this* will be the time I get back on the horse. I guess the motivation isn't working so well if I have to keep writing the same thing over and over again, right?

Good god, woman. Get over yourself already!

I ran one day this week, after work and it was on the treadmill. When I first started running, I would run most days after work, but it was just too stressful to juggle running with making dinner, finishing homework and having family time. So I eventually turned into a morning runner, sometimes even getting up before 4am to get in all the miles. On Wednesday, I squeezed in 4 miles before dinner, and wow was it totally worth it.  The self talk leading up to those 4 miles was pretty ridiculous. I basically spent 20 minutes convincing myself that I would come home and run before doing anything else. My legs felt a little heavy, but eventually I got into the groove and finished 4 miles in just over 36 minutes, watching some House of Cards to pass the time. I'm only on season one, but it's already getting pretty interesting.

Francis, you slept with Zoe! And Claire was ok with it! Confusing! Claire totally should have slept with creepy artist guy. Must keep watching! 

I felt amazing after those miles, nice and sweaty! I meant to run at least one more time before the weekend, but the rest of the week kind of got away from me. I had plans to get outside today since the weather was glorious, but instead opted to take a nap instead of trying to shimmy in a run between errands and dinner.

I napped for 2 glorious hours.

Totally worth it.

My alarm is set for tomorrow morning, to run with my friend, D. I'm excited - it will be sunny and crisp, my favorite. A run is the best way to start the weekend.

Best way to start a day, in fact.

Let's do thissss.

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all of you out there!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Days

I'm here.

I can't even remember the last time I posted! However, I am pretty certain I have run, at the most, about 10 miles a week, if that. Instead of blogging, I've been enjoying the escapades of other running, home decor, and food blogs. Vicarious living, gotta dig it.

However, seeing people cross the finish line at Boston, reading about how other full time working moms can wake up at 4am to get in a run, drooling over the time consuming and creative home inspirations of oh so talented women across the country really has got me thinking, These people are busy, have children, husbands, families, hobbies, responsibilities, some way more than me.

Why do I let myself make excuses?

Sure, I'm busy with home life, working full time, commuting 2 hrs a day, having active kids and a social life, but..

Who isn't?

Beth is one of my favorite bloggers, because she truly does keep it real. Her latest most on not having motivation really resonated with me, because.. well.

I don't have any.

What I have are excuses.

At this time last year, I was running the Tacoma City Half Marathon. It was a tough race and I barely made it through, half trained, discouraged and heavier than I would have liked to be. Last year at the end of the race, I vowed to redeem myself in 2015.

The race was this morning, and I didn't run it.

After the Seattle half last December, I let myself take a break. I was tired of waking up at 4am, weary and sore all of the time. I just wanted to take back the joy of running so I just cut back. Instead, I cut it out. I started to make excuses, i.e. I'm tired, bloated, busy, sore, hungry, tired, tired.., and then I just got used to life without running or any form of exercise.

I told myself I'd start in January.. then February, OH and then March. April? I could train for a half in one month. I've done four, what is one more, right? Honestly, I just got complacent and lazy. I convinced myself I wasn't made to run.

Today is May 3rd, and for this month I have run 6 miles. Yesterday I ran 3 afternoon miles in the sunshine. It is the first time in a very long time that I have run outside solo. I have been squeezing in some nice, very slow runs with my neighbor friend, but it's been mainly to catch up on our week and have some girl time. I rarely even break a sweat, but I still love our time together. Yesterday, as I was running into the wind, sunshine beating down on my face and my scarily pale legs, I felt, for the first time in a long time, happy to be moving, to be running, music blaring in my ears and my heart pumping out of my chest. I admit, I struggled and had to stop a couple of times, mainly because I am sick and unable to breathe out of my nose (Excuse? maybe...) but I finished feeling achy, sweaty and satisfied. My splits aren't anything to be bragging about, but I felt happy to just be out there, legs moving and arms pumping.

Mile 1 -  9:13
Mile 2 - 9:18
Mile 3: 9:22
Mile .12: - 7.22

Avg Pace: 9:13

This morning I struggled through 3 miles on the treadmill, and again had to stop a few times with my feet on the side rails so I could take a deep breathe, or cough out some gunk. But I got to the 3 mile mark, and then finished with a short HIIT workout on YouTube. I'm trying to slowly get back in the game here.



Friday, March 6, 2015

Changes

Remember when this was a training blog? Hard to blog when you've not started any form of training. I just signed up for a 10k next weekend w a bunch of girlfriends. So that should be fun, right? I should probably also at least run a couple times before then... right?

Yeah, sure. Right.

So. Today is my last day at my old job. Come Monday, I'll walk to a different corporate building in my same company, and start a completely new job with all new people. I have been in the same division for 13 years this April.

It's basically the end of an era. 

Change is scary, and most people spend their lives in avoidance. Predictability is safe, and it is what people crave and thrive off of. It is the mantra in which we parent our young children, and we adults are not that far off from the same life criteria. We are naturally creatures of habit. 

Five days a week, I wake up at the same time every morning, go through my tried and true morning routine - shower, coffee, hair, makeup, clothes, grab my lunch, drive to the train station, commute to work. True scheduling clockwork. I don't even have to think about it anymore. I just... go.

To be honest, I've been ready to move on for quite some time. When I re-entered the work force almost five years ago, I had no idea I would end up staying there so long.  I went back to work because my husband was laid off, and as luck would have it, was hired right back into my old, comfy familiar job. Since then, the people and the job have evolved, and so have I. I definitely think I have overstayed my welcome, lounging in this comfy sofa of predictability and control. Hmm, where is that remote.

So, the opportunity to move on has presented itself to me, and so I take a leap of faith, open that new door, and I choose to walk in. Monday morning, I'll get up off that couch, smooth out the wrinkles, take a deep breath, and start new. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

And now it is 2015

The eerie silence on this blog is fitting, no?

The eerie silence of my lack of running mirrors that of this blog.

*crickets*

I am quite certain I have not even run 30 miles total in the last 2.5 months. I have not even run longer than 6 miles since the race. Following the race, I was on a pretty good high. I had met my soft time goal and managed to work my way through a successful training cycle. Then, the holidays came. We all got very ill. I was sick for almost a month. Running seemed to fall to the waaay, wayside. I stopped reading running blogs regularly because I felt myself unable to relate to the obsession of early morning runs, treadmill paces, weekly long runs and races all over the country. I couldn't relate to the run love that everyone was exuding. I wasn't feeling it in anymore.

I kind of stopped caring.

Four years of running, obsessing and training, and all in one month I was ready to give it all up.

You guys, 2014 was a tough year. I am not sure I know enough words to be able to describe in full how challenged we were, with family drama, illness, stress beyond measure. I gained some weight outside of the scope of the normal few pounds here and there. Sure, I could get my pants on, but the fit wasn't quite the same. I even managed to tear the seams of one of my favorite pairs of skinny jeans, which used to fit perfectly and even kind of loosely at one point. I recall pulling them on and feeling like a plump asian sausage. And yet, I threw on a long sweater and called it a day. I am sure that day I ended up unbuttoning the pants after a meal, because those jeans had no more room to give. Kind of like me. I ran intermittently. I bombed my 3rd half marathon. I shuffled through a 54 mile team Rainer to Ruston relay, pulled by the other 5 strong team members, including my casual runner husband. After the relay, I ended up taking a long summer break. I didn't even miss running.

I could not get myself together! I felt fat, out of shape, discouraged and plain gross.

As the weather started to cool in September, it felt like the drama of 2014 was starting to subside. J and I signed up for the Seattle half in December, determined to conquer the course after it had gotten the better of me last year. My training began slowly, and I ramped up the miles as the weather cooled. I even managed to convince myself to wake up early to jump on the treadmill a couple times a week. I focused mainly on speed and hills. I started using my fuel for long runs, and I even had a couple of race run practices around my neighborhood. I was starting to feel alive again with running.

The race came and went, and I had a great time. I wore shorts in 25 degree weather, and yes I got quite a few "she's crazy" looks from those bundled up in puffy vests and long pants. I met my time goal of 2 hrs. I felt strong and happy.

Then the rest of December/January happened, and now here I am.

I am sitting here drinking coffee, up early on a paid holiday off from work, while the rest of the house is fast asleep. I am about to go meet my friend for 7 morning miles. I am actually pretty excited. I haven't felt this way in so long.

I have since lost the stress weight of 2014, and am feeling relatively back to normal. I still wear those torn jeans but the seams are stretching much less than they used to, and yes I still need to wear long tops to cover the evidence. But they fit like normal again. Now, all I need now to is to fit running back into this puzzle piece here, and I'll start to feel a little more like myself.

I hope.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Half marathon #4 - check!

I 11/24: Rest
11/25: 4 miles, TM
11/26: Rest
11/27: 6 miles, TM. Happy Turkey Day!
11/28: Rest
11/29: Rest
11/30: Race Day!

Total weekly mileage: 23.1
Total run days: 3
Total rest days: 4 

Race day looms cold and clear, a balmy 25 degrees at the start. I contemplate my outfit about one zillion times, and finally decide on my roga shorts, and an old Nike half zip. I figure my tall marathon socks, gloves and hat would protect the extremities, leaving only my hearty thighs exposed to the elements. 

After a restless night sleep, I reluctantly roll out of bed at 5:20, shower to wake up, drink coffee, and get dressed. I eat two oatmeal breakfast cookies in the car, and I have my two GU packets tucked safely in my fuel belt, along with my wireless earphones and my phone.

We end up leaving the house later than planned because someone likes to take his annoying sweet time preparing all of his shit five minutes before we are supposed to leave the house. I hold in my impatient rage, which everyone who knows me knows how difficult this is for me. 

Pre race outfit. 




Note horrible sweatpants from last year.

Also to note, before this picture was taken I discovered some unflushed "lincoln logs" in the toilet, and spent some of my morning cleaning the bowl. 
Also, should have closed the bathroom door.

My life is filled with glamour. 

After zipping up I-5, and making a quick pit stop at Starbucks to use the bathroom, we have just enough time to screech into a parking spot, rip off our warm clothes (old sweatshirt and fat boy sweats for me) and jog to the start as our warm up. We make it the crowds just as the first wave of runners are starting. Unfortunately this leaves us on the sides until we could merge to the starting corrals. 

To my dismay, I see the 2:40 pacer up ahead of us, and know we have a lot of weaving/catching up to do to get into a good position to make up some time/distance. 

So, without further adieu, let's do this.

Split it out, yeah?

Mile 1 - 9:30
Ok, warming up nicely. Trying my way not to waste energy dodging people but really, you are already walking? Also, so many people wearing puffy coats! You're gonna regret that in about 10 minutes.

Mile 2 - 9:31
Downhill wheeeee. Doing my best to pass slower horizontal groups of walkers and shufflers. Trying my best not to burn out so I make sure to let my body cruise down 5th into the InternationalDistrict 

Mile 3 -  9:31
Annoying. Same thing happened last year. Everyone makes their way onto the bridge and decide to make a human wall of walkers. Tempted to yell "on your left" but also do not want anyone to have a reason to push me over the side of said bridge. Do my best to shuffle through human barricades and find an opening. It is not easy. 

Also, this is where you start to spot discarded hats, sweatshirts and gloves. See, I told you you'd regret those 7 extra layers. 

I am trying my best to stay positive. Goal of today is to stay in the moment, run my own race, and think positive. I can do this! It's my attempt at Zen.

Omg move, people! Now! On. Your. Left.

Working on the zen, ok?

Mile 4 - 12:17
Uh. So this is the I- 90 tunnel. First water stop. Also when I am supposed to take my first GU. And obviously it is when my Garmin loses signal for the next mile. I was hauling ass down the tunnel and I know 12:17 is not correct. Manage to free myself from the clusters of people. 
Finally. 

Mile 5 - 5:38
So.. My guess is that my pace for miles 4,5 are a combined avg because no, I am not Kara Goucher or Lauren Fleshman. 

Mile 6 - 8:58
Brings us onto Lake Washington Blvd. Pass groups of supports braving the cold to cheer us on. Make sure to go high five the cute kids standing on the side with ther hands held out.  Continue to sip my salted watermelon GU until about mile 5.5. Having a hard time maintaining a consistent pace. Either going 8:40 or 9:30. Not ideal.

Mile 7 - 9:08
Continue to motor on down Lake Washington Blvd. Take a few seconds to admire the absolutely perfect and gorgeously sunny, cold morning. The sun is shining low over the water, the blue sky is dotted with clouds and the air is crisp. For a second I almost forget how hard this is. 

Mile 8 - 9:52 
I take back what I just said earlier. You know... The business about this being hard. 

This hill shit is hard! 

However, I am determined to run the entire way up the monster this year. Last year, this was the point of the run that just crushed me.

This year? 

I crushed it.

Kind of... 

My pace is not swift up this hill but I am proud of myself for running up the entire thing, despite movement that really mimicks running in place. My reward at the top of the hill is the water stop, at which point I allow myself to walk while drinking the icy water. 

Mile 9 - 9:30
Aaand down into the Arboretum we go! 
I whip out my last trusty Espresso Love GU and sip on it for the next mile or so.

Looking back at this point, I think I was probably too conservative and afraid to push myself here. This was my mile of fear, doubt, on the cusp of disappointment. I think maybe I was letting the fatigue from the hill dominate me.

Then, I remember the last few weeks, the successful long runs, the solid hill training, learning to trusting my body. I remember finding my joy of running again.

And then I somehow manage to snap out it.

Mile 10 - 9:16
Back in the zone. Much of mile 10 is weaving up through tree lined switch backs, which makes it hard to run the tangents. This may explain why my Garmin said I ran 13.28 miles total.  We'd get a small, brief reprieve of flat path and then ahead of me I would spot groups of runners heading up, up, up.  I find myself passing groups of runners as I surge up the inclines. My legs are tired but I feel a burst of energy as we make our way out of the Arboretum towards mile 11. 

Mile 11 - 9:03
With less than 30 minutes to make 2hrs, I know i need to start hauling ass. I am tempted to take a Krispy Kreme donut at the beginning of this mile (sugaaaar) but refrain. I can eat 10 donuts after I'm done, right? I find a target, a young bouncy girl who is effortlessly making her way up Interlaken Blvd. I see the top of the bridge that descends into downtown, where we would enter mile 12 and then the homestretch 13 and the point 1. I reach my target, and then leave her spritely ass in the dust.

Mile 12 - 8:28
I haul ass up that hill and screech downhill to make the right turn onto Republican. At this point I pass the 2:05 pace group. Realize I may have less time than I first thought.

And so I go.

Mile 13 - 7:51
I have never, ever, even once run a mile so fast in my life. At this point I realize I have been running for 1 hour 52 minutes and know I am cutting it close. I run hard and fast, my arms pumping intentionally and my mind willing my now frozen legs to propel me forward as fast as my might allows.

We finally make the left turn down Mercer, and then back up towards the finish line.

And then I almost lose it. 

I try to sprint up the steep incline but my legs suddenly become leaden, and I am barely able to run. I contemplate, for a split second, walking. I can't go anymore. My body has given it all I have. 

My attempt was admirable, I think to myself. 

And then I see a sign that gives me life, and makes me laugh: 

"Hurry up and finish, we're freezing". 

These spectators are waiting for someone, someone they love and of whom they are proud. Someone who is so close to the remarkable feat of running  and completing a half marathon on this insanely frigid Seattle day.

Someone just like me. 

I see the left turn into the stadium, and know I have only one minute until the clock strikes 2. 

I can do this. 

I.can.do.this.

I will my entire body to just run. 

Run, Forest!

RUN!

Mile 14 (.1) - 8:38 
I sprint onto the icy turf and see the finish line ahead. I screech past runners, pumping my arms, desperate to finish. 

I cross the finish line. 

Stop my Garmin.

Look down.

Time - 2:00

I did it. 





***

(Official time is 2:00, 9:14 pace. 13.1 miles. Garmin time is 2:00, 9:06 pace, 13.28 miles)




Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who doesn't love a good taper

11/17: Rest
11/18: Rest
11/19: 6 miles, TM
11/20: Rest
11/21: Rest
11/22: 10 miles, TM
11/23; 4 miles outside w D.

Total weekly mileage: 20
Total run days: 3 
Total rest days: 4

I'm writing this 4 days before the race, and a day before "food coma day", otherwise known to Americans as Thanksgiving. 

Decided to stop the theme of procrastination, and start the taper a week early. Last week was quite uneventful. One early morning treadmill run, one long treadmill run, and one soggy and cold easy run w a friend. I managed to squeeze out 20 miles, and I was fine with that. I was feeling some major fatigue as usual last week, as we had most evenings filled with kid activities. 

Excuses, excuses...

Anyways, I ran 4 yesterday morning,  My plan for the rest of this week is to take it easy, get in one more easy run, make a turkey (Blech - who else is not looking forward to reaching into the turkey's asshole? Anyone?), and chill out. Our Xmas tree and wreath have already been set up, and decorating starts tonight. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house, per usual, so there will be lots of food, wine, and perhaps some karaoke?

Next time I update, hopefully I will have an excellent race recap for you. The weather is supposed to clear up by Sunday, and conditions expected to be clear and cold. 

My favorite!

See y'all later!