Monday, January 30, 2012

New personal distance

Yesterday for my long run I ran 4.5 miles!! Okay, I know that's not really that far compared to most runners, but it was the farthest I have EVER run. I kept my pace slower at around 11 minutes per mile. It was a beautiful day too.  The sun was out and it was about 55 degrees. It was a little windy so I dressed in my warm running gear...long compression pants, long sleeve tech shirt, fleece vest and my new fleece toboggan (with pony tail cut out). I guess I should call it a beanie like all the cool kids ;)

Anyways, after the first mile I realized I was dressed a little too warm. But once I was out on the trails there was nothing I could do about that. When I got home my son said "what is that white stuff on your face"? I had sweat so much I had the nice salty face, especially right above my lip! Oh that's great considering the trails were full of people out since it was such a nice day. I did go by one person I knew and said hello in passing. Hopefully I was running so fast he didn't notice, lol!

So after my lazy weekend last week, I did much better sticking to the training schedule. Besides my Friday rest day, the only day I missed working out was on Wednesday night. We went ice skating with the running club, GRC. I have never been ice skating before and I was not very good at it either! I didn't fall but that was because I either had my hubby's hand or I was hugging the wall. I think I made it around the rink 2 times, assisted by Michael of course. It was a good time though.

On Saturday we went to the track at my son's school to do some interval runs. I did an 8 x 400 run. Alternating one fast lap that is faster than race pace and a recovery lap. I did well to keep the fast lap around 9 minutes per mile (which is my goal one day). The recovery lap was a little bit of walking (right after the fast lap) and a slow jog. Michael ran the fast laps with me to help me keep my pace. It really helped having him there to push me. I may do the interval run again next Saturday instead of the tempo run.

Last week I mentioned the possibility of doing the Oak Island 10k on April 21st. Well it looks like Michael will be out of town that weekend so I will stick to doing the 10k in Winston on April 14th. But first comes the Beer Run. I need to find a cute St. Patrick's Day shirt to wear. One more day in January to run and I'm interested to see my total miles for the month. I plan to add a sidebar widget to keep my total monthly miles. I also plan to do an update on my 2012 goals list to see how well (or bad) I did in January. Anything that helps me stay accountable!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lazy weekend

Week two of 10k training went well until the weekend got here. I had stuck to the plan this week expect I missed my body pump class on Tuesday because of a meeting at work. How dare work interfere with my exercise schedule! It does happen from time to time but I am still glad I am able to workout on my lunch hour most days. Saturday was supposed be interval runs on the track. But it was rainy all day and I didn't want to go to the Y to run on the dreadmill. And I was lacking in motivation. My son spent the weekend at his grandmother's house which gave me and Michael a chance to go out for dinner and drinks on Friday night. Which also meant we stayed up too late on Friday night and slept in late on Saturday morning. I did some cleaning Saturday then vegged out on the coach for a few hours watching TV. I hardly ever do this! I got lured into watching several episodes of Mob Wives. This show is crazy! I'm actually watching it right now too ;)

Later that day we went out to do some shopping. Michael needed some new running shoes so we went to Dick's Sporting Goods store. Of course I had to check out the clearance racks. I found a fleece toboggan with a pony tail cut out for less than five bucks. We also found Michael a nice toboggan too, but without the pony tail cut out of course. Saturday night we stayed at home playing games on the PS3 and had a few beers. And again stayed up too late which meant sleeping in late Sunday morning. Sunday was supposed to be my long run. But again I lacked motivation because it was so cold! I think the temperature was about 32 degrees all day and it just looked like it was going to snow.

So it was a completely run free and lazy weekend. I'm not perfect. And honestly I don't usually have weekends like that. But maybe that's okay. We all need a break every once in a while. It's kinda nice to just veg out. Although I do have some guilt about not running at all. So instead of cross training tomorrow, I think I will run. Maybe take some of the guilt away. The weather this week is going to be in the low 60's so I don't have to worry about the cold but it may rain some. Hopefully I can run outside this week instead of going to the Y.

I also decided to add another goal to my list...Run a half-marathon! OK first I know I have to run an 8k then a 10k but I made up my mind that I will run a half-marathon this year. And I already picked one out. Hershey half-marathon at Hershey Park PA. It's in October so plenty of time to train. Perfect time to train for one too - in the heat of summer. Okay that may not be the best timing but oh well. My buddy Jeff lives in York PA and he is going to do it too. I'm pretty sure Michael will race too. I'm excited especially about the medal. It's a big silver Hershey kiss!

I also may run a different 10k race in April. There is one at the beach in Oak Island that we are thinking about doing. Well Michael wants to run the 5k in hopes of winning it overall. I can't imagine ever running as fast as him. But I would do the 10k. It sounds like a nice scenic race and would be relatively flat. There is one big bridge that looks a bit difficult. Another than that, it seems like a great race. We have a friend that has a condo at a beach nearby Oak Island so we are going to see if we could use it for that weekend.  I guess that's really what will be the deciding factor.

Well after my lazy relaxing weekend, I am ready to work it out with some good runs this week!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

GOAL!!!

I finally did it! I met my WW goal weight on Thursday's weigh in!!! I was checking my weight every morning and thankfully it stayed down. I was actually 0.2 pounds under my goal weight. That earned me gold star key charm YAY! Now I go into 6 weeks of maintenance where I increase my daily points value and find the balance of where I don't lose or gain weight. During this time I still weigh in weekly and it can go up or down. At the end of 6 weeks, I need to be within 2 pounds of my goal weight to become a lifetime member. Secretly, I still want to lose a few more pounds (5 maybe?) just to have a cushion for lifetime. Once you are a lifetime member, you have to weigh in at least once a month and be within 2 pounds of your goal weight. Lifetime means you don't have to pay for meetings and you get free etools online. The free etools just started in December 2011 which I think is great. I have always done my tracking online and I'm so glad WW added this as a benefit to lifetime members.

My gold star charm!
 So it looks like I am just 6 weeks away from meeting one of my 2012 goals! I hope I can do it. I am definitely going to keep tracking my food and sticking to my 10k training plan. I increased my daily points value by 3 points which is lower than what WW recommended.  My leader said it was fine to adjust it because that was up to me.  But I think I should still be able to lose those last few pounds I want to. I am actually very happy with my weight now, but I just want those extra cushion pounds for the lifetime status.

I did remember to take my daily multi-vitamin 5 days last week! With the help of a little sticky note on my monitor at work. I'm actually out of vitamins now and need to get some more tomorrow. I forgot last Tuesday I had to have a dental procedure done which meant I didn't feel like running Tuesday night. Actually it wasn't until around 8:00 when the numbness wore off! I also had to skip Thursday's cross training because we went to a banquet for my husband. It was for the Greensboro Race Series where Michael came in 3rd in his age group. The GRS is a series of 10 races where runners receive points based on where they finish in a race. You had to run 5 races to qualify and 7 races scored you an extra t-shirt. Michael is a fast runner and he ended up doing 7 of the 10 races. They received a long sleeved shirt which listed all the GRS Champions names on the back. Pretty cool! He also got a gift certificate to a local sports store. Which he so nicely let me use today for some new running shoes!! The gift certificate could only be used for Brooks products and he is strictly an Asics shoe guy. I've never tried Brooks shoes but they come with a 30 day return policy which I thought was unusual but nice. I wear neutral cushioning and ended up buying the Brooks Ghost 4 shoes. The salesman said Brooks Adrenaline is the most popular model but it's a stability shoe. He also said the Asics GT-2160 is another big seller which again is a stability shoe (and what Michael wears). Sounds like there are a lot of stability runners out there.

New running shoes in pink of course!
Other than those two nights last week I did stick to my training plan. I had already done a 3 mile run last Sunday so maybe that could make up for missing Tuesday's run.  I didn't like missing my spin class on Thursday but celebrating my hubby's accomplishment was worth it. The tempo run on Saturday didn't turn out to be an actual tempo run. From what I understand, a tempo run is supposed to be a comfortably hard run where you run at a faster pace than you normally do. At least in the middle of the run. You should run easier the first 5-10 minutes and the last 5-10 minutes. Well, I asked Michael to run with me since I usually run faster with him. Of course, my run is a jog for him! After the first mile I started to get a cramp and had to take of few walk breaks which never happens! So my second mile that was supposed to be faster was horrible! The cramp got better for the third mile and we did a few sprints which made up for that crappy second mile. The 35 minute tempo run ended up being a 3 mile run around 33 minutes.

The training plan for this week is just like last week's expect instead of the tempo run I will be doing intervals. I think I will find these easier than the tempo run. I may go to the Y and do them on the treadmill. That way I won't have to worry about finding a 1/4 mile flat area in the neighborhood where people won't think I'm crazy running back and forth! There is a track at my son's middle school and one at the high school nearby but I'm not sure I can use those. Maybe I will find out. I don't think I have any schedule conflicts this week either so that's good.

Today on my 4 mile run I started thinking I can't believe I am out here running 4 miles. I can remember when I couldn't even run 4 minutes! Anything is possible if you truly believe in yourself.  Okay I know I sound like sappy commercial!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

10K Training Begins

Officially the 10K training begins tomorrow.  Over the past week I have put together a training plan that will last 14 weeks.  There are not many 10K races but I found one on April 14 in Winston-Salem which is about 30 minutes away from where I live.  Unless a closer race comes up, I am going to train for this race.  The 8K race (5 mile Beer Run) will be on March 17 St. Patrick's Day! That should be pretty cool since there is plenty of beer after the race.

I devised my own training plan based on 3 other plans I found online: a beginner 10K, intermediate 10K and half-marathon training plan.  I felt like I was more advanced already for the beginner 10K plan while the intermediate 10K plan was too advanced for me at this point. 

Here is the first week of my plan:

Monday - Cross train 45 minutes and core exercises
Tuesday - Run 3 miles and strength training
Wednesday - Run 3 miles and stretch
Thursday - Cross train 45 minutes and core exercises
Friday - REST!
Saturday - 35 minute tempo run
Sunday - Run 4 miles

WOW this is going to be an exhausting first week! I was able to keep my training plan on schedule with my other classes I take.  Tuesday is body pump (strength training), Wednesday is pilates (stretch) and Thursday is spin class (cross train). And to stick to one of my goals this year, I added core exercises twice a week.  Saturday will be speedwork alternating tempo runs and interval runs.  This will be interesting since I've never really done a tempo run before.  Sunday will be long runs starting at 4 miles the first 2 weeks then increasing by a 1/2 mile for 2 weeks.  Eventually it will increase to a 7 mile run the week before the 10K race.  But I'm not going to focus on that now!  Tuesday runs eventually increase to 4 miles and the Wednesday runs alternate between 3, 3.5 and 4 miles. 

I think I did a pretty good job with the plan.  Of course I can always adjust it as needed.  I just hope I can stay injury free.  One small set back can take weeks (or months) to get back on track.  My 3 mile run time today was 32:51.  Even though I only had one 5K race under 30 minutes, it seems like it will take forever to run that time again.  I had planned on running 4 miles today but after 2.5 miles, I just didn't have it in me.  I started to get a stitch (which usually never happens) and then I just felt like all my energy was zapped.  Of course, I really didn't eat much for breakfast and only had a banana for lunch.  I usually run in the evenings so I'm going to have to work on eating properly for these weekend runs that are in the afternoon.

I've also been keeping up with my runs on the Garmin Connect website.  It's pretty easy to use.  When I use my Garmin watch I just connect it to the PC and upload my runs.  Even when I don't use my watch, like on the treadmill, I can enter my information in manually.  But I am having a hard time with my one goal "take a daily multi-vitamin".  It seems so easy but I only remembered to take it one day last week! Have to work on that one.  My weight was actually up 0.6 pounds on my WW weigh-in last Thursday. Booo! This morning it was down quite a bit on my scales.  But I'm always less on my scales and less at the beginning of the week. Hopefully I can keep it down by Thursday's weigh-in enough to make goal!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Goals

It's the beginning of a new year and a new set of goals.  2011 was a great year.  I was sooo close to making my WW goal weight by year end - only 0.6 pounds away.  Even though I didn't officially make it by the end of the year, I still lost 40 pounds in 2011!!  I'm also much more active than I have ever been in my life. I actually enjoy running, body pump classes, pilates, and now spinning!  

I've neglected blogging over the past few weeks.  Mainly because after the Gobbler race on Thanksgiving, my left leg (IT band?) was bothering me and I had to take a break from running.  I did stay active and even went to the Y to work out on the elliptical machine a couple of times.  I'm not a big fan of the elliptical.  I also started a spinning class which I really like.  Although I wasn't able to run in the Reindeer Romp race, I have been able to start running again the past two weeks.  I'm a bit slower but at least I've been out there running!  I even did a "Running of the Lights" run (twice actually).  The GRC and some of my running buddies met in the evening in a neighborhood that has lots of tree ball lights.  It was pretty cool.  I also did my first 4 mile run on Christmas Eve. 

I thought I would start my "2012 Goals" list off with 12 goals.  Instead of big general type goals, I focused on specific measurable goals.  So here goes...
  1. Keep a record of all my runs using Runkeeper or Garmin website.  At the end of 2012 I want to be able to know the total number of miles I ran.
  2. Start 10k training program January 2.
  3. Run my first 8k race in March (Beer Run!).
  4. Post to my blog (ARG) weekly.
  5. Run 500 miles in 2012.
  6. Finish a 5k race in 27 minutes (9 minute pace).
  7. Do additional core exercises twice a week.
  8. Increase weights in body pump class.
  9. Make Lifetime member for WW.
  10. Take daily multi-vitamin.
  11. Eat more vegetables.
  12. Read a book once a month.
I think this is a pretty good start for goals even though most focus on fitness/health.  There are some other things I have to figure out like do I want to sit for the CPA exam (again) or maybe I want to pursue a MHA degree.  Not sure about those yet.  And of course I don't have to limit myself to just 12 goals.  I'll add more as the year goes on. 

At the beginning of December I bought a Garmin watch that me and my husband love.  It's a Forerunner 205 which is an older model but we got it used for 50 bucks!  It was in perfect condition.  My husband has been using Runkeeper and I started using it after we got the Garmin.  But he also checked out the Garmin website and said I may want to use that website instead.  I need to check it out and figure out which site I will use to log my runs (goal #1).  Other blogs I follow, which are so much better than mine, post their running stats on their sidebar.  I may see if I can figure that out too.  Maybe in addition to posting weekly (goal #4) I can make some improvements to my blog.  It's pretty plain but that is because I don't know how to do all the fancy cool stuff on here.  Oh well, one step at a time!