Monday, April 2, 2012

Week workout recap: 3/26-4/1

(Side note: I've fallen off that damn water-drinking wagon... I swear I'll do better and try again soon!).

So in an attempt to get in shape, I'm following a program in the book "Racing Weight: Quick Start Guide"... its a fascinating book that follows a low-carb, high-protein diet not to the extreme of South Beach or Atkins, but enough to follow the given workout plan that is filled with intervals, hill sprints and weight training (all things that have seriously helped me lose weight in the past) along with 1 fat-burning workout on the weekend... basically you get up first thing in the morning, drink a bit of water and go for a long slow run burning fat rather than the carbs you eat to fuel yourself... a little dodgey but it was fine this weekend. I did skip two runs but they have you doing a LOT and I'm easing into it. Here's hoping I only skip 1 (or none!) this week.

Recap of last week's workout:

Monday, March 26 - 40min easy run (3.99miles), 15minutes of strength training (they only have you doing 1-circuit... its fantastically quick and doesn't leave you as sore)

Tuesday, March 27 - 15min warm-up, 4 30-second hill springs with a recovery walk back down, 15min cool-down (3.25miles)

Wednesday, March 28 - 40min easy run (3.58miles), 12minutes of strength training (again, only 1 circuit)

Thursday... I skipped my workout... boo.
Friday... I also skipped. I was running around town celebrating my husband's last day on the job.

Saturday, March 31. I did Friday's workout instead and skipped that day's 40minute easy run. So I did a Cycling Power Interval. Basically 10minute warm-up, 12 10-second sprints on a high gear with 1minute recoveries, and another 10minute cool-down. And it was CRAZY COLD that morning too. Then I also did a 10-minute strength training session.

Sunday, April 1. 60minute fat-burning run (6.32miles).

Running = 17.14miles
Biking = 7.6miles
Strength Training = 37 total minutes

Not bad for my first week... I'm going to try to add a swim into my routine this week and maybe a regular bike session in hopes that a June triathlon could be a souvenir from all this interval training (with my new "Racing Weight"!).

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Ok... restarting the "16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month" attempt. I fell off the bandwagon only THREE DAYS in. What a failure. March 10... day one. Argh.

Also, coming up... I will be completing "5. run 10 5ks :: 8 out of 10 so far (PR 26:12)" next weekend. I realized I had ran the Whitehouse Winterfest 5K a month or so ago and hadn't counted it, so that means Churchill's Half Marathon & 5K will be my 10th 5K ever! Kinda retribution since that was the race last year that I ran the half and logged a 2:00:50. I was pretty miffed that I was only 50 seconds away from "13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours" but I had some problems with a recurring compressed nerve on my right foot and literally took my shoe off about THREE times during that race. So I know its possible and look forward to getting half-marathon ready so I can finally beat that item!

But in any case, this year I'm only doing the 5K so that race will still help me reach another life goal despite last year's disappointment. I can't wait! Doubt I'll PR (I'm guessing 28:00 would be the fastest I could run and that would be only if all stars would be perfectly aligned). Someday I'll get my 26:00 for the 5K though. Maybe if I start drinking more of that damn water. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Water water everywhere

"16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month"

I don't know why this one has alluded me for the five years since I wrote this list but being that its almost 5pm on March the 1st and I've had two cups of coffee and 1 glass of Crystal Light and ZERO water, I'm going to go for this one this month (which means a lot of water to be crammed in tonight).

I'm the worst at drinking water. Whenever I go for my long runs, I always get a headache that night, and I'm pretty positive that its because of my eternal dehydration.

I also have a wicked fast heartbeat at most times, PRIMARILY when I'm working out. Its been as high as 224! (which would mean I'm -4 if you use the whole deduct your age from 220 to find your max heartbeat equation). Usually it hovers between 190 and 200 when I'm running. Insane, right? After a clean Echo Stress Test last fall, everything with my ticker proved fine and the doctor's conclusion was maybe I wasn't drinking enough water. He's right about that.

So operation hydration in full effect starting right now! Excuse me while I fill up my favorite water bottle.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Life List Update: Almost Four Years Later

With my 34th birthday approaching in a few months, it is now almost 5 years since I had my "where is my life going" funk and made the list that originally inspired this blog. Its also been well over a year since I've posted a single thing and although my world have been busy with sick family members, getting married, and running my own business, I still think about this nutty list often and am always inspired to do some shenanigans from it. So let's bring it back old style with an update:

Of the 111 things on my original list (because I'm an over-achiever who can't stop at 100), I've now conquered 35 of them (76 left!). So let's recap.

Stuff in grey italics are DONE!!! Stuff in blue are hopefully within reach in 6 months!


1. run a marathon :: completed first on October 28, 2007 (Marine Corps in DC - 4:42:44). Finished my second at the New York Marathon in 2008 at 4:28:14. Started training for Nashville in 2010 but was sidelined for a stress fracture half way through. Finished Toledo in 2011 at 4:40:something... that was an injury filled race but I was glad to not do my worst. Too bad I don't get extra credit for finishing three now. Who would have though since I was so not a runner when I started this list.
2. complete a triathlon :: completed at Douglas, MA 5 Star Triathlon on September 13, 2008. Also finished Maumee Bay Sprint Triathlon in 2010. Maybe an Olympic is next???
3. buy a bike :: completed on April 24, 2007. And upgraded in 2010 to a road bike. Score.
4. ride a century (100mile) bike ride in honor of my Uncle Ray :: completed with my sister Tessa on August 31, 2007. Rainiest bike ride ever ended up in the longest bike ride ever. We projected 8 hours but with Tropical Storm Daniel, we finished in 11!

5. run 10 5ks :: 8 out of 10 so far (PR 26:12)
6. learn to swim properly :: finished course at Y on 4/29/08, fluent with freestyle and backstroke. Took some refreshers in 2010.
7. surf in New England
8. surf in Hawaii
9. surf in Indonesia
10. go rockclimbing outdoors
11. run in Central Park :: completed on 8/5/07 during NYC Nike Half Marathon
12. run up the stairs of the Chicago Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower)
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:00:50) :: SERIOUSLY!? 50 seconds away. Its taken me 7 half-marathons and I have yet to do this but I'm totally getting closer.
14. take boxing classes
15. do a yoga 30-day challenge
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: why is this one SO hard for me?!?
17. no soda for a full year :: finished on 10/1/08
18. compete at least three seasons of tennis league

19. go skydiving for my 30th birthday :: have to reschedule this... my initial attempt on 4/12/07 got canceled because of weather
20. ride an elephant
21. ride a camel :: completed in July 2009 at Diani Beach in Kenya
22. go skinny dipping :: completed in Fall 2008, not the sexy encounter I was envisioning in my head when I wrote this item but a hilarious memory of a camping trip gone silly
23. gamble in Vegas :: completed on 5/9/07 on a work trip

24. go white-water kayaking and/or sea kayaking
25. scale/belay down a building
26. climb a volcano
27. target practice at a shooting range - this is on the agenda sometime this year with my friend Kristinna
28. play paintball :: finished on 4/13/08 with sisters, Bill, cousin Todd, and Tim... want to do it again!
29. go snowboarding out West :: woo hoo! just accomplished this in January 2012 in Vail!

30. go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
31. swim with sharks
32. swim with dolphins
33. drive a sportscar around a track
34. go dog sledding
35. climb Mt. Kilmanjaro

36. climb Macchu Picchu
37. go on an African safari :: Jen & TC's wedding in July 2009. What an amazing adventure. I still cannot believe it.
38. visit the Pyramids
39. drive across America from coast-to-coast
40. visit Japan :: completed on 5/14/08
42. visit 200 places in the "1001 Places to See Before You Die" :: 51 out of 200 so far but I haven't updated this in a while
43. visit Stockholm
44. visit Kenya :: trip of a lifetime!! completed July 2009
45. visit Montreal
46. visit Morocco
47. ride a mule in the Grand Canyon
48. go on a mission trip
49. spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilderness :: October 2 in New Hampshire with Laura, Braden, and Emily. No running water... no electricity. And the most amazing food and more stars than you could ever ask for.
50. spend New Year's in an exotic location
51. ride in a hot air balloon :: completed on 7/12/08 in Stowe, Vermont (thanks, Steve!)
52. go on a yoga vacation/retreat
53. visit a rainforest :: completed in Belize on 12/24/07
54. fly first class
55. visit India
56. visit all seven continents :: 4 out of 7 so far
58. visit Graceland
59. attend Maine's Lobsterfest
60. attend the Head of the Charles Regatta :: completed on 10/21/07 - thanks Jeff & Sarah!
61. watch the sunset on the West Coast in a romantic setting
62. watch the sunrise on the East Coast in a romantic setting
63. spend an entire weekend on a sailboat
64. take a helicopter tour

65. get CPR certified :: accomplished 3/18/10
66. learn to make paella :: completed on 5/26/07

67. read the Bible
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables - I tried and failed in 2011. I'm feeling like this is the year.
69. learn to roll sushi :: classes on 9/19/08
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
71. bake bread from scratch :: completed 9/29/07 (rosemary bread... mmm)
72. learn to chop food like a pro :: finished cooking chopping class on 6/8/08 given to me from Danielle, Kristen, + Liz! I can't wait!

73. learn another language fluently
74. read/reread all 100 of the "Radcliffe 100 Best Novels" :: only 9 out of 100
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 67 out of 100 so far - 33 more movies? I can do that.
76. learn more about investing - I think I need money to invest first
77. learn woodworking + make a piece of furniture :: finished a lovely teak coffeetable on 1/24/08

78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K :: met with a financial planner. IRA, here I come!
80. write a will :: ryan and I are actually working on this. We just need to wrap it up

81. start a new 111 to-do's once this one is halfway finished (21 more to go before I scrap all the dumb stuff on my list and refresh!)

82. learn at least three songs on my guitar
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
84. commit at least three balloon animals to memory :: almost!
85. knit an entire sweater
86. sell some type of art/product
87. teach a class :: I think I technically did this last year, I lectured 5 different high school art classes on what I did! WOO HOO!
88. be in another play or musical
89. write/illustrate a children's book and submit it to a publisher

90. convince someone else to start a list of life to-do's :: completed on 7/29/07, Lori and Missy
91. adopt a family for thanksgiving or christmas :: adopted two families with the Householder family in 2010 and another one with some friends in 2011

92. volunteer once a week for at least 6 months
93. organize a charity event
94. be someone's mentor
95. donate hair to Locks of Love charity (I realized I'm a triple whammy and this will never be completed... I knew they didn't take bleached hair and I have periodically highlighted my hair maybe once every other year or so... plus they don't prefer curly/wavy hair or blonde hair. DAMN!)

96. give up coffee for at least 3 months :: finished 1/1/08
97. go to bed no later than 11pm every weekday for a month
98. one week without a single curse word - I've probably done this and not known it since I don't have nearly the potty mouth I had when I originally wrote this.
99. go one week without complaining a single time

100. no computer for one whole week :: completed week of 5/14/08 while in Japan, Vancouver, Seattle

101. buy a car
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!
103. own a pair of manolo blahniks or jimmy choos :: completed on 9/16/08 (thanks, you know who you are!)

104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body
105. eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
106. be on a silly TV gameshow (reality TV shows DO NOT count)
107. do a keg stand with both my sisters :: completed on 4/12/08
108. kiss someone in the pouring rain (a la The Notebook... *sigh*) :: completed on July 31, 2009. First weekend reunited with Ryan... stuck in the Ryan trying to get to dinner with my sisters as our cabbie got pulled over by a cop for a wrong turn and we chanced trying for another cab. Umbrella broke. And we were soaking wet. It was frustrating as hell but every moment with him that weekend was still romantic and magical.
109. throw an old-school all-girls pajama party sleepover :: completed on 4/26/08

110. go to the movies once a month for a full year
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy :: got the basket and the guy... now I just gotta make it happen once the weather warms up!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Me 1 :: Snowstorm 0

Mwa ha ha ha. I snuck out for my 4-mile run this morning and turned into my driveway just as the first snowflake fell. My run may have been slow but apparently it was just fast enough.

Tonight I have a hot date with my runner fiancee to see the Hood to Coast movie. One-day only in theatres. Glass City Marathon on April 17 to get motivated for! Marathon number 3! It still shocks me as a struggle to run a mile at times that because of this life list I made a few years ago, the number of miles I've run since (uh... over 1300!).

I still don't think of myself as an athlete... but I will definitely confidently declare that I am one determined little chica.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Get Pumped People

I was just trying to continue to fake my body into feeling better by downloading some new songs from iPhone compliments of the pickle present iTunes gift card I got at Christmas. And I saw an article on fitsugar that names the top songs of 2010 for working out. As I downloaded "Dog Days are Over" by Florence + the Machine, I was reminded of this amazing video... I'm feeling the kids enthusiasm and even more pumped up for a little worky workout.


Tips to Prevent Muscle Soreness

Ok -- launch of my marathon training for 2011, not going so well. I've been hit with some horrible bug literally the day training began Monday. Fever, puking, and so many body aches and weakness, I couldn't make it from my bed to the kitchen for a while there! Bad news. I'm not 100% yet... still a bit nauseous and weak but I'm determined to fake my body into thinking I'm better. Frankly, I think my main struggle right now is re-introducing food that my body is not used to any more after several days of toast, chicken soup and applesauce!

But I'm going to do a light run/walk tonight to get back on the bandwagon that I never even started. As I recall from my last 4 mile run though, I was left sore and achy for literally 4-5 days! Unbelievable for a girl who's used to taking 6 months off and then tackling a 6 miler like its no big deal. I chalked it up to 1. getting older and 2. the cold cold weather (my legs were freezing that entire run... that couldn't have been good). Between that experience the other week and the kick-off of the Biggest Loser last night, I wonder... what do I need to remember to do before/after/during/whenever a run to keep myself from being incapacitated (btw, my new favorite word after being so sick and delusional the other day that I replaced it with "decapitated"). Here's what my research/experience came up with as a nice reminder for all you with your running resolutions:

1. Exercise the day after. I know... that's harder said than done. I know the best remedy for when you're sore from a hardcore run or workout the day before is to get the juices moving, but that doesn't mean I don't just try a few quick stretches and continue to moan about it and lay around as well. But really... a nice swim or bike ride is really going to do more for me than 7 days of whining. Just remember not to do the same exercise that initially made you sore... you want to get the blood pumping without re-injuring those same muscle fibers.

2. Massage. Yes... again, one easier said than done. I have a pretty wonderful fiancee who is also a runner so I find that if I offer him a nice massage after a workout, I'm more than likely to receive one back. But I know I'm in the minority there and I'm eternally grateful to the guy for it. And that obnoxious smelling Tiger Balm (sold at your local drugstore) is the best thing to add on to a nice massage for even more relief. But this is just to combat the pain of soreness... I've also read stories that it just contributes to the breakdown of the torn microscopic muscle tissues. So there's your warning... although I personally won't be turning any offers of massage away no matter what the supposed experts say!

3. Ice bath. Wow... these suggestions seem to get harder and harder, huh? This is 10 minutes of pure torture but it honestly works wonders. I've heard that the worst thing for your muscles is a hot shower/bath. It will feel better at the time but not in the long haul because you're muscles will hurt just as much after that bath is over. An ice bath does the opposite thing... the few times I was nutty enough to try this, I was wearing stilettos the same night/next day. It truly is a miracle worker. Read a book or something to keep your mind off the pain of the cold!

4. Finish off your workout with a good protein shake or even just a glass of chocolate milk. Protein repairs those muscle fibers that are damaged during a workout and if you have it within 30 minutes of your workout, its powers are multiplied. I used to end my runs at Starbucks and treat myself to a Venti Soy Chai. Yes, the calories probably counteracted my workout, but I felt great. ha. Maybe I shoulda stuck with a Tall. Also, while you consume your protein, be sure to stretch too since that also needs to be done within 30 minutes to have the most effectiveness.

5. I say avoid pain relievers for a few reasons... studies show that acetaminophen and ibuprofen may also block muscles from making essential proteins after exercise. I've heard that it negates the workout you just did as well in terms of making yourself any stronger. I also highly say that unless its the day of the race (in which case, you should still only do so sparingly and research correct dosage because it can be dangerous if not taken appropriately), you should avoid taking pain relievers on a run in general. As a girl who breaks easily... tendinitis, stress fractures, all kinds of problems, I like to feel what my body is telling me. Yes, even the pain. Because I don't want to push my body to do more than it should. That being said... if I am SEVERELY sore the next day, its almost better to take a small dosage of pain reliever just so I can get moving but, let it be known, this is just temporary relief and if you don't get moving and try some of the other options above, its just going to fade to the same soreness in a few hours anyhow so its almost not really worth the cons.

6. A new fact for me is that I read more antioxidants like in Vitamin C and E especially will aid in your recover as well. True or not, any excuse to eat healthier sounds like a good one. Grapefruits, melons, berries, lemon juice, and oranges are great sources of vitamin C. Wheat germ oil, vegetable oil, nuts, dark green veggies, and whole grains are great sources of vitamin E. So eat some of that after your next hard workout and let me know if you think it works!

7. Drink water. This is another struggle for me. Why do I hate water so much? I'm pretty much always dehydrated, dang it. I'll make an effort knowing that dehydration exacerbates soreness though!

Readers, please contribute a few more ideas if you know of any!!! I love having your comments.

Enjoy your run!!! See you at the Toledo Glass City Marathon!