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!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Years Resolutions and such...

Ok... I know there are a lot of folks out there that shun the whole New Year's resolution thing. And, yes, it is overhyped... but obviously as a girl with a strong life-list goal, I buy into the hype. I make resolution on my birthday in April as well, for Pete's sake. So I have a few... and I'm publishing so I stick to 'em.

1. Get in better shape/run a marathon: God bless the two-fer's. I already feel a little unaccomplished from my 2010 running resume. I only started running in 2006 and I'm very proud to have 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons and two triathlons under my sometimes very-snug fitting belt. But last year... I attempted the Nashville marathon only to be sidelined by a stress fracture. Then I tried the Dayton Air Force half marathon and despite being FULLY ready and fit for it, I collapsed for no explainable reason at mile 7.

So I need redemption people... and the fact that I have a wedding in August where I wanna be a supa hot bride is not enough motivation! I need a race besides... its the competitiveness (with myself really) that makes me workout. I hate running... no lie. But I love that feeling of accomplishment.

So I signed up with a local running store (Dave's Running) to train for the full Glass City marathon in April. Although the training is more runs per week... they're much smaller sessions than I'm used to. And this will be the first time I incorporate strength training which I think will be essential to losing weight/improving my time/remaining stress-fracture free. I'm pretty excited to train... for now. ;)

2. In my business, I need to start self-marketing myself. Finally update my super outdated design portfolio website. Start pitching myself to businesses (especially local ones). Making nice business cards and joining some small business groups locally. I'm actually pretty good at pitching myself to new clients... so I should actually start doing it even though I was lucky enough to be successful alone last year based on word-of-mouth from other clients.

3. I also want to become a more integrated part of the Toledo/Whitehouse area. Obviously after buying a house last year and with plans to marry my wonderful fiancee this one, I ain't going nowhere folks. And although I have a few wonderful friends here, I need to network more and meet some more great people. I think the running group, and the business groups will help... but I'd also like to start volunteering as well somewhere. Its a lot harder here to find the opportunities as it was in NYC and Boston, but I'm a pretty determined lady, you know.

That's it for now... but its an evolution. I'm sure there are a few items on my life list that I'll knock out too. Let's pick a few to push for now, shall we? How about these:
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:08:59)
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month
27. target practice at a shooting range
67. read the Bible (I started this in 2010 but it has dropped off a bit)
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 67 out of 100 so far... I think I can knock off the last 33 this year esp now that we can now order Netflix on demand with our Blu-Ray
78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K/IRA
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
86. sell some type of art/product
104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy