Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love/Hate the Treadmill

When I started training for my first half marathon, I made peace with the treadmill.  Given Texas weather is stifling for half the year, I figured making peace was essential.  I'm not willing to get up before dawn to get a run in, especially when the heat is still very prevalent.  There's no point, and I am not the morning person I used to be.

All that changed this month when I moved close to a nature preserve that has running and biking trails.  I've done all but 3 runs outside, and now the thought of having to use the treadmill fills me with dread.  I'm loving being outside as much as I can, and one Thursday run, this flew by me after I'd gotten back to my car:

I certainly don't get that at the gym.

My spring training will allow me to continue outside because the Eugene Half is at the end of April, before summer starts to creep in.  After that, I will be inside, but I'm not training for any Fall races so I can essentially be on active rest this summer.  I know I'll have to use the treadmill at times, but I can take it easy.  I'll still park myself in front of SportsCenter because I will need a distraction, no matter what I'm doing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Running Skirt Review

Big thanks to Heather at Running with Sass since it was her blog that first introduced me to RunningSkirts.  I'd been considering getting a running skirt for some time, but never took the plunge.  I took the plunge last week and ordered their red skirt with white polka dots.  It's part of their "running skirts" line, so it's the model that has mesh briefs, not compression shorts.

I decided the best way to test it out was to wear it during my 5-mile run on Sunday.  I've worn athletic skirts in the past since I played lacrosse for 8 years, but those skirts normally had to be held up with safety pins.  This skirt fits perfectly!  I asked them on Facebook what a medium in running shorts translates to, and they said size 3.  I love the fit and the length, and I do wear my own compression shorts under the skirt.

The material is quite light, lighter than the shorts I wear.  It did not ride up during my run, and I almost forgot I was wearing it.  It didn't get in the way, but one thing I haven't tested yet are the pockets.  I'll test those next week when I do 6 miles and will need energy chews.  The pockets themselves are on the hips, and are bigger than the pockets in my Brooks shorts.  One pocket almost holds my iPhone.

I have been converted.  Some of my running shorts are old and need to be phased out, and this will give me an excuse to do so.


Lastly, big congrats to everyone who ran the Princess half this past weekend.  I've seen some pictures as they've been posted, but I can't wait to read and hear the details.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Random Sunday Musings 2/24

Yoga yoga yoga!  I've not been good since my last half marathon at keeping up with yoga, and I felt it Thursday.  I did PM yoga at home and some muscles on my left side were very tight.  I've got to get back into yoga.  I think it really helped during my last training cycle but I didn't do it at all during my R&R.

Source: iTunes

I've also been adding songs to the two major playlists I run to.  They're not new songs, they're just songs I haven't worked out to yet, one of which is Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger."  This song was voted as the song to play at mile 7 during the Princess half last year, and was in the final 4 for voting this year, but did not make the cut.

I finally ordered a running skirt and it arrived yesterday.  I'll test it out on my 5-mile run today and look out for my review Tuesday.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Increasing Appetite

Now that I'm training again, I've found my appetite has started to increase.  There are days I just can't seem to get enough to eat.  Not that I haven't encountered this before.  I had a hollow leg in high school and college when I was constantly training for sports.  I thought appetite was suppose to decrease a little once I got a desk job.  It's hard to stay healthy at times, plus I'm a grazer.  I will eat whatever is in the vicinity, so I try to keep "healthy" snacks with me at work.

I eat a Kashi bar in the morning and a Clif bar in the afternoon, and I try to plan my meals out for the week.  I really don't eat veggies, and I battled my mom over this for years until I think she just gave up.  I was an absolutely stubborn kid.  I love fruit, but veggies are a different story.  Now that I plan my own meals, I can add in fruit and leave out the veggies :)

Living in Texas means I can get great produce.  Between Texas grapefruits and Georgia peaches (when in season), it doesn't get much better.  I always buy bananas since my muscles scream for them, and then throw in apples, grapes, strawberries, raspberries and pineapple, I've got some great choices.  And I try to make meals on the weekend that will give me leftovers during the week.  That makes things easier.

Summers are certainly tough when planning meals.  It's usually 100 degrees at 5:30 in the afternoon, and the last thing I want to do is make an extensive meal.  I've compiled a good list of recipes from the Food Network that don't take long to make, and between those and the prepped food section at the grocery store, I can do well nutrition wise.


I also wanted to update y'all on my training since I've gone with a training plan this time around.  On Tuesday I had my best run to date since college.  I don't know where that's been, but maybe I've been waiting to get off the treadmill and run outside.  I did 3.52 miles in 40 minutes.

And to all Princess runners this weekend: Have fun stormin' the castle!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One Year Ago

One year ago this week I was a complete bundle of nerves.  I was steamroller towards the Princess half marathon weekend to participate in my very first half marathon.  Eek!  It turned out great, and Disney's got a way of hooking runners in with all their great races and bling.

I've seen a picture of the bling this year and it's pretty sweet.  This year is the 5th anniversary of the Princess, and Disney turns out new medal designs for each race's anniversary years.  I have to say, I'm pretty envious.  If you're on Facebook, check out the picture on the runDisney page.

What was going through my mind this time last year?  Well, I was pretty much stalking to stay up to date with the forecast.  Aside from the summers, seasons can be unpredictable in the south, and Florida is no exception.  I kept everything to a carry-on, but I did pack enough street clothes in case the weather did change.  I was stubborn however with my race attire and did not want to divert from my choice.  I packed a tank top and a short-sleeve shirt as back up, and figured I could wear a trash bag in the corrals.

One thing I'm interested in hearing about this year is what bib color Merida is.  Merida was added to the Disney Princess ensemble, and I heard she would have a bib choice for this year's race.  Anybody who participates want to let me know?  I think it should be red for her flaming red hair, but I can't predict what Disney will chose.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

For Ted

My workouts this weekend have been dedicated to a family friend.  He suffered a major heart attack Monday and we learned Friday he is here in body but not in spirit.  He was a member of the WISH group, and it's so strange to think I won't see him next January.  My 4 miles Saturday and my biking and weight lifting today are for Ted.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Me and My Bright Ideas

Yesterday I decided to change things up and not go to the gym to bike.  I decided to do level 2 of the Jillian Michaels ab workout, and these workouts kick my behind.  I thought I'd get more intensity than just biking, and boy I was right.  There really is no modification to follow anymore, and many of the workouts use a low-weight dumbbell.  I don't have those, so I improvised.  After I did level 1, I was really sore.  I'm sore now.  These exercises upped the ante, and I'm feeling it this morning.

I ordered two sparkly Sweaty Bands last week, and they came Monday.  These are the 3/8" Viva Diva bands in green and gold.  I tested each one out Tuesday and yesterday and they're fabulous, I love them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Some Days the Bear Eats You

The title for today's entry is taken from the fabulous (and sadly now defunct) Adventurers Club from Disney's Pleasure Island.  It was a themed comedy club that acted as the headquarters for brave and daring adventurers, who would bring back mementos and tales of their adventures.  There were scripted shows but also improv in the lobby/bar area.  Their motto was "Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you, but always dress for the hunt."  All the pictures of the AC are courtesy of my friend Judy.

Certainly there are days in which the bear eats me.  Last week was a string of those days, and yet I still had to get training in.  Thursday was especially trying, and instead of running like my training plan called for, I opted for the elliptical.  I try to do something on those days, but it can be difficult when I feel chewed up, and all I want to do is go home.  Since working out is my stress release, it's best that I get the gym, instead of just sitting at home, and stewing.  Sometimes I do go home, but I'll put in a pilates DVD so I am still doing something beneficial.  I don't do yoga since my snorting and black clouds would not be good for yoga breathing.

I find if I have days like this, it will be consecutive days, and I just need to ride it out.  Sometimes they will happen on a rest day, and on those days I turn up the volume on my car stereo and try to calm down on my drive home.  What do you do when you lack energy but have to get a workout in?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Random Sunday Musings 2/10

I'm loving this Runkeeper app.  I did a run outside on Saturday, and it was the first workout I saved.  It not only tracked the miles and average pace, it tracked my pace for each of my intervals.  I will confess I was surprised about the speed of some of my intervals because I certainly didn't feel I was going that fast.  I was dealing with a strong wind, a day after it was in the high 60s.  I also found out I need new running capris, but that means I can go shopping :)

Saturday was also the Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k.  I would've loved to have done this race, but I just couldn't swing it this year.  Next year, right?  What's better than running and then celebrating with hot chocolate and food dunked in chocolate?  Since I want to do the WDW half marathon, I could use this 5k as a way to get back to running after some time off.  That's my current plan anyway.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

#MilesOfShame Followthrough

I did my miles of shame on Tuesday.  It perfectly fit in with my training schedule since training for Eugene started the same day.  The time in the picture is for the cool down.  I did not do 3.13 miles in 4 minutes 30 seconds.

The intervals were 4.2 and 4.7.  I want to push myself with this training to get faster, both on the treadmill and outside.  I did 2 miles on Sunday, outside, in 24:18, which is considerably faster than what I've done on the treadmill.  Now that I know what I can do, it's time to get outside the comfort zone.  And it's time to get running sunglasses.  It was so so bright outside Sunday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Post-Super Bowl Recovery

Well, I've got 3 miles of shame to run.  For a while there I was grateful I had capped the miles at 10, but thankfully the Niners made it a game after the blackout.  Anyone have a favorite commercial?  Mine's the Clydesdale commercial, as it always is.  I will admit, I wasn't paying much attention to the game at the party I was at, so I had to catch this one online.

I will say, I'm giving up on the Super Bowl.  It just doesn't hold my attention, and the commercials were so much better when I was middle school and high school.  I'll stick with the Champions League final, which this year is being held at Wembley in London.

I was in Milan the night of the 2007 Champions League final, and there were some festivities.

Everything is about the game itself, no corporate festivities and no inflated commercials.  I just haven't found much interest in the Super Bowl the last couple of years.  Bring on May for the UCL final.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Random Sunday Musings 2/3

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  Anyone have big plans for the game?  As I mentioned, I've got running mileage on the line today, so go Niners!

Training for my next half marathon kicks off tomorrow!  I do have to flip the first two days since I have an eye doctor's appointment tomorrow.  I'll come home and do a Jillian Michaels' workout, and then I'll run Tuesday.  I want to work out today, and if the weather's nice after lunch, I'll head over to the nature preserve and check out the running trails.  At least I hope the weather's nice.  Thanks to Punxutawney Phil, we should expect an early spring.  Anyone catch one of the showings of Groundhog Day on AMC yesterday?  I caught parts of the showings while I was doing stuff around the home.

A friend and I went to see Argo last night, and it's a really good movie.  For anyone not watching the award shows, Argo has surprised at both the Golden Globes and the SAG awards.  It should be interesting to see what happens at the Oscars, though it was snubbed in the directing category.