Thursday, July 28, 2011

Staying Healthy on Vacation

For most of us, vacation is a time to let go - of stress, daily routines, structure, discipline. I definitely view it as this except  in the exercise area. We just returned from a few days away and I'm really proud to say that I exercised everyday. I didn't go crazy, but I committed myself to 20 minutes a day. A few days I did more and, yes, one of those days included a trip to Starbucks as my route, but it was still important for me to keep my commitment.
Some highlights from vacation:

Picking out organic bananas from Whole Foods.
Yes, Whole Foods is a highlight - our closest one is 2 hours away)

My first visit to a Lululemon store (with Jude standing outside )!

Supper @ Hooper's!

Family bike ride on the boardwalk

My motivation for staying healthy!

What a great time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Hellish. Hot. Hills.

That was yesterday's workout. Since I was feeling so good coming off of Monday's race, I decided to keep the momentum going with some hill repeats.
Although hills are killers on the legs and lungs, I've decided to start making hill repeats one of my regular workouts during the week. I think hills help my training so much, as evidenced by the ability to conquer the hills of Monday's race.

Anyway, I decided to run a route that was almost 1 mile in length that had a long, long upgrade that leveled off and then continued up another short hill. I did that 3 times - it almost did me in. But then, I decided that wasn't enough, so I found another route, shorter, but with a much steeper hill (I'm talking like a 10% grade) and circled it 3 times- once running and the other 2 times I combo ran-walked it.

Good workout. Feeling it today!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Race Recap

The short of the long: I blew Goal A out of the water :)
I'm a happy gal.
B-tag time: 27:10
I'm so happy with that time.

I was just a tad nervous this morning, but everything went according to plan and Jeremy and I managed to get the gang ready and out the door in plenty of time.

This is the biggest race (in number of participants) that I run, so arriving too early would've made me even more nervous, so we got there, wandered around, found some of my running friends. I was glad to see all the people who said they were running - seeing all my running buddies helped calm the nerves (yes, I was lying in the previous paragraph about being a 'tad' nervous).

Time to line up - the most nerve-wracking part of the run. Gun went off -I started off slow, but felt OK about that.
It wasn't long (like 2 minutes into the race) until we were on top of the first bridge and back down the other side. I continued to keep what I thought was a slower pace, but another racer mentioned something about a sub 8-minute mile #1, so I knew that I was way ahead of pace - awesome, on one hand, but on the other hand, I knew I couldn't maintain it (and I also knew the upgrades were still on the list of things-to-do). I did slow it down some, especially on the slow/long upgrade. I caught up with a friend and we ran for a while - I think it helped both of us at a critical time of the run (hill/bridge/long stretch). Before I knew it, I was running the last long stretch (which seems to last f-o-r-e-v-e-r)  - this is where most of the spectators watch- fun!
"Look, here comes Momma!"

And, sure enough, here I come......

Quick smile to the guys (once I saw them, I initially wanted to just stop running and go hang with them. Then, shortly after passing them, something came over me and I just got the urge to power ahead and sprinted the last leg of the run - that was awesome, it was the first time I ever got that last minute power).
.....and there I go!

Comin in the home stretch - feeling really good, except a little neaseous (what's up with that?).
Honestly, I had a feeling I could beat last year's time, but I never expected to within 10 seconds of a sub-27:00 finish time, especially with this being my first race post-injury.
The main thing that made the boys happy was the amount of vehicles around - the city firetruck was the best, though!
What's next? Isn't that always the question????????

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Last Day as 3 and Race Goals

 It's July 3rd. Today is Jude's last day of being a 3 year-old - tomorrow is his golden birthday - 4 on the 4th! We'll kick of his special day with an early rise time to head out to my race (poor little guy can't even sleep in on his special day). This is is photo of us @ King's this morning - we went out for breakfast - Jude had scrambled eggs and french fries.....

Tomorrow is the annual 4th of July run in Altoona. This race is kinda significant for me in several ways:
1. It will be my first race post injury. It makes me nervous just writing about it - can't imagine how I'll feel in the morning.
2. This will be the race race that I'm running for the second time. Since I'm still a newbie runner and last year was the first time for racing, I haven't run any race twice .....yet.
3. That brings me to reflecting and trying to figure out my goals for tomorrow:

Goal A: Beat my time of last year - 28:20 + no walk breaks
Goal B: Finish between 28:21 and 29:30+ no more than 2 walk breaks
Goal C: Finish between 29:31 and 30:00+ no more than 2 walk breaks

Based on my recent runs I know Goal C is very do-able. I know that Goal B is very possible. I am hoping that Goal A will happen - I feel good about the race BUT I also know that I haven't had the amount of training that I was hoping for.

These are photos of me after yesterday's run . I was sweating just a tad.
And then my photo op moment passed and I really didn't want any more photos taken, but glad the guy behind the camera kept shooting b/c this will remind me how hard I've been working. Go ahead, laugh a little, or a lot.
Race recap tomorrow! Happy 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July - Bring IT!

I had high hopes of rolling outta bed early this morning for a run (you see where this is going already, right?). BUT (yep, here comes the lousy excuse as to why I slept in and didn't do an early morning run - read on, though, it does get better, at least in my opinion), my calves hurt like heck after an express circuit class yesterday; so I shut the alarm off, rolled over, and decided to 'figure it all out later.'

Later ended up being not too much later as I decided to try a run around 10am-ish. I planned a 3-miler somewhere kinda flat, but ended up running near my house, which is all hills - yeah, that felt great on the aching gastrocks! I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do the 3 miles of hills, but I ended up finishing it in 29:09 - not great, but I felt hugely accomplished - I powered through a few hills, I felt stronger on this run than any other run I've  had since 'rehab,' and it allowed me to set my goals for my upcoming race!
WHAT? A RACE? That's a word I haven't mentioned in quite some time. More about my race goals soon. Back to this run. I sweat like crazy, I felt nauseous at times, I turned beet-red. Sounds like torture, but honestly, it was exactly.what.I.needed.

I've been waiting for that 1 good run that would let me know that I'm getting back on track and I think today may have been it. Now I'm getting excited to race.......