I Ran the Race and I Liked It.

Remember the last post, back in December, when I was whining about running in the cold? Well, race day, the temperature was the same (a windy 29 degrees). With a virtual push from my Facebook friends, I made it my business to solider on to the start line. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this race! It was well organized and nostalgic in a good way.

Half marathon race days  are akin to a teenager starting an athletic season. If you played sports back in the day, remember how good it felt to put on that uniform after you been training for several months prior? This particular race gave me the same type of vibe. I think it was the fatigue and stress of training through the holidays

I saw many of my runner friends and acquaintances from the local active community. From what I understand, about 1500 registered for the race and about  500 showed up. I will be running this race again next year. For sure.

My finishing time was  2 hours and 38 minutes. I used the a 90 second/60 second walk- run ratio. This race was very much treated as a long run. Happily, it felt like one too!.

December Thoughts: Brace Yourself.

Back in mid-October, I started back with CrossFit and Half Marathon training. It happened on a whim.  A lot of whimsical stuff happened around that time. One could blame it on the full moon but that’s another story for another time.

Around this time of year, marathons crop up. I suppose the excitement  lead me to more running than usual. I am pairing the CrossFit with running for crosstraining purposes. I have been going to CrossFit on strength days twice a week; For the run, I run once during week and perform a long run each Saturday with a training group.

Kid you not, my running store sponsors a FREE half marathon the first Saturday of January every year. It’s the Red Nose Half Marathon. That’s right, a free half marathon that is about 5 miles away from my house.

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(FREE !! FREE!!!! FREE!!!!!!!)

 

I do have a lingering thought. It’s really cold outside. For example, tomorrow morning’s long run of 11 miles begin with 29 degree weather.  Wouldn’t be cool to celebrate half marathon training by….sleeping in race day? Think about it.

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(It could be fatique talking. Quiet as it’s kept, I really think it’s the dude on the right talking mess.)

 

I’ve been easing away from the vegetarian lifestyle by eating tuna fish a few times a week to up my protein. Those little Bumble Bee Tuna and Crackers are tasty. I only like the Thai flavored ones. That’s the only seafood I like right now. I don’t have any interest in going back to white meat or red meat.

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(It’s delicious!)

I want to get back into meal prepping. Right now seems impossible, but I want to resume doing so after December 16th when I am on Christmas Break from my full time and part time teaching jobs.

 

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(The Bookworm just finished reading Outliers. Here is her favorite quote from the book:)

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

Week 4 of CrossFit: Save Your Excuses.

As I meet more people through CrossFit and running, excuse making (in respect to exercise) tends to correlate with poor planning. You see, as you get to know people and their life story, the common theme is that no one has an easy life that allows them to effortlessly workout (even it appears that they do). I have learned many creative tactics that I use to stay in my workout routine, from people that are from many walks of life. Their number one tactic,  is that of a  local support group. None of the other tactics include making excuses, enabling excuses, or seeing sympathy for excuses.

 

no-excuses

Back to my CrossFit experience, thus far. Well, I am seeing results. Not yet in the mirror, mind you. But my strength stamina is improving already. I think it will be quite a while before I see physical results because I am already in shape. The very idea of going to CrossFit after a work day, changing to workout, and completing the WOD (work out of the day), was exhausting. I was only going two days a week. I’m used to this routine now. This week (considering my stamina improvement), I would like to begin going 3 times a week (3 weekly visits will be my limit).

My goal is to CrossFit 3 times a week and run twice a week. My cardio right now is two runs a week, in addition to CrossFit. If I run out of time, or the weather is bad, I go to the gym. There, I use the elliptical machine or arc trainer for 40 minutes. The only caveat to the gym is that once your body is used to running and CrossFitting, the gym really doesn’t feel like much of a workout.

Rant: Physical Therapy is the Devil

Even though I have a very minor injury, I am aggravated by the amount of time that I am giving to strengthen and stretch my core, hips, and quads, etc to get my knees together.  I saw a lady while I was shopping at Ulta the other day, and she had a race t-shirt that I recognized. I asked her if she was running the next race in the series, and she said no because of a meniscus injury (runners have a weird kindred spirit that enables talk to each other and be total strangers). She is in a similar situation, but has had to completely stop running.  That motivated me to do most of my exercises for today.

I am not a spring chicken, so something like this (Synovitis Plica) was bound to happen. I have reduced running volume, began cross training (spinning), and do my physical therapy exercises. I imagine that some of you are thinking why not stop exercising altogether. Well, that wasn’t prescribed to me. Also, think about it from this point: If your beloved car isn’t working, you do what it takes to get it fixed, right? You do this because you have made such an investment in it. You don’t say, forget it! I’ll never drive that car again; I’ll just ride a mountain bike everywhere. Well, that’s how I feel about my physical fitness.

If you exercise, here is some free advice: Cross train or WILL get injured. Then you will have to take time, and money (even if is just the gas and co-pay) to get is taken care of. And it’s not like you go and they take care of everything while you are there; THEY GIVE YOU HOMEWORK!  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn’t regard homework like this because I am an educator; but it is what it is.  

How to date a triathlete/marathon runner/endurance junkie.

Endurance athletes and people that work out more than the average person tend to be a little misunderstood. Maybe this blogger can help clear any confusion/frustrations. Enjoy.

Just Another Vegan Endurance Junkie

1. Don’t.

Just kidding. In fact, endurance junkies are some of the most quality people around. All of those hours spent alone with ourselves in the meditative realm of Zone 2 really forces us to think about things like who we are, what we believe in, the meaning of life, what we’re going to eat immediately when we get home, and other critical themes.

But it’s not as simple as run, rinse, repeat. Being a true endurance junkie is a lifestyle. It’s a state of mind. For many of us, training makes us better people every day. It serves us in ways other people or experiences have not or cannot. And so we find ourselves caught up in a committed relationship, legs intertwined with the goddess of multisport.

As I once (perhaps mistakenly) told a past boyfriend: “You may be my boyfriend, but triathlon is my husband.”

Needless to say…

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I’m Not About That Life.

Sometimes I am not about that life, because the idea seems confusing, unusual (FOR ME), or overwhelming at time.

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I meant to post last week, but it was uneventful, and I was tired. This week in fitness however, was just as lame, but I can recall some of my findings:

Tuesday: The plan was to run 6 miles. I came home and took a 30 nap. Right when it was time to get up, it began to rain really hard. I stayed in bed. I have a lot of policies when it comes to working out. Want to hear one? Here it goes: I don’t mind if it starts raining while I am in route to run, or if I am already running. I won’t, however, run if starts raining really hard before I leave the house. I am not about that life.

Wednesday: I ran 4 miles. Running by myself in epic humidity ensures that I will run extra slow, despite having a Garmin and an IPod.

Thursday: I ran 6 miles. Much better (about an 11:20 pace), but still lower than I would like (10:30 or faster make me happy). I am also experimenting with running without music. The rationale is that one can use breathing as a reference for steady pacing, thus conserving valuable energy. A downloaded playlist tends to make me speed up and slow down.

Saturday: I ran 8.5 miles. Most of my running peeps are running part of their scheduled run in the morning, and are running a popular race later that day. Apparently it is popular to do a long run and complete the rest of the run later that day in the race. Policy: I don’t run multiple times in a day. I am not about that life.

Sunday: The plan was to run 4-6 miles. The day went by too fast and I still wasn’t prepared for the work week. I ran 2 miles instead. Policy: I do what I can when it comes to leisure activities like running. When it comes to prioritizing, I am about that life

Also, when I am tired or have very little down time (which is quite often for me and perhaps for you the reader), I pretty much get my servings through smoothies, microwavable veggies and brown rice, and whatever side options there at the lunch line at work. Watered down Gatorade seems pretty tasty when I am in this state as well. That brings me to another policy:  I don’t hang out with food judgy types. I am not about that life, because I am for certain that you will kill my vibe.

Happy running!  Quotes like that are annoying. Have a good week.

Too hot for my own good!

WAH!!!!!!

This morning I ran 8 miles. It was so hot outside that I actually cursed global warming (AGAIN)! This is after using proper protocol for running in the Southeast during the middle of July. It includes, but not limited to the following:

·       Supportive running group.
·       Having the proper prior running experience.
·       Running early.
·       Proper hydrating and fueling 48 hours before performance.
·       Carrying energy gel.
·       Carrying a hydration belt.
·       Slowing down.

·       Blah, blah, blah…..

Yep, it’s official. I am going to bring my training mileage down (way down), throw in some cross training, and restart my training from the beginning. I will do half marathons in the fall, and maybe train during the winter for an early spring marathon.

At any rate, I am still glad I ran this morning!