Sunday, April 22, 2012

That Time I Ran 9 Miles

Not going to lie, this training for a half marathon thing is HARD. Really hard. And adding more miles each week is crazy, but I'm doing it!

After kind of being a slacker last weekend (even though I did get my 8 miles in on Monday), I was ready to rock my 9 miler this weekend. But I was in VT again this weekend. And last time I was in VT I needed to run 5 miles, which I did, but my mom took me on a loop through the woods. Although I enjoy runs in the woods, it's not working so great for my training, and I knew I needed to find some open road. Luckily, my mom has started running (more on that later) and she knew of a bike path we could hit on Saturday morning.

We were expecting rain and a cloudy day, so we set out around 11am to run...4 miles for my mom, 9 for me. Well the clouds lasted about 15 minutes, and instead of rain we got bright, hot, sunshine. My mom and I went 2 miles together, then she turned around to head back to the car and I kept going. It was a great run...not too flat, but not terribly hilly, but HOLY HECK it got so damn hot.

Luckily my mom found me just after mile 5 to give me some water and a bandaid (my new sneakers keep giving me a nasty blister on the arch of my right foot). I made it those first 5 miles at a pretty good clip, but miles 6-9 were kind of ugly. The scenery was gorgeous, but I was just overheated.

Had I known it wasn't going to be cloudy, I wouldn't have chosen to run right in the middle of the day. Or I would have worn some sunscreen...I did lose my t-shirt when I met my mom, but that mean I was running in a black tank top and black capris, so I was most definitely still TOO hot. My mom ended up meeting me three times...around mile 5, 6.5, and 8.5. It worked out really well, but I should have brought some fuel...I think that would have helped kick me through the last three miles. Even though I slowed down/had to walk at the end, I'm really proud of that run. I made it through 9 miles! NINE! :)

After my run, all I wanted to do was jump in a giant pool of water. Unfortunately, I didn't have one available. So I flopped myself down on the couch and let me mom make me lunch (don't worry...she didn't mind...and my gram helped her). I refueled with an appropriate amount of protein.

I was pretty much worthless the rest of the day, but it was nice to just chill with my mom and my gram (I was up there to see my brother in a play on Friday night...he was SO great and the play was hilarious). We ran some errands (I bought some sports beans and some more shot blocs and contemplated a running fanny pack, but the bff advised me against it...I still might end up getting one though), and went out to dinner. I had two glasses of wine and was pretty much fast asleep on the couch by 10pm. A wild Saturday night for sure.

Today I lazed around and played Draw Something on my gram's iPad (after I moved myself from the couch to the bed last night I didn't sleep well, so I was pretty slow moving this morning). I did, however, do something very exciting...I signed up for another triathlon! It's actually the same tri I did last year, but this year is more exciting because my mom signed up too!! That's why she's started running (she's already an avid biker and swimmer) and I'm so proud of her. After my tri last summer, she started thinking about doing one herself. I finally convinced her to sign up with me, and we're on the books for September 9th! I'm hoping to crush my time from last year (I have a much better attitude about training this year, I think), especially because now I know JUST how much hill work I need to get in to rock that course. Tri training won't start until post-half marathon, but it's fun to know it's on the schedule for the fall.

This week has been a good one. I've done really well with my workouts, and I've tracked my meals everyday. I'm not using a scale these days (that's a whole other post in and of itself) but I feel well and I am feeling great about my runs, so I think something is working, even if it's just mental! This week is rainy and busy, so it will take a little more work to fit all my workouts in (I have 10 miles on the plan for this weekend, but I'm going to NY for work, so I'm not sure how it's going to work out), but I'll make it work. The reality of running 13.1 miles in just 5 weeks (from today to be exact) has made me realize just how serious I have to be.

And just because it's fun to say Quechee (pronounced quwee-chee), here's a picture of the Quechee gorge. My gram and I stopped to have lunch (she's not so keen on the whole eating salad while driving thing, even though I've mastered it just fine) and decided we might as well see what the gorge actually looked like since we drive by it every time we go to my mom's.

It was gorgeous! hahahahaha pun totally intended. Don't worry, I know I'm hilarious.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This is why I'm Not a Food Blogger

So I've not done a very good job taking pictures of my meals for the blog. I'm not really sure why I thought that would be a good idea, since there's a reason why this blog is NOT actually a food blog/food diary. I'm just not that good at remembering things like that. I've taken a couple pictures over the last two days...but most of my meals are very similar, so I think it would get boring after a while anyway...

Tuesday's breakfast was the same as Monday's...with the addition of the piece of pizza I didn't finish Monday night.

Tuesday night we went to the Red Sox game, and watched them get brutally slayed by the Texas Rangers. I love being in Fenway, and I love baseball no matter who is playing, but that game was ROUGH. It was like the home run run after another after another. Ouch. It was fun, none the less, and I had a hot dog, a pretzel, some peanuts, and two beers. Healthy, I know. I assume you all know what these things look like, so instead, here's Fenway.

Wednesday breakfast. English muffin with pb and banana and choc milk. Today look the same, minus the milk.

Lunch and snacks yesterday and today are identical too. Salad with hummus and corn. Pop chips. String cheese. A tiny piece of chocolate. Apple. Orange. Nuts. Very exciting.

So I've decided that, in an effort to not bore you, and because I cannot remember for the life of me, I will NOT actually be posting my eats over the next six weeks. FEAR NOT (because obviously you were concerned)! I am still tracking them, and I'll be keeping on top of that for sure. I got myself a handy dandy notebook (10 points to anyone who caught the TV reference there), and I've been jotting down what I eat and my workouts. I know tracking is key, so I'm sticking to this part for sure.

So anyway...that's all the news that's fit to print for now. Thrilling, I know. I have a 5 miler scheduled for tonight, and stuffed peppers are on the menu! I also have to pack to go to VT for the weekend...I love packing and traveling, but it eventually means I have to unpack, and I hate unpacking. A lot. So much that I might just leave everything in the bag until I pack for NY next weekend...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just like Eminem, I Rock the 8 Mile

I'm not sure I'd say I rocked it, but I did it! I put off my long run this week until today (I was wayyyyy too hungover on Saturday to so it, and I tried on Sunday, but failed miserably).

So tonight, I set out, determined to do the 8 miles. The hubs started with me, to get me motivated and out the door. He stayed with me for just over a mile and half before heading home with a promise of meeting me later. I did alright for the first three miles, but not wonderful. My pace has really slowed down this week (more thoughts on this later) and I wasn't overly impressed, but I just kept going.

At mile 4, I almost stopped. Because I fell. Yup, I took a huge digger. Luckily, I had the brains to fall onto the grass next to the paved path instead of right onto the pavement, but it still hurt. Badly. And it was slightly embarrassing. I picked myself up and had to take a couple minutes to pull it together. I was hurting already and the idea of only being half done was so sad to me. But I wanted the bragging rights. So I kept moving. It's just a little scrape anyway.

my elbow is in much worse shape, but taking a picture of one's own elbow takes more skill than I have.
The next four miles were less awesome than the first. I just kept trucking along, knowing that at mile 7 Johnny would be meeting me and I'd be almost done. But then my leg (the one I fell on) started hurting a lot. And a blister definitely started forming on my right foot. And I was thirsty. So mile 6-8 were anything but pretty, but IT GOT DONE. My goal for now is not about time, it's about distance, and I went the damn 8 miles. And I'm SO glad it's over.

Thoughts on my Pace

My pace today was SLOW. Like way slower than I've been in a long time. And part of it is that I've not had the best week of running leading up to today, but I got to thinking about it while I was running (not sure I can call it that at the pace I had lol). I've basically stopped taking my vitamins. Why? I dunno. Laziness I guess? Being rushed in the morning? I have to take them post-breakfast or they'll totally mess up my stomach, and I've been skipping out. Most people might think a multi-vitamin is no bigggie, and skipping it probably isn't an issue, but I also take an iron supplement. I have low iron, and the supplement helps keep my levels up and normal. Without it, I prone to feel the symptoms of feeling tried and worn down...and quite possibly running slower than usual. It's not a solid theory, but I'm getting right back onto the vitamin wagon tomorrow morning...just in case it helps. 

Today's Eats

As I said yesterday, I'm going to post my meals during the week. I failed at taking a picture of my lunch (I'm still getting used to this idea, obviously) but it will be the same tomorrow, so even though I'll tell you all about it here, you can see a picture then.

Breakfast was Greek yogurt with peanut butter, a banana, and Trader Joe's high fiber cereal.

Lunch (the forgotten child) was a ham sandwich with light Swiss cheese on light bread, a side salad with balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 of a TJ's 100 Calorie Chocolate bar. Snacks at work were an orange, an apple, 1/2 a Luna bar, and 1/2 a sandwich thin with Dark Chocolate peanut butter pre-run.

Dinner, which was made for me while I was gallivanting around the city, was homemade veggie pizza and chocolate milk. Enjoyed while watching the Bruins' game.

It was a wonderful recovery dinner. And now I'm taking my sore, sore body into the shower to rise the stink off before I pass out.

Not being a very good runner is exhausting. I can't imagine what those people running the Boston Marathon in 90 degree weather today felt like. Some people are straight up crazy! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Showers

Well there haven't really been any April's been very un-rainy, which is just fine with me...but that's really not really how the saying goes now is it? (Caution: wordy post to follow).

Unfortunately, there haven't really been any April posts either. Zero to be exact. How did that happen? Well I went to Chicago, and then it was Mari's birthday, and then it was my birthday, and it was Easter, and I had a huge presentation I was working on for work...and now we're here.

Here is a very interesting place for me right now. Over the last year, I've definitely lost a lot of focus in my food and fitness life. I know I've discussed it before, so it's probably like a broken record from me, but the truth is, shit got hard. Once you start to slip up and lose the drive and dedication you once had, it's SO hard to get it back. I've basically taken an entire year off from weight loss and general healthiness, and it's gotten me a whole lot of no where. I'm not happy with my fitness level, my habits, or my body.

But sometimes we have to fall off to be able to pick ourselves back up again, and see where we need to be stronger. These girls admit their struggles all the time, and I admire them for it. I am channeling them as inspiration to get it back together and focus.

As I said, this is obviously not the first time I've mentioned a need to refocus. My motivation waivers and I get comfortable where I am. But now, I am not comfortable. I ran 6 miles without stopping last weekend. It's a first for me. I've never done more than a 5k without stopping. This was double that. So I should be extremely proud. But I am not. Because I realized that even though that run was good (albeit slow), I am by no means taking care of myself. And that run could have been better. And I want to feel 100% proud of myself, not just of one run.

The pace of my runs has slowed, my clothes are a little tighter, and my muscle definition is gone. This is NOT how I pictured myself to be as I turn 27.

So I'm doing something about it. I've enlisted the hubs for help (I'm around him the most, so he's a good place to start) and I've taken a vow of willpower. I have done this before, I most definitely know I can do it again. The half marathon is 6 weeks from today. I am feeling so scared and almost wish I hasn't signed up for it. But I don't want to feel that way. I want to get to the starting line on race day and feel excited and ready.

The next 6 weeks are going to be rough, I know that. And I know it's going to take far more than 6 weeks to get me where I want to be. BUT. I have to start somewhere. And I need to have a short term goal to kick start the process.

So I admitted my problems. Step one. Step two, create a plan of action. Check. Step three, find a way to hold yourself to that plan and be accountable. I have most definitely lost all accountability in this process, so here is where I know I'll struggle most. I'm hoping this blog can help me in that process...I plan on doing weekly check-ins after my long runs, and post my daily eat during the week. I don't intend for this to become a food journal, but for 6 weeks, it's going to have to be.

I hope I've not gotten myself too far off course, and that a kick in the pants is all I need. I've thought I could get it back on track several times in the last year, and obviously I haven't, but I do feel as though I've found a new rock bottom, and I'd like to get out of here, as soon as possible.

Wish me luck.