Thursday, May 31, 2012

Personal Trainer and W2D3

So I joined LA Fitness on Tuesday and with that comes a free fitness assessment with a personal trainer. Now, obviously I know I'm not super fit, super thin, super muscular, etc. But wow. How depressing. I already knew my weight since I weigh myself weekly, but my body fat percentage was...embarrassingly high. I honestly thought with my healthy habit changes this year it would have gone down some. But no.

The experience was kind of expected. I met with a woman who was sweet and fit, but sort of already had an idea of what she wanted to do with me. She listened to my goals and expectations, and what I would want out of a personal trainer. I told her I'm planning to run a half-marathon in October, that I have a training schedule already, running 3x/week, yoga at least once. And that I would like to incorporate light weight lifting (not pushing so I don't overexert or injure myself). The weight lifting is what I would really need the personal trainer for, since I've never done it before. I like running, and plan to do that, walking, and yoga as my cross-training.

...And then we went through a sort of cross section of different cardio exercises I could try. I didn't enjoy them, and I was annoyed to spend an hour in the gym and never touch the weights.

Then she went through the sales pitch about cost, and I told her I wasn't interested just yet, due to the fact that I'm paying for two gyms for the next 33 days, it's not really in my budget, and I'll be out of town for a significant portion of the month. She asked her supervisor to join us, and that's when I started getting frustrated. Not because of the sales pitch - I was expecting that, and truth be told, I really do want a personal trainer during my half training, so knowing the costs will help me budget. I was frustrated because all the supervisor would talk about was the significance of the strength training and that my cardio plan wasn't enough to decrease my body fat. They weren't listening. Obviously I know strength training is important - that's the ONLY reason I want a personal trainer. I spent over an hour NOT doing strength training, and then another 30 minutes being told I need to strength train. And I still don't know how to use the machines properly. Awesome.

I will say that the cardio we did was a good workout, so I counted that as my W2D3 cross training instead of walking. I didn't get home until 9:00 (my appointment was at 6:30), and by then I was starving and Eric was on his way home.

Tonight is back to running - 2 miles. Woohoo. I'm in a bad mood today, so hopefully that will help.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The End and W2D2

It started with a simple inquiry: does Planet Fitness offer yoga classes? (The answer is no.) Eric's cousin and uncle, whom I consider pretty awesome people to hang with, are members of Planet Fitness, a decent chain of gyms with a significantly reduced membership fee. Currently, I pay $80/month at my gym, but I've found it harder and harder to justify over the last few months. I've started running outside more and more, and I barely make it to yoga. I'm not a fan of the other classes that I've tried, so I only go to the gym maybe 2-3 times per month.

So I looked around, put some feelers out on Facebook, and came to the conclusion that the newest LA Fitness a few miles from my house is actually a good option. It has plenty of equipment, and most of the same perks as my current gym. The only true downside is that I won't be able to take Laurie's yoga class anymore. It's a significant downside, to be sure, since I would also get to see Nicole on those days, but the wallet wants what the wallet wants, and the wallet wants some relief.

So I'm a member of LA Fitness now. We'll see how it goes. I have a fitness evaluation tonight - not psyched for it.


W2D2 called for yoga.


So, yeah. My Vista Yoga pass actually expires next month, so I should probably get on that. Like this week.

Tonight calls for a 2 mile walk. Sounds like J-dog is getting the exercise he so richly needs (and...deserves...bad mommy).

Monday, May 28, 2012

W1 Recap and W2D1

I've already posted about most of my workouts here, here, and here. I took Thursday and Friday as rest days. Eric and I headed up to Cashiers Friday afternoon, and we were running late so I couldn't get the run in that I was hoping for (but it wasn't on the schedule anyway, so it's probably for the best).

Saturday, Kate and I went for a walk to the waterfalls close to the house. It was a pretty easy/nice walk, but I have issues putting one foot in front of the other and ended up tripping over a root, planting my right knee firmly into a rock on the side of the trail. We finished the hike, but when we got home, I knew that was probably the end of my outdoor activities for the weekend. My knee had started to swell, and I had some sharp pains whenever I moved it for the first couple of hours. Everyone else ended up going for a hike to Whiteside Mountain later in the day, but my knee was killing me just trying to make it up the stairs, so I was out, sadly. By Sunday most of the pain was gone, but it was still pretty sore, so skipped out on another hike. We ended up leaving pretty early yesterday, which was a bummer.

I had a great time over the weekend, but I'm really sad to have missed out on all of the hiking. Boo.

So that was my week. 4.5 miles of running, one day of yoga, and a treacherous walk. Not too bad, but definitely hoping for better luck this week.


W2D1 Recap: I was up this morning by 7:15, but farted around the house for an hour before I got out on my run. The temp right now is only 73 degrees, but humidity is (also) 73%. It was a rough run. I was mildly hungover, mildly dehydrated, not smart enough to eat breakfast, my calves were incredibly tight and my knee was feeling very wonky and unstable - but no pain. 2.6 miles, 33 mins, 12:43 pace. Those are definitely pretty average numbers for me, but it felt much harder. I'm icing my knee now, hoping to stave off any soreness later.

Schedule calls for yoga tomorrow and walking on Wednesday before another run on Thursday. I'm down with that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Training Plan: W1D3

Don't get excited. Just because I updated about D1 AND D2, and now I'm blogging about D3 DOES NOT MEAN I WILL BE A DAILY BLOGGER ALL CAPS OMG.

Because I can't handle that kind of pressure, clearly.

But anyway. So today was day 3, which meant a 2.5 mile easy run. I decided to mix up my route and run through the neighborhood. INSANE HILLS. Well, normal hills I'm used to and then 2 INSANE hills. RunKeeper said it was 2.46 miles at a 12:57 min/mile. But DailyMile said it was 2.54 miles at a 12:33 min/mile.

Now it's time to rest up. Possible yoga or hiking over the weekend and then the real training begins!

Treadmill N00B

So. I was looking at this handy treadmill pace conversion chart to figure out what I should set the treadmill to when I attempt my 2.5 mile run tonight. I was feeling pretty defeated from my run on Monday, wondering why I felt like I was overexerting myself running on the "easier" treadmill.

Then I noticed the the pace conversion chart had different, higher paces based on the incline. I was running on a 1% incline, so instead of running a 12 min/mil pace, I was actually running 11:44. No wonder it felt harder!

So then I found this handy dandy calculator and figured out my correct pace (based on equivalent effort or something like that...math). Here's my converted pace for Monday's run (26:01 min, 13 min/mi, 1% incline).


I feel much better now. I'll slow down tonight.


W1D2: Yoga

I guess since I'm already blogging today I may as well recap yoga last night. It was great to be back, and it was definitely needed. Laurie REALLY worked on the hips for most of the practice which felt great. I struggled with some of the vinyasas since my arms haven't had to work like that in a few months. So physically, it was an awesome workout.

Mentally though, I could not concentrate. I was very distracted and stressed out and I couldn't really let it go. I'm not sure why or what happened.

Since we're going to Cashiers this weekend AND Laurie will be in Cashiers this weekend, I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes that we might be able to do a practice up there. She has an amazing studio space that fits about 4 or 5 people. If it doesn't workout though, I'm looking forward to next Tuesday.


So that's 2 days out of  154 done. That's a good start, right? :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Training Plan: W1D1

Don't let the title fool you. I have no intention of blogging every single day of my training. I'm going to try to do weekly updates at least, and then blog particular training days when I feel like it. It just so happens that today...I feel like it.

So today I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in 26:01, avg pace 13 min/mi. I'd run 5 mins at 5mph, then walk for 1-2 mins at 3.5-3.7 mph, and repeat. Not great, not even by my standards. I thought treadmills were supposed to be easier. It wasn't even a mental challenge to stay motivated today. I really think, and I'm not trying to make excuses here, that the treadmill must not have been calibrated correctly. I was sweating buckets after 5 minutes with the speed set to 5mph on a 1% incline. I can run a mile at an 11+ min pace no problem. Color me confused.

Anyway, regardless, I did the first day. Tomorrow, God willing, I'll make another mighty return to yoga. Pretty excited about that. I haven't been in months, but it's something I absolutely love.

Anyway, that's it. I just wanted to vent about the treadmill. If it's not wrong, if I really was overexerting myself at a 12 min/mi pace...that confuses me, but I'll take it. 26 minutes of pure sweat ain't nothing to gloss over. The end.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Alright. So the 5K is officially conquered, after over a year of trying. The next logical step is to attempt a 10K, I would guess. Hal Higdon's Novice 10K plan seems to be the right fit for me. If I stick to my plan, I'll complete it by 7/21.

Atlanta is pretty hot in mid-July, not great for racing 6.2 miles. There's the obvious Atlanta favorite, the Peachtree Road Race, but aside from that 10Ks are slim pickings. I don't have any plans to register for one at the moment. Instead, as soon as I finish that training, I'll jump into half marathon mode, as I attempt to run the Athens Half Marathon again, to benefit the summer favorite, AthFest.

Basically what it boils down to is that I've created a 22 week half marathon training plan. I'm going to work at it for about 6-8 weeks before I commit to running the half. By week six I'll be running 5 miles, something I wasn't able to do last year. If I can get that far, I feel like I'll be ready to commit. If not, I'll continue running for fun and training for a 10K in the fall. I don't want to set my sights too high and get burnt out too quickly like I did last year. I'm trying to be more realistic. We'll see how to goes. For now, here's my training plan.

Training Program - Sheet1

So wish me luck, I guess.

Brookhaven Bolt 5K Recap

Well. The big day finally came and went. And it was awesome. But let's go back to Friday night, first.

Kate and Ward came into town around 6:00, just in time for dinner! I made your standard pre-race spaghetti meal, and we drank a some wine and had a grand old time. We were joined by my best friend, Kristy, who gave us lots of encouraging words in lieu of her presence at the actual race.

Once Eric came home, he and Ward set about making signs to inspire us along the course.

worst parade

I drank a few glasses of water and went to bed around 10:30. Kate followed suit shortly after, but the boys stayed up until close to 1:00, perfecting their race day signs.

We were all up and out the door by 7:15 Saturday morning. Once we arrived, it was a short walk from the MARTA station down to Bolt-central. Kate and got our bibs in no time, and decided to hit the Porta-Potties before the race. This is a small, local, neighborhood oriented affair, so there were only about 1200 participants. However, felt like 4 or 5 Porta-Potties weren't nearly enough.

Anyway. We had enough time to catch back up with the boys, joined now by Eric and Kate's sister, Lilli, and drop off our things. We lined up and waited for the starting gun. Kate asked me (again*) how hilly the course was, and I reassured her that it was pretty gradual uphills, followed by some lovely downhills. The worst part of the race is at mile 3, right before the finish, there's a pretty steep uphill.

The starting gunshot or buzzer or whatever it was happened and we were off. Kate and I kept with each other for all of 3 minutes before I realized I was going far too fast to maintain. I slowed down and moved to the right, trying to focus on my breath. When I hit mile 1 (after a pretty steep climb) I felt pretty good. Good enough that I wanted to keep going, but I knew I had to take a walking break. I wanted to finish strong, so I had to hold myself back at the start. I walked for about 30 seconds, and then sped up again.

I came to the water station and decided to drink about half a cup. Another walking break (and did I mention another hill?). Sped up again until I hit mile 2. I walked for maybe another 30 seconds, and feeling good, started a pretty steep climb. I ran almost until the end. Another hill, right before the final one, I had to stop. Maybe 15-20 second. My ankle started bothering me, so I shook it out and finished the climb. Turned to run over a bridge, and then the final hill. Kept at my running pace all the way. As soon as I hit the top, I turned right for the final stretch. I saw Eric, Ward, Lilli, Kate (who finished with 33:17 - awesome!), and unexpectedly, Claire! They were busy deciding which signs to hold up now, so I leaned towards them and yelled "CHEER ME!" So they did. As I got closer to the finish line, I saw the clock reading 38:xx and I knew I would PR. I felt a bolt of adrenaline and sprinted across the finish line. My "gun time" was 38:09, but my chip time was 37:33, beating my previous PR by 5:04.

I know that a 12:06/mile pace isn't terribly fast by most standards, but it's downright speedy for me. I'm so dang proud I can't stand it!


*So clearly I didn't remember anything about the terrain of this race from last year. Kate asked me when she signed up how hilly it was, and I told her it wasn't that bad. She asked again last week after she PR'd in a 5K in Louisville. Apparently that course was very flat, so she was nervous about this one. I was all "no, it's totally easy breezy". Sorry, Kate! I have a horrible memory!


After the race, we all headed back to the apartment, made a delicious brunch, drank mimosas, and then I took an epic 4 hour nap. That's how it's done, ladies and gentlemen.


I'm feeling pretty good about myself now, so I'm giving myself a new goal. More on that in my next post.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Back on the Wagon...Again

Hi, again. Yeah, I went to the NRA Show in St. Louis for work and it was simultaneously the most soul-crushing and career rejuvenating experience of my life.

I didn't run for 2 weeks.

Then I didn't really have the motivation to start back up.

Then Eric's sister rightly called me out on Twitter for being lazy.

Then I went for a run.

Then I didn't for another week.

Then I did.

And again.

And then yesterday I ran the fastest 3 miles of my life. Avg Pace: 12:46. That is pretty subpar when compared to even your average runner, but for me? It's pretty spectacular.

How it happened.

I left work with a goal of running 2 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect for a run, and it's not sticking around for long. When I got home, I puttered around for about 2 hours, waiting for the temps to drop just a little further. Right up until about 6:45 I was debating whether or not I still wanted to go. But something just clicked and I knew I had to run. Kate and I are running in a 5K next week, and I really want to keep up with her for as long as possible.

So, I got dressed, laced up my sneakers, and was out the door just before 7:00. I decided since the weather was incredible, it'd be a good time to try to run a little further than normal. My route was measured perfectly, 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back, exactly. My warm up is usually just walking to the gates of my community, and up the hill to the road (about 3-4 minutes). Once I started running, my body revolted for a few beats. It was as if it was saying "Hey. I thought we were done with this! What are you doing?" I made a deal with myself that if ran for a 1/2 mile, I could take a walking break for as long as I needed. Made the 1/2 mile mark and I ended up walking for about a minute. Ran another 1/4 ish mile, and started cramping up. Let myself walk for a little while longer, and then I ran the rest of the 1.5 miles. It was somewhat hilly, but I started feeling really good. I told myself I could walk again after I got to the turning point, but once I was there, I felt like I could keep going. It was down hill for a good tenth of a mile or so, but I'd say I ran maybe another 1/2 mile before my next walking break. Walked for about 30 seconds, ran to the next stoplight. Turned onto the road back to my apartment, and walked for a moment. As I was running the final stretch to my apartment, I started to feel a little tired. It was weird - I wasn't out of breath and my legs weren't hurting. I just wanted to stop. So instead I pushed harder. There's a spot about 100 feet from the entrance of the complex where I usually grab my phone to stop the timer. All I wanted to see was a number less than 39. I wanted my avg pace to be less than 13 minutes. I've run a few 5Ks in the past and never come in under 42 minutes, so I knew 39 might be a challenge. But I grabbed my phone from my arm, looked down and saw 37! So a bolted. Ran as fast as my legs could carry me, and stopped right as the timer hit 38.

I'm not a speed demon, but damn. That felt fantastic. It's a personal achievement that I'm incredibly proud of. It makes me want to work harder, run faster, and go for longer. Last night was very exciting for me, and I'm hoping it just carries me to bigger and better goals.