Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This morning, I finished day #3 of the 6 week "Slim in 6" workout. Yesterday, I was little still sore from my 1st 2 workouts. Today, most of that soreness is gone, but I still felt "the burn" as I was working out this morning. I love that feeling! I may end up using this 1st dvd until after the Austin 1/2, then ramp it up a bit with the intermediate dvd.
Now, I'm off to Austin for work. I hoping for some yummy, but healthy food at this luncheon and some good conversation topics with my boss on our 2 1/2 hour drive. :-/ I'm also hoping to be back in time to fit in some running and homework, but I'll have to wait and see.
Tues & Wed AM - 24 minute "Slim in 6" dvd
Tuesday - 23 minutes, 2 miles on treadmill
Points consumed - 25, Activity points earned 3, flex points used - 2 (total of 23 used for week!)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Yesterday was my 1st day to try this new workout and I love it! I used the 1st work out called "Start It Up" which is 25 minutes. At first, the workout seemed really easy. In fact, I thought I might need to switch to the next level of difficulty within a day or two. But, by the time I was done with the workout, my arm and leg muscles were beginning to "feel the burn". By midday, my glutes REALLY felt it! Hooray! I love that feeling, especially in those areas that need it most. :-)
Last night, I did hop on the treadmill for a quick 2-mile run. Since my muscles were sore from the morning workout and I did my LR the day before, I decided to take it easy. The run felt good, but as always, it took the 1st 10 minutes or so to get warmed up. My shins have been quiet while running for awhile now. That's great! However, they are sore if I touch the area with my hand...almost as if I have a bruise there. Weird. After my run, it was 45 minutes of Marketing. Fun.
This morning, I got in my 2nd "Slim in 6" workout. I am planning to run at least 3 miles tonight. I'm heading to Austin tomorrow for work to claim our "Best Places to Work in Texas" award from Texas Monthly Magazine, so I doubt I will get to run tomorrow.
Conditions - tredmill
Distance - 2 miles easy
Run time - 23:20
Pace - 11:40
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday after work I went to a social for my school's "Graduate Student Association". This was the 1st time I've attended one of these social events. It always seems like I have a test the next day, or the hubby and I have other plans. It was fun to mingle with the other grad students and profs. I am hoping to be more active with this organization and make the most of everything the grad school experience has to offer.
Saturday, I had class from 8 - 5. Afterwards, I met a few girlfriends for dinner and a movie. I was actually thinking about not going, but the hubby assured me that he and the kiddo could survive for a few more hours without me...of course, that didn't stop the mommy-guilt from kicking in about the time the kiddo's bedtime rolled around. Despite that, I had a great time catching up with all the happenings in my friend's lives. We had yummy Tex-Mex at Cyclone Anaya's...you know me - any excuse for a margarita! Then, we went to see "The Departed". It was a great movie and Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing. I've always thought he was a cutie, but never thought of him as a serious actor until "The Aviator". Then, I thought it was just a fluke, but he proved himself once more in The Departed. One word of warning...it is very violent in a Sopranos or Reservior Dogs kind of way. I used to not mind all the violence so much. However, since becoming the parent (or maybe it's me getting older), I seem to have less of a tolerance for that stuff. But, overall, it is a well-written, well-acted movie and I can understand all the Oscar hype.
Sunday, Kay and I met at Memorial Park for an 8-mile run. The weather was awesome!!! I hadn't watched the news in a few days, so I was caught off guard by the low temps (39!). I had to run back inside the house to get a long sleeve shirt and gloves. The one thing I learned from yesterday's run - the Garmin works great...when you remember to start the timer! Doh! We ran 8 miles starting at the tennis center to Memorial to Waugh (via Memorial) and back (via Allen Parkway). On the way back to the park, I made a quick pit stop at Starbucks. As I was waiting to use the bathroom, I stopped the timer. I didn't realize that I forgot to start it again until we were almost at Crestwood. Whoops! Again, I feel like I was running at a much better pace thanks to Kay. If I were by myself, I know I would have run slower or taken more walk breaks.
The rest of Sunday was spent with the family. The kiddo and I went to playgroup and the grocery store, then my sister-in-law and nephews stopped by. The oldest nephew is gearing up to run track again this year and may join me for a few 5K or 10K races this Spring. It's great to have another runner in the family!
Location - Memorial Park
Conditions - 40 w/no humidity
Total run time - approx 1 hr, 33 min
Total distance - 8.39
Pace - 11:05
Thursday, January 25, 2007
- What the heck is a recovery run??? To me, "recovery" means sitting on the couch watching chick flicks with a big scoop of Dryer's Slow Churned 1/2 the fat Rocky Road ice cream.
- How can I get faster when I'm supposed to do my training runs slower than my actual race pace? Wouldn't I just run slower then too?
- What about the websites like this one where you enter your most recent run time, then it gives you what pace you should run your long run, tempo run, etc.? If I enter my latest race pace, but it's slower than what I want my race pace to be...can the predicted times still help me run faster???
- Okay, I joined the Striders! Woohoo! Do I need to join Harra too? You know, just to cover all my bases.
- Speaking of the Striders...what days do those guys run? Wednesday? Thursday? Somebody skool me please. :-)
- Hmmm...the hubby and I are on a budget, school takes up a lot of Saturdays...I'd better choose my races carefully, so I get the best race experience for the money. Any suggestions are appreciated.
- Speaking of school, will my training still be effective if I can only squeeze in 2 runs during the week and a long run on the weekends? Most running schedules suggest at least 3 runs during the week, if not 4.
- Oh yeah, and I need to make sure the hubby is at home on race mornings or I have to arrange for a back-up baby-sitter. Volunteers??? Just kidding!
- Hmmm...I wonder how old the kiddo needs to be for her 1st "kids" run? The kiddo can already run pretty far...and fast!
- Everytime I come home from a run, or even have my running clothes on, she says, "Mommy run?" and does the sign for run. Then she yells, "Mommy run fast!" Sweet kiddo! She's probably the only person who will ever say I run fast!
Conditions - Treadmill
Distance - 4 miles
Run time - 44:38
Pace - 11:09!
The hubby comes home from work and realizes that I'm not up and moving. He comes into our room and taps me on the shoulder. I groggily wake up and just look at him, wondering to myself, "What the h*ll? It's not time to get up". He points to the alarm clock...he's trying to be quiet because the kiddo is asleep next to me. Alarm clock says 6:15. I jump up saying "Oh Sh*t!!!" over and over, forgetting that the kiddo is asleep next to me.
To top it off, I start to gather up all my stuff to leave - the lunch bag, my books, my purse, water bottle, keys,etc....then I realize that I am supposed to be taking the kiddo to school today! The hubby has to do something for work this morning and needs me to play taxi driver. Crap! (See what kind of goofiness my hubby has to put up with??? God bless him!!!)
So, that's it. No morning workout...and based on the schedule for the rest of the day (read: work & statistics homework), there will not be an evening workout. Oh well, better luck tomorrow! I did put workout clothes in my car this time...just in case!
Where was everybody????? Can they stay there again today during rush hour???
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
- Stomach crunches (upper abs) - 12
- Bent knee leg raises (lower abs) - 12
- Twisting crunches (obliques) - 12
- Bridge (transverse abdominals) - 30 seconds
- Back extensions (lower back) - 12
- Squats (glutes) - 12
- Stationary lunges (quads) - 12
- Plie Squats (hammies) - 12
- Push-ups - 12 (I'm still skipping this one)
- Dumbell rows (back) - 12
- Overhead shoulder press (shoulders) - 12
- Bicep curls (biceps) - 12
- Tricep kick-backs or tricep press-backs (triceps) - 12 (I LOVE these!!!)
I try to do 2 sets of each, but when I am short on time I sometimes just do 1 set of each. If I had more time, I would go for 3. Also, weights can be added to all the various squats for more resistance. I found most of the exercises on the Abs Diet Workout, but a few were from the core sessions that Felix led after the Houston Fit speedwork and hill training. The exercises listed above don't actually take a full 40-minutes to do. However, with the Abs Diet Workout, a stretch is done after each exercise, which makes the entire routine longer. I like the stretches in between, because when you're doing the exercises above you are really contracting the muscles. Then, when you stretch, you are lengthening the muscles again and giving yourself a little recovery time before the next exercise.
Other than this workout, not much is going on. Work is busy with end of year reports, annual performance reviews and all that fun stuff. Reading for my 2 classes is taking up any free time. Last semester, I was in Accounting hell....this semester it will be Stat hell! Well, not exactly Stat. It's called "Quantative Methods for Management Decision Making"...sounds exciting, huh? It's more of the operational side of stat and applying it to business decisions. At the current moment, I am in probablity hell. The stat prof admitted that it was not an easy class. In fact, my Marketing prof cringed when we told her the other class our cohort was taking this semester and then told us that she'd have to take it easy on us. Yikes!
(What's up with this double spacing?)
Core workout - 40 minutes
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
In other news, there are talks of the NHL coming to Houston. Apparently Mario Lemieux, hockey great and current owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is coming to Houston to discuss bringing the Penguins here. I love hockey, but I don't know if Houston can really support and NHL team. Let's face it, we're not a hockey town. Going to the Aeros games is one of my favorite past times (basketball is my favorite, but I can't afford to go to Rocket's games!), but the only time I've seen a sell-out crowd was at the final playoff game back in 1999 when we won the Turner Cup! Talk about a great game!!!
Yeah, I know this is a running blog...so on to the running. First, I just have to say WOW - 2 weekday morning workouts in a row! Monday, I woke up early and managed to get in a 20-minute core workout. I ended up cutting it a bit short, just so I could get some reading for school done.
This morning, I set my alarm clock extra early for a 3-miler on the treadmill. And I only pushed the snooze button once...hooray for me! I don't know what it is about the treadmill, but I find it much harder to make myself run the same type of pace I ran with Kay on Sunday. Maybe it's the treadmill, but I tend to think it has more to do with me being a slacker since I am not running with anyone to hold me accountable.
I set out to do a tempo run, but it didn't quite end up that way. I started out at an easy 12-minute pace for the 1st quarter mile. Then, I sped up to about an 11:15 pace for the next 7 or 8 minutes. Then, I tried to maintain between a 10:00 and 10:15 pace for the next 15 minutes. Then, I was going to slow it back down to an 11:30 pace until I reached the 3 mile mark, but pretty much kept my pace around 10:30 for a remainder of the run. I also did 5/1s, so obviously, I slowed down during the walk breaks. My goal between now and the Lucky Trails 1/2 marathon is to gradually wean myself from the 5/1s and only take short walk breaks at either each mile marker, or at each water station. Oh, and Vic convinced me to run the Buffalo Wallow 6K...I'm looking forward to meeting more of my fellow Striders there!
20-minute core workout
Conditions - Treadmill (tempo?)
Total run time - 33:50
Distance - 3 miles
Pace - 11:16
Monday - 24 points consumed, 2 activity pts earned, 2 flex points used (18 for week)
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Friday, it took awhile to get the kiddo to bed and I had several things on my to-do list before school on Saturday. So, I ran/walked 26:30 minutes...2 slow miles. The shin was achey, so in an effort to rest it, I opted to walk most of that time. I was hoping less impact will help. Next, I iced it for about 15 mintues.
Saturday was my rest day. I was in class from 8 am until about 4:30 pm, then needed to do some grocery shopping, so there was little time for anything else. I have to give a big CONGRATS to my hubby though. He and his kayak fishing team managed to take 1st & 2nd place in a fishing tournament! His big catch of the day, and possibly the year was this 8 lb trout...
Sunday, I managed to get up and meet fellow Houston Fit-er, Kay, at the park. Kay just shaved off 40 minutes from her 2006 marathon time and finished last week in 5:03! I was suprised she was so eager to run, as I usually veg out the week after and maybe run 3 miles the following weekend. (Yes, I am usually a big slacker for at least 1 week!) Of course, I was eager to run outdoors, because I wanted to try out my new toy - my Garmin! We ran 6 miles at a pace that felt faster than the sluggish pace I have become accustomed to in the past month or so. Sure enough when checking my Garmin, we had run at a 10:30 pace! Thanks Kay for getting my butt moving faster again! The shin did well...it protested a bit during the 1st mile, but after than it was pretty quiet. I hope that's a good sign. And I love the Garmin. I'm sure I will love it more once I figure out how everything works.
Later, the kiddo and I went to play group, then had lunch with my friend Amy. Amy just walked/jogged the 1/2 for the 2nd time and I just found out that she may also be doing the 1/2 in Austin. Looks like we might have quite a few Houston folks representing H-town!
Friday - 26:30 on treadmill - 2 miles
Sunday - Memorial Park - 1:00:57 - 5.9 miles - 10:30 pace
Friday, January 19, 2007
for the half! Plans to attend the cousin's wedding in Alabama changed thanks to my school schedule. So, to salvage the weekend somewhat, we're heading to Austin after school on Saturday and I will be running on Sunday. I ran the full last year, so I'm really looking forward to checking out the new course. Since it's supposed to be hillier than previous years, I am not looking to PR. Instead, I just want to have a fun run and enjoy Austin! Umm...I wouldn't mind if it were about 10 degrees warmer than last year (it was 26 at the start)...oh and no messy drizzle either. :-)
Of course before Austin there will be more training runs to do. I will be testing out the new Garmin on Sunday morning when I finally get to run outdoors again. Yiiippeeee!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
This morning was our big quarterly meeting at work, so I had a yummy breakfast. Immediately afterwards, my boss and I had a lunch networking meeting at Saltgrass Steakhouse, then returned to the office where a b-day cake was waiting for me. Next, I am heading to eat with my parents, hubby and kiddo. So yes, this day has been centered around eating, eating and more eating....not exactly great for the WW plan. At least not great when you throw the WW plan out the window. Sigh! Tomorrow, I'll be back on plan. Tonight, I'm having a margarita!
Last night, I ran 3 miles easy on the treadmill. I felt stiff for the 1st 12 minutes, but after that it felt great to run. I forgot to mention that on Sunday, the shin was silent!
Not. a. peep.
I don't know if it was the Aleve or the adrenaline. Maybe it was both. However last night, with neither of those things in my system, it protested again. Loudly. After the run, I iced it down and took an Aleve.
Workout Stats (Wednesday)
Conditions - Treadmill (w/American Idol)
Distance - 3 miles
Total run time - 36 minutes
Pace - 12 min/mile
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Let's see...I went to work on Monday. I was suprised to find that my hip flexors and hammies were tight in the morning and even tighter after sitting through a 2 hour meeting at work. That night, I did about 20 minutes of brisk walking to loosen things up. Yesterday, the soreness was gone and I did 20 minutes of core workout after putting the kiddo to bed. I'm going to shoot for a 3-mile run tonight on the treadmill.
Hopefully by tomorrow, this rainy weather will be gone! It's getting a bit old. Especially when I can't turn on the news without hearing the "Severe Weather Alert" that is the "breaking news story". Puuullleeeeaassseee! Although, I do have to admit that I was hoping for an "ice" day at work. No such luck though...but, the kiddo did get the day off from school and is probably still running around in her warm footie pajamas. Lucky kid!
Saturday, it's back to school for me. I am both dreading it and excited at the same time. I did not accomplish anything I wanted to do during the break. My Stephen King book is still only 1/2 read, I only managed the 2-a-days for about 5 days, I've only lost 1.2 lbs, my closet is still an unorganized mess, I didn't drink nearly enough wine and I did not catch up on all the movies I wanted to see. I did get to spend my evenings with the kiddo and hubby, which of course is what it's all about! :-)
Stay warm out there!
Monday - 20 minutes walking on treadmill (1.4 miles)
Tuesday - 20 minute core workout
I fell of the wagon, but managed to climb back on today.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
At the GRB, I quickly found the Houston Fit group and staked out a place to stretch. Shortly after I arrived, I started to see the rest of my running buds arrive one by one. One of the 1/2 marathon coaches, Margo, came up to me and told me she read my blog! I was so flattered! Later, I was surprised to see my good friend from my days at HISD, Nora! She was a Houston Fitter a few years back and her stories of running the marathon in the freezing rain inspired me when I was training for my 1st 1/2 and 1st full. You should see her pics of the icicles hanging from the stop signs on marathon day! She and her friend Suzanne were running the 5K, so we wished each other luck. I also had an opportunity to meet fellow blogger Gary before the race. It was great to meet you Gary! One of the Houston Fit Coaches did the "Blessing of the Quads", which I always look forward to - "Legs be Strong, Head be Stronger!!!". Finally, my friend Amy, who was walking the 1/2 arrived. The next thing I knew, it was time to go to the start.
The start was the usual standing around with all that anticipation and nervous excitement. I wasn't even sure I was in the right corral until the gun went off and we began to push forward. Amy and I were wwwwaaaaayyyy in the back. We eventually made it to the mats and I wished Amy luck and was off. I always love seeing the huge crowd of runners in front of me when running on the Elysian Viaduct! All these folks pushing themselves to accomplish a common goal...I'm starting to sound really cheesy, but it really does make me excited to be a part of it! I had to weave around quite a few walkers for the 1st mile or so. It made me think of Jamoosh and how he would be really annoyed by folks not moving to the right side of the road. I finished my 1st mile in 11:40, which was slow, but to be expected in the crowds. I remember seeing a group of people on a porch on Quitman drinking mimosas and I have to admit, I was a bit jealous. About this time, I heard a lady tell her friend, "Hey, I heard Kid Rock was running today!" I had to laugh - surely Marshall Mathers was not among us. Of course after the race, I did check the race results just to confirm that.
Somewhere on Quitman, I found familiar faces. It was the Red Group 5/1 crew! Kay, Courtney, Gigi, Rebecca, Tricia and Amy...we jogged together for a bit and I ran on. They were running the full and I knew they had to maintain a pace that would get them across all 26.2 miles. Not long after I made it over I-45, I heard someone call my name. It was Vic! We said hello and I continued on. A few minutes later, right after entering Woodland Heights, I ran into Claudia and Trina. I ran almost the whole marathon with them last year, so that certainly brought back memories! The next thing I remember seeing were the Desperate Housewives singing and dancing. That was priceless!
I made it through the Heights and onto Studewood, and found another running bud, Curt. It was great to have someone to talk to for awhile. Curt and I ran together quite a bit on the last 2 long training runs, so we just kind of picked up where we left off with our conversations. He saw his cousin as we approached Washington, so again I was alone. Somewhere in here we actually caught up to Felix Lugo and his flag. Of course, one walk break later and he was way ahead again. My goal was to maintain an 11-minute pace as long as I could, but at this point almost every single split was either an 11:11 or 11:14 mile...hey, at least I was consistent!
Not much happened between Washington and the turn around. I remember a spectator using his hands as a megaphone as he belted out the tune to Rocky. I did see Fitters, Jon and Alisa, running toward me before the turnaround, as well as a few other familiar faces. I remembered what Cassie had said when I blogged about having marathon-envy last week. You were soooo right Cassie, I was more than happy to reach the turn around point! Before then, I saw some students cheering at the University of St. Thomas and grabbed a Tootsie Roll from them. Man, are they hard to chew when you're running! Once I turned around, I started to look for my buds running the full coming in the opposite direction. I finally saw the Red Group 5/1s again and we cheered for each other across the street. Then, I heard June yell my name. It was great to see her smiling face! Next, I heard my name and saw Coach Gaye and Coach Allen. Next I saw the 1/2 Marathon 5/1s. It was fun to cheer for folks and gave me a bit of pep as I was starting to feel a bit tired. I also tried to give high-fives to anyone with their hand out. The Rocky guy was still singing the tune, which made me laugh. I must have been really distracted looking for familiar faces in the on-coming runners, because I heard someone call my name from behind and it was Jon! Somehow, I passed him and didn't even realize it. We stayed together for quite a bit of the rest of the run. It was good to have someone to talk to again.
As we turned onto Allen Parkway, we saw the winner of the marathon running by. He made it look so easy! Not long after that, we saw another truck coming and the women's leader running by. I yelled out a "Wooohooo, you go girl!" and for a moment, I felt like running faster. But only for a moment. At some point, I saw my running bud from the 2006 Marathon, Tina. She and her hubby are expecting their 1st kiddo later this year, so she wasn't running this time. Thanks for the cheers Tina...I needed it! We ran past the Houston Fit tent where it was great to see more familiar faces! Debbie, Coach Cheryl and Rebecca were there. Thank you for the delicious oranges!!! Now, from my experience on our Saturday LRs, I know Jon is one of those folks who gains momentum toward the end of a LR and speeds up. I am not one of those people. We stayed together until the water station on Allen Parkway, then I started to lose him. Even after he gave me the "hey, it's painful now, but it will soon be over" pep talk. Overall, I felt pretty good. Just not good enough to push harder. So there I was, amid the sprinkling of other 1/2 marathoners on Allen Parkway. For the 1st time in my life, I thought about how it would be nice to have an ipod right about now. Once I entered Downtown, those thoughts left my mind, because I knew I was almost there. I took an extra walk break somewhere in there and then decided to shut off the 5/1 alarm on my watch and just run. I think I took one more quickie walk break in there before making that final turn and heading to the finish. Woohoo, another race under my belt. It felt good to be done and I was very thankful that I was doing the 1/2. :-) I have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable races I've done. I decided early on to just have fun and I did! My finish time was 2:27 and some change. Definitely no PR and I have to admit I was a bit bummed at 1st for not making my 2:25 goal, but considering my lack of December training during finals and my slow, sluggish training LRs for the past few weeks, I finally decided that it wasn't too bad.
Afterwards, I decided to take advantage of the situation. This was the very 1st time, I did not have friends and family waiting for me at the finish. Much like the Expo, I was free to lounge around a bit, eat the free food and just soak in the atmosphere. I picked up my medal, which promptly fell off it's ribbon, so I had to exchange it. Next, I headed to the chow line where I saw Jon. We loaded up on cookies, eggs, sausage, etc and sat down to eat. Jon and I swapped storied with the other folks at the table and enjoyed the food. I either really worked up an appetite or those eggs and sausage links were really yummy! Next, I grabbed my awesome finishers shirt and made my way back to the car.
My day wasn't over yet! I maneuvered through the road closures and headed to Memorial Park for a quick shower at the tennis center. Then, I maneuvered through the road closures yet again to the Taft and Allen Parkway. I grabbed my 2nd bag (the one with gatorade, pretzels, glide and gu) and my homemade signs and made my way to the Houston Fit tent. This was probably the high point of my day. I had so much fun dancing to the music and cheering for runners as they went by. And, I saw Margo again, who told me she registered for Chicago - her 1st full marathon!!! (Ummm Margo, I think you should start a blog to journal your adventure to Chicago!)
Among the folks I spotted on the course were Jon Walk looking strong, Felix with his flag, Bob crusing by and my bud Kay. Damn, Kay was hauling butt and looking really strong. I knew she was going to blow her time from last year out of the water! (And she did, by almost 40 minutes, finishing in 5:03!!!) Next, I saw Kat, Marlo and the more of my Red Group 5/1 buds. Then I saw June! She was looking super strong and still smiling. I knew she would kick butt on her 1st marathon! Some runners were really looking strong, others looked like the were unsure if they were really almost there. Many were doing that survival shuffle that I know very well. Next, we saw Coach Fred and then Pam. The course was opening up, but I was determined to stick around till I saw Vic. In no time, I saw him heading my way! Vic, it was great to see you and an honor to run with you for a bit! While he looked tired, he had that look of determination in his eye that told me that he was in fact going to finish...not that I had any doubts. He's one determined guy!
Next, I headed home. The hubby and kiddo were still hanging out in their PJs which made me laugh. We headed to Pappasito's for a late lunch so I could have the fajita's and margarita that I had been craving all week. It was delicious! Afterwards, we headed home where I played with the kiddo for the rest of the day. All in all, it was a great day. Congrats to everyone who ran the 1/2 and the full...especially those 1st timers - Amy, Bill, June and Vic! Welcome to the club - you are now MARATHONERS!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Saturday was a blast! I went to the Strider's pasta party, where I met so many great folks. I have definitely joined an awesome group and look forward to more fun and running with them in 2007. After loading up on carbs, I headed home and took it easy for a little while before heading to the Doodlebops concert with the hubby & kiddo. It was fun! When we 1st arrived at the Toyota Center the kiddo gave an enthusiastic "Hockey game!", since we were just there to watch the Aeros the weekend before. She had no idea what was going on...that is until she saw the group take stage. She just kind of sat there with her popcorn in her lap and her mouth open. Finally, she pointed and said "Doodlebops!". Later, she even danced to the tunes...it was cute. Once the kiddo was in bed, I made up my mind about what to wear and got everything in order. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I also discovered that DH had finished off the last of the peanut butter. I panicked! I always eat PB toast the morning of my long runs. The hubby ran to Kroger for more while I made some signs for cheering after the race.
More later, I have to get back to work! (June, please don't kick me...I'll post the race report asap, I promise! LOL!)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Talk about a great day! I took a few hours of vacation this afternoon....that always makes for a great Friday. After I left, I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness. I loved it! Will Smith and his son were both great and the story was very inspiring. There was also a group of about 30 people there from a local marketing company...apparently, their boss loved the movie so much, he wanted his entire staff to see the movie. Gee, talk about a nice boss!
Next, I went to the Expo. I love the Expo! Every year, I get all giddy just walking from the parking lot to the Expo. Between seeing all my fellow runners, all the cool running gear and knowing I'm about to run a race, it's so exciting. (Yes, once again, I have proved that I am a dork!) This was the 1st time I've had a chance to take the time to really see everything. Every year, it seems like I'm either in a big hurry or have the kiddo with me. This time, I had a chance to check out every booth...this was also a bad thing, because I kept finding stuff that I wanted to buy! I ended up getting this shirt for me:
I also bought the kiddo a "Future Marathoner" t-shirt, plus a Chevron Houston Marathon Koozie and a few packs of Gu. All in all, I didn't do too much damage to the budget. It could have been much worse! OMG, I also saw the medal for the Phoenix Rock 'n Roll marathon...can we say HUGE BLING? Actually, I saw quite a few awesome medals....hmmm, time to start planning for the post-Houston races.
Last but not least, I headed to the Pasta party. A great time was had by all. I met up with my Red Group 5/1 peeps Kay, Pam, Rebecca, Tricia, Trina, Bob and of course Coach Gaye & Coach Fred. (I know I'm forgetting someone!) We swapped marathon stories, tried to predict the forecast (and gave up) and ate some awesome pasta. It was loads of fun!
Oh, I almost forgot...my birthday present arrived today! Thank you to my dear sweet hubby!!!
Tomorrow, it's the grocery store in the AM and some down time with the kiddo. Then, the Strider's Pasta Party. Finally, we're heading off to see...............
Aren't you green with envy?????? :-)
If I don't post again before the Marathon, good luck to EVERYONE!!!! I will be thinking of you out there on the road. Don't forget that I will be out there on Allen Parkway with my bag of goodies...let me know if you need anything, even a pep talk. I know you are all going to kick some major assphalt!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Okay, so I am no elite athlete or running guru, but if this is your 1st time running a marathon, I have been in your shoes! I remember my 1st marathon day vividly. While it was definitely difficult, I can say with certainty that it changed my life forever. If I have a chance, I'll tell you more about the experience later this week. For now, here are a few things that I've learned along the way...
- Try not to obsess about the marathon, but realize it's perfectly normal if you do. I do this for every marathon, not just for my first. You will read and re-read every inspirational e-mail and every list of tips and advice. You will have all these tips memorized and will be able to recite them all as you run on Sunday. :-) Before Chicago, I watched this over and over again, too.
- Try hard not to freak out. I know the marathon is probably consuming your thoughts right now, so that's easier said than done. But try to throw yourself into your work if you can, because the last thing you need to do is worry.
- Think about what you want to wear on race day now. Be sure to think about what you would wear if it's colder/warmer than expected. You will probably change your mind 2-3 times between now & then, only to revert back to your original plan.
- Check out this support map at the Katy Fit website. It's awesome! My hubby has used it every year to figure out where he's going to meet me and how to get there.
- It's your 1st marathon! Gather all your friends and family and tell them where to meet you on the route. Chances are, you've run a 21 miler and know where you could have used an extra boost. There areas where I needed a pep talk were - between mile 18 & 19 in Tanglewood, miles 22 on Memorial and anywhere on Allen Parkway.
- Print out a pace band here. No, print out two - one with your "ideal" finish time and one with your "not so ideal" finish time. With the world of Garmins we live in, you probably have a Garmin and don't need to wear the band. However, if you are math challenged like me, you can use these to estimate where you will be at each mile and write it on the above mentioned map. Then, give the maps to your support crew. They will thank you for not making them wait for hours to see you jog by.
- On Saturday, plan to pick up your race packet early before all the crowds hit. Then, do something you find relaxing. I like to catch a movie. It helps take my mind off the race...for a couple of hours at least.
- It's race morning. At the GRB, you will see people you don't know doing stretches you've never seen before. Don't attempt to try them out now...stick to what you've been doing all along.
- Also at the GRB, you will probably have to pee right before it's time to start the race...even if you just went 2 minutes ago. The port-a-cans outside the GRB usually have shorter lines than those inside.
- You're going to see some crazy stuff along the way - men peeing on the side of the road after the turn between mile 2 & 3, ladies in the heights jumping up and down with cowbells, a priest sprinkling holy water on Main (get some, it can't hurt), Elvis & Marilyn Monroe near the Galleria at mile 16, Belly Dancers around 610 & Memorial, Cheeseheads on Allen Parkway....don't be too focused the race and your pace - enjoy it and laugh a little!
- Along with the crazy stuff you see, people you don't know will offer you some crazy food. Obviously, some of these folks are not runners. I've been offered everything from candy & cookies to bananas & oranges to tuna sandwiches & donuts.
- Let's face it, you're running 26.2 miles...there will be times when you are hurting. You will question your sanity. You will swear you will never run another *&+@#$ marathon! You WILL want to cuss out the next person who says "Lookin' Good!" or "You're almost there" (at mile 8)! Try to remember these folks don't have to be out there at all - thank them kindly, smile or wave...then cuss them out in your head or under your breath.
- Along the same lines, I probably don't have to tell you this, but be sure to say hello and thanks to the policemen and volunteers out there too.
- When you're feeling tired, find a little kid in the crowd at give him/her a high five. Miraculously, you feel better and it gives you a boost of energy you didn't have before.
- Allen Parkway will seem like it's a million miles long. You've run this path before hundreds of times, so keep reminding yourself that you will eventually get there....really, you will!
- When you get downtown, just take it one block at a time...you are there - the home stretch. At this point you don't want to take another step, but you know you can. The roaring crowds are right around the corner. When you finally see them, you will think they are a beautiful mirage. I assure you they are REAL.
- The closer you get to the finish, the faster you will want to run. You are probably not running that fast and your finish photo will be proof of that, but hey it feels like you are. :-)
- When you cross the finish line, you may feel like laughing or you may feel like crying. Hell, you may feel like doing both at the same time. Go with it...it's normal. Savor the moment..you have just become A MARATHONER!
- When you are done, you will not want to take your medal off....DON'T! You've earned it, you have bragging rights. Only take it off when you shower. Yes, you can even sleep with it on if you want to.
- Set your VCR/DVR/TiVo to record the special KTRK Houston Marathon special. It airs at 10:30 pm, after the news...you most likely will not be awake. It's fun to watch.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
I just don't understand my men don't get the whole bargain shopping thing. Why buy something in a store just so you can have it right now, when you can buy it on-line for $70 less and have to wait a few days???? I used to not feel that way, but hellooooo tuition is due next week and we are on a budget! Okay, so this budgeting stuff is still new to us, so maybe that's it. I know you guys are reading this and thinking, "Jeesh, can't the girl just be happy her hubby was nice enough to get a freakin' Garmin and stop whining!" Sorry, but that's just me. I read the Dave Ramsey book and now I am focused! Sort of...if I was really focused, I wouldn't even get the Garmin. :-)
Anyway, I love our local running stores, I really do...but $250 for a Garmin 205? (With tax it's $270 and some change.) Honestly, I can get the Garmin 305 with shipping and everything for $261 here. The hubby just really, really wanted me to have it in time for the big race on Sunday. I think that's sweet...but I can wait, really I can.
So enough of that...today, I opted for the core workout instead of the run. I'll run tomorrow....outdoors, where the weather is AWESOME!
ETA: A note for Vic & June...I distinctly remember last year's race forecast being 60% chance of rain on the days leading up to the race. On race day, there were no clouds in sight. It was warmer that I would have liked, but overall it was a sunny, gorgeous day!
Core Workout - 20 minutes
Total points consumed - 21
Activity points earned - 1
Flex point used - 0 (total of 10 of 35 used for the week)
Monday, January 08, 2007
I was undecided about the 2-a-day thing this week. On one hand, I figured since I was running the 1/2 that I could go ahead with the 2-a-days. (If I was running the full, I would be tapering and just following the Houston Fit schedule.) On the other hand, I thought that since I have been having so many little aches and pains, that I should take it easy this week. No sense in making things worse and possibly not running at all on Sunday. The final decision - compromise...I will complete one workout each day. Monday, Tuesday & Thursday will be the scheduled Houston Fit runs. Wednesday and Friday will be my core workout days. I will take it easy on Saturday and stay off my feet. Oh, and I will ice my shins every night as I watch TV.
Yes, this runner girl is planning to get lots of crap TV in over the next 2 weeks after the kiddo is in bed and the hubby is at work. I don't get to watch much TV when school is in session, so my plan is to OD over the next 2 weeks...Apprentice, Grey's, ER, Heroes re-runs, Grease, and heck, I may even stoop to an all new low and watch some "My Super Sweet Sixteen" or that new dance reality show on MTV. I know, I know...it sounds super lazy, but I will still get in some good running and plenty of quality time with the hubby and kiddo.
I am also debating about running with the fuel belt on Sunday. I've always worn it when I've run a full marathon, mainly because I could hydrate during my scheduled walk breaks. It worked well for me, because I didn't have to take an extra walk break during my 5-minute run. However, the 1/2 is a completely different creature. And, I haven't run an official 1/2 marathon since 2002. That was back when I had no clue what a fuel belt was and it was the longest distance I had ever run. Hell, I was still wearing cotton socks and shirts and I thought gu was some weird green stuff my nephews liked to play with. I think it will just depend on the weather. If it's warm and muggy, I may carry my amphipod bottle so I can hydrate whenever I want. If it's cool, I will probably just go with the race water stations.
One thing I don't have to debate is when to celebrate by upcoming birthday. It's not until next Thursday, but since I am running the 1/2 on Sunday and earning approximately 13 GLORIOUS WW ACTIVITY POINTS, I am going to use that day to celebrate! Yea me! :-) No sense letting those extra points go to waste. You see, those activity points have to be consumed on the same day you earned them. Since I seriously doubt that I will be running another 13.1 miles on Thursday, I think that it's a great plan. Pappasito's here I come...get out the maragaritas!
As I am typing this, the weather forecast is on and I am trying my hardest to ignore it. Unfortunately, I can't! Frank says a temp of 50 with 50% chance of rain...go away Frank, go away! :-)
Conditions - treadmill
Total run time - 35 minutes EASY
Total distance - 2.91 miles
Pace - 12.01
Total points consumed - 26 (too many IMO)
Activity points earned - 3
Flex point used - 3 (total of 10 used for the week)
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I managed to squeeze in a core workout since I didn't get a chance to do workout #2 on Thursday. I didn't do as well on WW today...DH ordered pizza for him and the kiddo and I didn't have many healthy dinner options on hand, so I opted for 1 slice of pizza and 1 breadstick. Still too many points, but much better than the 2 slices of pizza and 2+ breadsticks I would normally eat.
I met up with the Houston Fit red group for our final group run of the season. We were running 6 miles to the Rose Garden and back. I felt really sluggish for the 1st couple of miles. I listened to the conversations around me, but didn't really contribute to any. By the time our group made it to Troon, I was feeling better. For the remainder of the run I ran with Kurt, another red grouper. We chatted about our plans after the marathon, New Year's eve, etc. It helped make the run go faster and helped take my mind off the nagging pain in my left shin and lower back. The pain was never bad enough to make me want to stop, but both areas definitely made themselves known.
As we were heading back to Shepherd on Kirby, I think I saw fellow blogger Steve B! Of course, I didn't realize it was him until he had already passed...yep, I still wasn't awake. Then, as we were heading back on Memorial, I was passed by another blogger - Jamoosh! He and the Yello Fever crew were cruising back to the park too. I wasn't sure if it was him, so after he gave everyone a friendly greeting, I asked him if he had a blog....sure enough, it was him! Great to meet ya!
So that was it...all of the LRs leading up to the Houston Marathon are done! Congrats to everyone who made it this far! I could not train as well as I wanted during finals and thought I could make up for it in the past few weeks. Instead, my LRs have been slow and sluggish. Because of this, I have decided to just run the 1/2 Marathon like any other LR. I will just go out there, run my 5/1s and have fun. If I feel like thankful for a great year of running!
The rest of my Saturday was crazy busy. I had a great breakfast with Kay and some other red group folks. I definitely ate all 7 of the WW points I earned with the morning's run. Then, I headed to the grocery store. Next, I went home and made myself presentable again so the hubby, kiddo and I could head the the boat show. I love the boat show! Afterwards, we ate a quick dinner at Chili's, relaxed at home for a bit and then went to the Aeros game. The hubby and I love hockey! This was the kiddo's 2nd game and she had a blast. She had fun dancing to the music and just taking it all in. Unfortunately, the Aeros lost...but it was still a great time. Next weekend, we're taking the kiddo to see the Doodlebops at Toyota Center...that should be very interesting. :-)
Conditions - 60 & very humid
Total distance - 6 miles
Total run time - 1:13
Pace - 12:13 (hmmm...I'm getting slower)
Didn't do too bad either day...I will post pts again starting Monday
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I ended up going to WW tonight before picking her up at my parent's house. More on that later...when we arrived home it was time for her to go to bed. When I even began to mention that it was bed time, time to put on pj's, change the diaper, etc. she would throw a fit. Not just the crying kind, but a throw yourself on the floor, go limp as a ragdoll, then kick your legs wildly screaming "I don't want it!" kind. Finally, by about 9:30 she had worn herself out and fallen asleep. Luckily, this doesn't happen often....guess I will not change our schedule by going to a weeknight WW meeting anymore. :-)
Last night, I stayed up too late reading, which meant no AM workout for me this morning. I'm reading Stephen King's final installment of the Dark Tower Series, called "The Dark Tower". I really want to have it finished before school starts on the 20th. It's one of those books I have been meaning to read all year, but studying got in the way. So, yes, I slept in a bit. I will make up for it tomorrow with an AM core workout, rather than taking the day off as originally planned.
I decided to go to WW today, because Saturday is going to be busy for me. I know I have really gotten off track with my eating since Chicago, so I guessed that I might have gained 5 lbs. Although I secretly hoped it was only 2-3 pounds. At the same time, I was also terrified that it might be 10 lbs! Unfortunately, I was right...I have gained 5 lbs in a little more than 2 months! Actually, it was 5.4 lbs to be exact. Grrrrr...........................................................................................I am trying not to let it get me down and trying not to get disgusted with myself...I know I can lose it again, but it sucks to have to lose that just to get back where I was and then still have that last 5.6 lbs to lose. Not to mention that I am a WW lifetime member who has been paying for WW for 2 years now, trying to lose the same 10-12 lbs. Of course I didn't think about that when I was busy stuffing my face with all that holiday crap. So yes friends, this runner girl now weighs 146...again! My goal weight (per WW) is 135. So, I need to re-group and make sure that I stay on track this time. Realistically, with a 1 - 2 lb/week loss I can get rid of the weight in just a couple of months. Even with a 1 lb/week loss, I can be there by spring break...I guess I just need to keep the "big picture" in mind. On the bright side, I discovered the new WW "Sweet & Salty" snack bars...they are so yummy and only 2 points! I should have bought 2 boxes!!!
Tonight, I planned a very easy walk/run for 30-45 minutes. However, by the time I made it to the treadmill it was 9:40, so I settled for a whopping 20 minutes. A majority of that was walking...anything to keep the shin quiet. Earlier, I was looking at my WW points booster, which tells me how many extra points I earn for working out. It's based on my weight and the intensity of the activity. If I walk (a "moderate intensity" activity) for 30 minutes, I only earn 1 point! I think I may earn a little more than that ifI am truly "power" walking. But, if I run for 30 minutes (a "high intensity" activity), I earn 3 points. Hmmm, I knew there was a reason I liked to run!
Conditions - treadmill while watching ER
Total workout time - 20 minutes
Pace - 13.55
Total Pts Consumed - 27 (OMG! Can we say "Oink"?)
Activity Pts earned - 1
Flex Pts used - 6 (out of 35 for the week)
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
This evening, I ran for 35 minutes on the dreadmill. My left shin is still sore, so after running the 1st 15 minutes at a 10:54 pace, I slowed it way down to a 11:30 pace and took a few walk breaks. Afterwards, I did some stretches and iced the shin for about 15 minutes. Although I want to keep doing the 2-a-days, I may ease up on the running a little until the 1/2 marathon is done. It's times like these when I wish I had a bike...even a stationary one would be good.
It's hard to believe that the marathon is almost here. As I read everyone's posts about running the full, I feel a slight twinge of envy. I wish I was running the full. However, as I am running my 1/2, I am sure I will be thankful that I decided to run the shorter distance instead. My legs will thank me too. I'll try to save some marathon tips for next week...stay tuned.
On a different note, is anyone else as excited as I am about seeing the "Grease: You're the One That I Want" reality show? Yep, I know it looks incredibly cheesey, but I love Grease! I remember seeing the movie in the theatre at the age of 6. My parents had already seen it and figured that I would love the music and that the innuendos would fly right over my head. (They were right) Oh how I wanted to be a Pink Lady! Later, they bought me an 8-track of the soundtrack. Stop laughing...yes, we had an 8-track! In fact, my parents kept that thing well into my high school years! Or maybe it was college....anyway, my friends and I would act out the movie while trying to sing all the songs in our living room. My Mom hated it when I sang "Sandra Dee"...hell, I had no idea what the word virginity meant. Ah, good times, good times!
Conditions - Dreadmill
Total Run Time - 35 minutes
Total Distance - 3 miles
Pace - 11:40
20-minute Core Workout
WW StatsTotal pts allowed - 20
Additional activity pts earned - 4
Total points consumed - 23
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
After work and after getting the kiddo to bed, I decided to hit the treadmill. Since the shin pain has decided to linger all day, I decided power walking would have to do. So, I walked for 20 minutes...the most incredibly boring 20-minutes ever! For some reason, time passes more quickly when I'm running. Even watching the "America's Next Top Model" marathon didn't make the time pass more quickly....20-minutes was about all I could handle.
I am also back on the Weight Watchers again as of today! I haven't been to a meeting since the week after I returned from Chicago and to be honest, I haven't eaten well since then either. I'm a bit afraid of going to weigh in on Saturday, but I need to know exactly where I stand after the holidays!
Tomorrow - AM core workout am/PM running (possibly at the park)
Total workout time - 20 minutes
Type - Cardio
Total Workout time - 20 minutes
Type - Treadmill Walk
Total pts allowed - 20
Additional activity pts earned - 2
Total points consumed - 22
I thought 2006 was amazing with the PHR, GMAT, start of grad school and 3 marathons....but 2007 was amazing in its own way.
Despite the crazy school schedule, I managed to finish four 1/2 marathons and quite a few 5k's (no PRs, but all with respectable finish times). It was another successful school year - all A's and one B...not too shabby for someone who sucks royally at Finance (the B class). And, being a Mom was even more fun this year than last. Everytime the kiddo gets a little older, the hubby and I say, "This is such a fun age!". Then, the kiddo gets a little older and we say it again. In 2007, we finally paid off every bit of debt...that is, until the hubby decided he just had to have a brand new truck. Oh well! Of course, there's also the new job and my new hobby - cycling! I won't count swimming as a new hobby yet, since I haven't done any "laps" since my lessons in June. That will have to wait until grad school is over.
I suspect 2008 will be even better. A baby in May, graduating with a MBA in August, a new house sometime in there and who knows what else. I'm not really one to make resolutions, so I won't go there. I do have a goal though - to enjoy life every day and do what makes me happy. Very cliche', I know. But with so much going on, it's easy to get all wrapped up in the little day-to-day drama. I want to avoid that, because honestly, I have way too much to be thankful for! For the first time since my 1st pregnancy in 2004, I don't think 2008 will be a year of running for me. Hmmmm...I may need to change the name of my blog for a little while. ;-)
Finally, thanks to those who responded to my last post! That's what I have enjoyed most about blogging - learning from others and hearing different perspectives. Thanks a million!
Monday, January 01, 2007
Today, I started my day at Memorial Park. I wanted to make it to the Strider's Resolution Run, but we decided to take the kiddo to the 10:30 am showing of "Happy Feet", so it wouldn't conflict with her naptime. Since the Resolution Run started at 10, that wouldn't work.
As usual, I pushed the snooze button a few too many times, causing my planned 6-mile run to be trimmed down to a 5K. The 1st thing I noticed this morning was the lack of cars on the freeway. Even all those early Saturday mornings when I'm driving to the park at 4:30 am there are more cars! I couldn't help noticing the sign stating "Drive time to downtown: 5 minutes". As I pulled into the park, I then noticed the lack of cars there as well. Guess everyone had a much more eventful NYE than me. :-) I had no trouble finding about 20 parking spaces at the tennis center. As I was stretching, I talked to a man who is always there with his 2 kids. I really admire him getting the whole family out there every week.
I began my loop with the intention of running it straight through, but around the time I made it to the 1st mile marker I was feeling the previous night's dinner in the pit of my stomach. Yuck! I almost made it around to the water fountains before finally decided to take a walk break. I started running again and somewhere between the 2 1/4 and 2 1/2 mile markers, I just didn't feel like running. I wish I could say that I was in horrible pain or feeling really sick or something, just so I'd have an excuse for wussing out. But, no, it was just a crappy run day for me. Not exactly the way I want to start the new year! Of course, that's what I get for overindulging a bit last night. I did manage a "Good Morning" Or "Happy New Year" to everyone I saw....and much to my surprise, only 2 people didn't respond.
The kiddo loved "Happy Feet" and I have to admit that the hubby and I enjoyed it too. We had some lunch and then went home and actually napped with the kiddo for 2 full hours! I can't remember the last time I napped...it was great! Later, as the hubby was putting the kiddo to bed, I did another core workout - yes, I am giving the 2-a-day thing another try.
Conditions - 41-43 degrees
Total Run Time - Ugh, I forgot my watch!
Total Distance - 3.1 miles
Pace - ?
Core workout - 40 minutes