Friday, December 31, 2010

Margaritas and Miles

The kids are on break from their activities, the Hubby is on break from his martial arts classes and work has been slower than usual with everyone on vacation this week...bring on happy hour / dinner time with my running BFFs! Or should I say 'rita time?



As always, it was a fun time. Yes, any workouts earlier in the day were completely wasted...I had some chips (not too many), one taco al carbon in a corn tortilla (still being good) and a thousand calories worth of frozen margaritas (yes, that would be 2 drinks). But it's not about the drinks and food, it was all about the girl time. Yes, we talked about running. A lot. We talked about work and our families. Then, we talked about running. For hours. And triathlons too. And running. Here's a pick of the whole gang...they're the bestest (hope Kelly doesn't mind me borrowing this).


And here's one of me...apparently I am flipping someone off and didn't realize it! :-)

I set my alarm clock for 4:00 am as usual. Naturally, as soon as I hit the snooze button I realized that I did not need to get up at 4 am...1) the Hubby would be home today with the kids so I didn't need to get them dressed and to the daycare, 2) the traffic on my commute would be non-existent since it's NYE so I would make it downtown in record time and 3) mass transit was closed today so I'd be driving - this is much faster than the bus since I don't have to stop multiple times to drop people off. I ended up rolling out of bed at 6 am, ran the scheduled 2 miles (9:53 pace), and still made it to work in time (well, almost). Oh and I stopped at the suburban Starbucks, since the one downtown near my office will be CLOSED. Seriously?

I do intend to do P90X this afternoon when I get home from work and that will be the final workout of 2010. Best wishes for an awesome 2011 - BRING IT!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

You spin me right 'round baby...

My schedule is out of whack a bit since I've decided to move my long run to Sunday. I did the P90X stretch workout on Wednesday morning, but that didn't feel like a "real" workout, so I ended up going to another spin class at lunch.

I did several months of spin in 2009 when I was preparing for my 1st triathlon. Never during that time, did the instructor work hand weights into the routine. You can imagine my surprise when the instructor at yesterday's class told us to get 2 hand weights - one slightly heavier than the other. The spin class focused mainly on spin - break aways, hill climbs and jumps - but, for a portion of the class we used the weights while we pedaled. We worked out our shoulders, lats, biceps and triceps and during our cool down we did about 8 push-ups. Overall, it was a good workout...the music, not my favorite. Rob Thomas? I can do without Rob Thomas.

This morning, I headed out in the wee early hours to run. I had 5 easy miles on the schedule (a break from the speedwork, since I ran 13 over the weekend). In all honestly, I didn't want to get out of bed. This was my internal conversation:

"Just do 3 miles."
"Three easy, peasy miles and then come home."

I also remembered that it was an easy run day, so I told myself:

"Just take it easy, run at a comfortable pace. Five miles is no big deal"

I did manage to get out of bed, get dressed and go outside...but still did not want to run. But I did. The weather pretty much sucked - 65 degrees and 1000% humidity. It was even foggy enough to make the neighborhood look a little spooky.

Once I got going:
"Okay, let's go 4 miles. Four miles and you're done."

Then I made it to 3 miles:
"WTH, just HTFU, do your damn 5 miles and get it the hell over with!"

grumble. grumble.

Hopefully, I am not the only weirdo who not only talks to themselves, but also bargains. :-) My run was done at a very comfortable 10:29 pace and I was pleased with myself for not wimping out.

Tomorrow will be a quickie 2-miler followed by some chest and back exercises! Have a very happy new year's eve...be safe!

Happy running, biking and swimming!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spin, Spin and more Spin

Tuesday may just become my official spin day...depending on my work schedule of course. The past 2 weeks have been fairly slow with so many people at work out on vacation, so it's been easy to sneak out for spin class during my lunch break.

Yesterday's spin class was tough - lots of jumps, hills and intervals. I think it may take me a few more classes to really get used to spinning again, because I was sweating like crazy and my legs felt like jello. Good stuff!

Today would normally be my run day, but my left quad has been sore for a couple of weeks so I decided to give it one more day of rest. I'll do today's 5-miler tomorrow. I'm also pushing back my long run to Sunday, so that the hubby and I can actually run together...that means I may sneak in a quickie 2-3 miler on Friday and ride my bike on Saturday (depending on how the NYE festivities go).

One of my many goals for the 2011 is to stretch more. I am notoriously bad about stretching before and after my runs. I may stretch a bit after a really long, tiring run, but I rarely stretch after my shorter, weekday runs. I plan to incorporate either the P90X Yoga or X Stretch video into my weekly workout routine. Who knows, maybe it will help this stupid sore quad issue too! In fact, I decided to start working on this goal a little early and did the X Stretch video this morning. My problem with this? It didn't feel like a "real" workout, so I brought my workout clothes to work with me and intend to do some kind of cardio today during lunch.

More about the 2011 goals later. Until then, happy running/biking/swimming!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lazy Day

After the craziness leading up to Christmas and then Christmas Day, Sunday was declared by me to be Pajama Day (aka be LAZY day)! It was cold outside and the family had no plans, so we were not leaving the house. We had been so busy the past couple of days, that the kids never really had a chance to play with their new toys and we had not had time for any peace and quiet. It was just what we needed – we slept in (okay, so 7 am in sleeping in for us), we had a nice big breakfast, the kids played, the hubby watched football, we watched Polar Express (for the 187th time) and we had leftovers for lunch. All in all, it was a nice change of pace. And yes, I have some very non sexy pink flannel PJs with garden gnomes on them and added my thick green Santa socks to complete the look.

Of course, being the type of person who can’t sit still for too long, I did go out for an hour long bike ride around the neighborhood. (My friends doubted my ability to be lazy all day and they were right!) The temps had warmed up into the high 40’s, so it was still cool and it was a bit breezy – the combination of the two made for a somewhat slow pace. I got in just over 15 miles. For the most part, I was pretty warm the entire time….except for my toes. My toes were so cold that they hurt! It took them awhile to get back to the normal, non-numb feeling. The hubby also had to get out for his long run – he’s up to 8 miles (go Hubby go)! After showers, we went back to pajama-day mode again. :-) Awesomeness!

On Monday, it was back to the grind – running, work and getting the kids to daycare. It also happened to be the coldest day of the winter so far – a chilly 27 degrees at 5 am! I know some of you folks on the East Coast are scoffing at my reference to “cold” weather, but for us Southerners, this IS cold! I got out my running tights (instead of my capris), layered a short sleeve tech shirt with a long sleeve top over it and added some gloves…that was pretty much perfect. Usually, cold weather makes me want to run much faster than my usual pace, but this time I was having some issues – maybe it was all the holiday food, or maybe it was just too damn cold – but I stayed around a 10:20 pace for the 1st 3 miles and finished with a 10:16 pace overall. Even after a warm shower, it took me awhile to really get warm. Naturally today, we’re starting the day with temps in the 50s….Texas! Like I said yesterday, the weather is bi-polar here.

Today, it’s spin class during lunch since I didn’t wake up in time for P90X am so motivated like that.

Happy running / biking / swimming!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday time!

Christmas Eve started off our celebration. First was Christmas Eve service at Church. The kiddo was super cute in the children's choir and was so excited to play the bells this year. The Munchkin made it very clear that he didn't want anything to do with the Christmas singing, so I ended up watching from the Narthex while he ran around like a heathen. Ah, two year olds! Next, we headed to my Sister-in-Law's house to exchange gifts and pig out and drink wine eat dinner. We had a great time watching the kiddos open gifts...and a BIG thanks to my teenage, drum playing nephew, Ant, for buying the Munchkin a DRUM SET. My neighbors thank you too.





And, I survived the big Christmas craziness celebration at my house. It was a crazy, hectic day, but still a lot of fun. People starting arriving around 1:00 pm and it never slowed down. As hostess, I hardly got to really visit with anyone...just a "Hi, thanks for coming - you can put your coat here" or a "let me take that side dish" and "another glas of wine please!" or "the drinks are on the patio" or "here's a spoon for that". There were around 35 people, plus 3 dogs. Whew, what a day!

As for Santa, he was good to me this year....

I scored a Nook from the Hubby...which will be sooo much easier to tote on the bus! I didn't ask Santa for the color one. Seriously people, I'm reading books. The non-illustrated kind.



I also scored this cute triathlon necklace. Yep, that Hubster is awesome! (If you like it, check out windydaystudios.com)




The kiddos bought me several pairs of my favorite running socks....



And, they also bought me a cover for the Nook! They're awesome too, I think I'll keep'em!





And big thanks to my parents for the great gift card, my in-laws for the great watch and sunglasses, and my sister-in-law and her family for the cute sweater, scarf and jewelry set. Also, thanks to my boss (a fellow runner) - she bought each person in our department a $50 Sports Authority gift card. (I think I was the only one who let out a little happy gasp when I opened the card!) Yep, it was a good year!

We had a great time watching the kiddos open their gifts too. Playing Santa was definitely the highlight of Christmas. I will never forget hearing the Kiddo gasp with excitement when she saw that Santa had eaten most of his cookies and drank almost all of his milk, lol! It was so cute!

So what was your favorite part of Christmas this year?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday "Speedwork" and a long run...

Texas weather. It's December - one day you're wearing flip flops and shorts and the a/c is on, the next you're wearing sweaters and the fireplace is going. So bi-polar, but so typical.

Wednesday is my designated speedwork/tempo run day (it alternates each week). This week was supposed to be 8 miles - 1 mile warm up, 6 miles of 800s @ 9:15 w/400 rest, 1 mile cool down. As always on my speedwork day it was the flip flop hot weather. Why? Why is it always warm on my speedwork day???? So, it wasn't HOT, but 69 degrees with 90% humidity in December is warm in my book. I hit my goal pace on my 1st 3 800s, but it was hard for me...after that, it was all crap. I slowed way down. My final pace was slow - I was at my long run pace from Sat - 10:16. Ugh.

Since Saturday was Christmas Day, and we were playing host to about 40 family members, I decided to get my long run out of the way on Friday. Plus with Santa visiting, I knew the kids would be up before I could manage a long run. :-)

I slept in until almost 6 am and then set out for my run. Originally, I had a 14-miler on the schedule. However, I've had lots of nagging aches and pains all week, so I decided to cut the run down to a 10-miler. I also decided to give my body a break by slowing the pace way down. A cool front from the day before had made the temps much more bearable (high 40's), so it felt great to be out. I kept my pace around 10:40 for most of the run...just taking it easy. When I made it to mile 8, I was feeling great and knew 10 would be no problem. By mile 9.5, I decided that I wasn't ready to stop. I ran to my house to fill up my hand-held water bottle and headed back out for a 3-mile loop. My total run was 13.15, which took me 2:19 (a 10:36 pace)...funny because that was my finish time in January at the 1/2 marathon. This run made me feel a little better about my crappy run on Wednesday.

Only 5 weeks 'til the Aramco 1/2 Marathon...hard to believe it's almost here! I am actually more excited about the Austin 1/2 in February, because it will be the 1st time the Hubby and I will be running together.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and Santa brought you everything you wanted!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a Love/Hate thing...

with spin that is!




Last year during tri season, I didn't go to any spin classes at all. My bike times didn't improve, but fortunately, they didn't get any slower. This year I've decided that I need to add spin back into my training schedule, along with some time on the trainer. Lucky for me, my company has a gym on-site that is totally and completely free! Not only that, they offer all kinds of classes - Zumba, Karate, Pilates (mat), Body Sculpt and some others. Oh, and they offer SPIN! Not just that, they offer it 4x per week. The classes are usually pretty early, but today the class was a 12:15 pm - perfect to fit in between meetings!

I completely forgot how hard spin class could be. Going back for the 1st time in a year was tough. I miss going to my old classes at the Y, mainly because the instructor was so much fun and had music that rocked. The instructor today was good - she definitely made it challenging. When I spend an hour in a spin class, I want it to be a good workout. No, I want it to be a tough workout (i.e. hand me my ass on a platter, please). This class did the trick! The music was just okay - well, except for that Muse song. :-) I think I might try a couple of the other instructors too, just to see which ones I like best.

I also completely forgot how much I HATE spin class. But I love it too. I hate that I sweat like a pig. I hate that my legs feel like jello. But I love that I feel like I had a great workout. I love burning 400+ calories on my lunch break. Like I said, it's a love/hate thing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the Season

The holiday season is upon us. For most, the holidays mean holiday parties, lots of over indulging and gaining an extra 5 lbs. For those of us training for a January race, it means excusing ourselves early from the holiday parties and not over indulging...after all, we have a long run the next day and we want to avoid putting on that 5 lbs!

Last year, I had a lofty weight loss goal for the months of November and December. Lighter = Faster, I thought. I actually did lose weight during the holidays! This year, my goal isn't quite as ambitious - I just want to maintain during the holidays. No weight gain! Of course, the ever increasing mileage is certainly helping with that.

This past week was a tough one. The hubby was out of town, which meant no 4 am morning runs. And since the treadmill is officially dead, that meant no runs after the kiddos were in bed. I did manage to get in 4 miles on Monday morning before the hubby left town. But the lunchtime runs I was hoping for never happened. Well, except for a mediocre 2-miler I squeezed in between meetings one day. I also did one day of P90X and one day with Ab Ripper X.

Fortunately, the hubby was back in time for me to run my long run on Saturday. 12-miles. My last 12-miler was a few weeks ago...the day after one of those holiday parties. For that run, I was really proud of myself - I managed a 10:23 pace for the distance, which is faster than my January 1/2 marathon "race" pace of 10:34. And, that pace felt fan-freaking-tastic. So maybe that speed work is actually working? Hmmmm, imagine that! This week, my pace hovered around10:20. I wanted a negative split, so at mile 7 I picked up the pace a tiny bit. My final pace was 10:16....however, I will say that the last two miles were rough. I felt great until I hit mile 10 - that's when my legs were done. Bonk. Toast. I even took a short walk break at mile 10. Miles 11 and 12 were done at 9:59 and 10:22 respectively...not terrible, but I can usually really pick up the pace in my final few miles. That was just not the case on this run.

I'm not sure what might have happened. Maybe a 10:20-something pace is all my legs can take right now. I hope not. Maybe I should have planned my nutrition better - I only had gel one at mile 6 and about 16 oz of Gatorade. The temps were perfect (high 30s), so that wasn't it. My nutrition all week had been right on target, so that wasn't it either. I didn't eat a real dinner the night before, but that's not unusual.

What I do know is that my quads were super sore for the rest of the day. What I know is that the 1st 9 miles of that run felt great. What I also know is that if the temps are nice and cool, the planets align, and the running gods are smiling down on me on race day....I might just have a nice little PR in January. What I do know is that I would love that! Maybe eventually I won't feel like such a slow runner...heck middle of the pack is better than back of the pack, so I'll take it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Still here...

I'm still here.

Tri season is over, but I am still running and biking! Running about 3x per week, biking once a week on the weekends and doing P90X for strength training 2x per week. All in the wee hours of the morning (read: 4:00 am!). Well, except for the bike riding - I only do that during the daylight hours. I have been diligent about sticking to my training schedule and doing my speedwork and tempo runs like a good girl, and I've been pleased with the results. Two years ago, my average long run pace was an 11:30+ minute mile. Last year, I got that down to about 10:45 - 11:00. So far this year, it's been around 10:15-10:30. My shorter tempo runs up to about 7 miles have been a sub-10 minute pace, so I'm pleased as punch about that.

What can I say? Life is busy - I'm back to working full-time...this time last year, I was working a reduced work schedule, and later laid off. Being back full-time took some getting used to, but it's working well. The Kiddo just finished up the fall season of soccer and is still taking dance and gymnastics. The Munchkin just finished his first session of Soccer Tots, which was fun but a bit trying because he'd only cooperate if I was participating with him (and not the Hubby). The hubby is still doing martial arts 2 evenings per week and he decided to train for his 1st 1/2 marathon! I am super proud of the Hubster, because he's been consistent with his training and doing great! He selected Austin as his first....not necessarily the easiest course for a 1st timer. I am planning to run it with him...hopefully I can keep up!

The only area I don't feel I am doing as well in is my eating. Ugh, I am a stress eater and food addict. So, being super busy has not helped with the stress level, which in turn, has not helped with the stress eating. I've really been working on it though...only 8 weeks until the Aramco Houston 1/2 Marathon and I don't want any extra pounds on me to slow me down!

I am trying to decide if I want to commit to doing the Lone Star IM 70.3 in April. I REALLY, REALLY want to do it, but I feel stretched thin already and can barely stay on top of everything. Plus, our busiest time at work coincides with what I think will be the hardest training weeks (Feb/April). More to come on that decision....

Well, back to being busy! I'll be back again soon (I hope)!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Texas Tour...

Friday, September 24 - No workout
I'm the type of person who likes to get things over with...especially when it comes to long runs. Knowing that I was going out of town on Friday afternoon, I had every intention of running in the wee hours of the morning, but chickened out...I'm skeered to run in the dark in the 'hood. This meant I would be forced to run on Sunday evening - oh the horror.

Saturday, September 25 - No Workout
Unless you think I should count walking a hundred miles back and forth around SeaWorld, I did not workout on Saturday. Count the fried catfish and shrimp I had for dinner later and I think I gained about 5 lbs - even with the profuse sweating all day in the hot sunshine. But, it was a great day! We surprised the kiddos with the trip to SeaWorld and got to visit with the in-laws...okay, and a trip to the San Marcos Outlets. And, I finally had a chance to use my Sunglass Hut gift certificate on a cute pair of Lauren aviators! Yipee!

Sunday, September 26 - 6 mile run
Okay, so it wasn't the 10-miler on the schedule, but after getting home from San Marcos, unpacking, doing laundry, and going grocery shopping there wasn't much time left. Six miles was all there was time for before dinner and the kiddo's bedtime. But, it was a great 6 miles! It was a tad bit on the warm side, but the humidity was low and the neighborhood sprinklers were on! Overall pace was 10:23 and the last two miles were my fastest. Yippee skippy!

Monday, September 27 - no workout
This no workout thing is starting to become a habit. A month ago, when I was still finishing up Insanity, that would be unheard of! But, I knew it was going to be a long day - work in the morning, drive to College Station, presentation to students, dinner with students....I opted to get an extra hour of sleep.

Tuesday, September 28 - ~4-mile run
Ah Aggieland! I almost never get to go back to the A&M campus, except for the occasional recruiting trip for work (and there's rarely time for just wondering around the campus). This time, I happened to be recruiting with a couple of runners, so we decided to head out for a 5 am run around the campus. It was great to run around my old stomping grounds. I imagine it's like any other college campus - a lot has changed in the past 14 years! It was amazing to see all the new buildings and a little sad to see some old buildings gone. It was also a little sad to see that you can no longer drive through the campus streets - probably a post 9/11 precaution, so that no one could drive too close to any of the larger buildings. The temps were in the high 50's, so that was a great treat as well!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flexibility

I am a typical type A personality. I like schedules. This week, I've had a few lunch meetings, so I had to try my best to be flexible...luckily, the hubby is very far from type A and he helps balance out this OCD thing I have with schedules.

Wednesday, 9/22 - Run
I usually run on Tuesday and Thursdays during lunch at the gym at work (nice, right?), but this week I had lunch meetings. Fortunately, I knew this far enough in advance to plan ahead! ('Cause I'm a planner like that.) So, I managed to get in a run at the gym on Wednesday instead. I did a warm-up mile, then 2 laps fast (relatively speaking) followed by 1 slow x4, then a cool down. All in all, just a little over 3 miles. I managed to leave my watch at home, so I have no idea what my splits looked like. I do know I finished the 3 miles in less than 30 minutes...small improvements...

Thursday, 9/23 - P90X - Chest and Back, plus Ab Ripper X
Again, I had to be flexible - this is Friday's scheduled workout. On Friday, I shall attempt to run.

In my effort to continue to build some muscles, I have vowed to do a P90X workout 2x per week. Today's workout was nothing but push-ups and chin-ups, and I could tell it had been 2 months since doing this workout - it hurt! I could also tell by the number of "real" push-ups I could do, that I am much stronger than the last time I did this workout - that kinda rocks! During each exercise, I did about 20 "real" push-ups, before I had to drop to my knees and do "girlie" push-ups...the only exceptions were the dive-bomber push-ups. I still suck at those.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rest (sorta)

After finishing both P90X and then Insanity, I decided to take a little hiatus from everything Beachbody.com related.

The week before my tri, I only ran...then, last week (the week after my tri) I did one day of Insanity (I caved) and ran.

Tuesday, 9/14 - 3 miles, indoor track - took it easy...

Wednesday, 9/15 - Insanity - I only did the shorter, 45 minute workout

Thursday, 9/16 - 3 miles (again)

Saturday, 9/18 - 10 miles

That 10-miler on Saturday went well...I decided that I was going to push the pace a bit. In the heat, my pace sucks. Seriously. But, I usually finish my long runs feeling like I could have pushed a bit more. And, I end up pushing the pace a bit on the final mile or two. This week I pushed it and my pace was about 30 - 40 seconds faster per mile. I didn't have much left to pick up the pace at the end, but it felt great!

Now, I am only 2 weeks away from Ten for Texas and I am concerned that I might not PR. Last year, I maintained a consistent 10:30 pace for the entire race...totally unexpected and rather "fast" for me. This year, my pace has been faster with my shorter runs, but not so much with the longer runs.

The weather also plays a huge role in performance. Last year, we had a nice cool front come through just in time for the race - it was a nice 50-something degrees. I'll be hoping and praying that we're lucky enough for similar temps this year!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Quickie Post...

Sorry to post and run, but it's past my bedtime. Gee, I sound like a granny!

Tuesday, 9/7 - 5 mile, indoor track

Thank God for the indoor track at work! It rained all day, so there would be no running outdoors. And when I say rained, I mean in sheets. It was crazy! I wasn't really feeling "it", but went to the gym anyway. I compromised - go to the gym and if you still don't feel it after 3 miles, you can stop...but, if you feel good - do 4 miles. I did 5 miles! I felt great, so I kept going. The best part? This was an "easy" run for me, meaning I didn't really push the pace at all...but, I managed to maintain between a 10:05 and 10:15 pace for each mile. Definitely improvement!


Wednesday, 9/8 - no workout
Instead, I got to see PARAMORE! They were amazing. I went with two good running friends and we started with dinner and margarita's and the rocked it out at the concert...good times!
Wednesday, 9/9 - 3 miles, indoor track
Yep, it's sunny again. And hot. Indoor track is great...3 easy, peasy miles - 9:58 pace.
This weekend I am doing my final tri of the season, so I'll have a race report for ya next week!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

BRICK

So we had lower temps on Sunday. Less humidity too. Unfortunately, that was the one day I couldn't run or bike outdoors. On Monday, I had the opportunity to get in a quick brick and I was hoping the weather would still be nice. Imagine my disappointment when I opened the garage door to feel another 100% humidity day. Grrrrrr....

Fortunately, on my bike I can deal with crappy (and even hot weather) much better than when I run. My time was limited, so I decided on 45 minutes on the bike, followed by a 3 mile run. I have to say that while I am scared to death of crazy drivers on the road, I still have a love affair with my bike. To me, riding a bike doesn't feel like a workout...it's fun! I think that comes from me riding my bike up and down our street with my friends as a kid. I associate it to those fun, carefree days....you know the ones - when you wake up on a summer morning and wonder whether you're going to head to the pool, ride your bike all day or maybe just run through the sprinklers and lay out for awhile. Then again, maybe if I'd incorporate more intervals and speedwork into my rides it WOULD feel like a workout, lol.

I decided to wait for the sun to come out a bit more before heading to the nearby neighborhood where I like to ride. I killed some time in the areas of our neighborhood that are still being developed. There's a nice .65 mile loop where I did some intervals - 2 fast, 1 slow - for a few miles. Then, I finally headed out to my favorite roads to ride and actually mis-judged my mileage a bit (oops!). I ended up riding for 55 minutes (~14.75 miles), which only left time for a 2-mile run. There were quite a few people out on their bikes, which was good to see.

For the run, I hopped off my bike, put it and my helmet in the garage and then headed out (thinking about transitions in my head, of course!). I ran the easy, peasy two mile loop around my neighborhood. I tried to push my pace a bit, thinking that I was probably going to be completely anaerobic after a swim and bike during a tri. The result? Two miles at a 9:16 pace! Yeah, I've always been the 10:30 pace person...maybe 10:00 if I really pushed it. But 9:16? About a month ago, I rode 15 miles and ran a 3-miler at a 9:35 pace...so I think something I am doing is helping! Honestly, I think it's the Insanity program - I mean, you are in an anaerobic state for 30 minutes to a hour during those stupid workouts. (At least I am!) I think I'm getting used to that...which I know can be good and bad. Anaerobic is supposed to be great if you want to burn calories, but bad for building muscle (I think). Oh, and by the end of those 2 miles, I was definitely anaerobic...not quite ready to puke though. ;-)

Anyway, I am pleased with the workout and had a great Labor Day with the hubby and kiddos! Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend too!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

Busy, busy times! Here are my workouts for the past week...

Friday, 8/27 - Insanity - Maximum Interval Circuit

Saturday, 8/28 - 11-miler...great run!
Was a bit worried, because I've run a 10 miler in the past few weeks, but that's been it with the double-digit mileage since Zooma in April. Fortunately, it went well and turned out to be 11.5 miles! It did help that the weather was a teeny bit cooler much less humid than normal.

Sunday, 8/29 - 1 hour bike ride, ~16.5 miles
I'm so lucky to have a great place to ride near my house - minimal traffic, gorgeous scenery & good roads!

Monday, 8/30 - Insanity - Maximum Interval Plyo
Another insane workout at 4:15 am! I hate it when we have to do 16 push-ups, followed by running in a plank position...

Tuesday, 8/31 - Double workout day...
AM - Insanity - Maximum Cardio Conditioning
Another one of those insane workouts...

Lunchtime - 4 miles (indoor track)
Did a little speedwork - 1 mile warm-up, then switched to 2 laps fast (relatively speaking), then 1 lap slow...repeated 4 times, then 1 mile cool down.

Wednesday, 9/1 - Insanity - Maximum Interval Circuit
What is there to say - another nutty workout at an insane hour of the morning...

Thursday, 9/2 - Insanity - Core Cardio & Balance
Ummmm, okay, this is technically the "recovery" day for Insanity. I decided to sleep for an extra hour and have a real recovery day. I fully intended to get in a run, but between the kiddo's gymnastics class and thunderstorms, it just didn't work out.

Friday, 9/3 - Insanity - Maximum Interval Plyo

Saturday, 9/4 - 8-miler (cut-back week)
We were anticipating lower temps this weekend...at one time, the weather forecast even predicted lows in the high 60's and low humidity. Imagine my disappointment when I woke up to a humid 75 degree morning...not that 75 isn't better than 83, but still...Overall, it was a great run, great route and the morning ended with a trip to Starbucks and lots of girl talk.

Sunday, 9/5 - Bike / Run brick Swim
Didn't happen. Unfortunately, the Hubby was on call and ended up getting called into work which meant no brick! I'll keep my finger's crossed that it can happen tomorrow instead. I did make it to the pool to swim a few laps - 1600 yards. It felt great, but I could tell it had been a few weeks since my last swim!

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This week so far...

I totally took advantage of being able to sleep in on Sunday...that's usually when I get up to bike around 6 am. Instead, I slept until almost 8 am and it was heavenly!

Monday
  • Insanity - I don't remember which one...they all kick my butt - 59 minutes

Tuesday
  • Insanity - Another butt-kicking video - 59 minutes
  • Run - 3 miles on the indoor track at work - splits 10:05, 9:57, 9:25 - can't believe that last one...maybe the track is a little short?

Wednesday
  • Insanity - Maximum Interval Cardio (translates to "sweaty mess before the warm-up is over")
  • Run - 3 miles (again) on the indoor track at work - splits (10:00, 9:45, 9:31) - I really need to establish my training schedule for my upcoming 1/2 marathon...I should have done 4 or 5 miles, but it wasn't on the "schedule".....

Thursday
  • Insanity - Maximum Recovery - recovery, really? I was sweating and feeling the burn...is that REALLY recovery? Lots of push-ups in this one. In fact, I had to be a wuss and start doing the girlie push-ups 1/2 way through the s-l-o-w, 4-count up, 4-count down push-ups. Those are tough!
  • Run - This is normally a run day for me, but I have back-to-back meetings for most of the day (including lunch). That was why I ran yesterday instead...gotta plan ahead!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1st Day of School!



So Monday was the kiddo's 1st day of Kindergarten! I had the day off from work, so I woke up at the crack of dawn to workout (Insanity) before the kids were awake. The Hubby and I took the little Munchkin to school and then walked the Kiddo to her class. She had a great 1st day!!! And the Hubs and I got to hang out, have lunch, etc. It ended up being a good day for everyone.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waaaahhhh!

My kiddo starts Kindergarten tomorrow...where has the time gone??? Seems like just yesterday she was a tiny baby in a bassinet next to my bed! I'm excited and sad about it all at the same time. But, definitely more excited than anything, because I know she's going to have an awesome time!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hello? Is this thing on?

Just wanted to post a quick update...if there is anyone out there still checking here, I thought I would let you know that I am alive and well!

A lot has happened since my last post....

1) I enjoyed a fun time with my kids while unemployed. We continued "school" at home, took field trips to the library, the arboreteum, the zoo, the children's museum, and finally...a weekend in San Antonio with a trip to Sea World. Good times!



2) I continued my training and did a tri...I even beat my goal time by over a minute!


3) I once again became gainfully employed! A great job, a great company...I don't like to talk about work here, but you know the saying, "everything happens for a reason"? Well, it's certainly true! And, the company even has a gym, so I can get some of my weekdays runs done on a treadmill or indoor track during lunch!




4) And I did another tri...faster than last year on the run and transitions, but my swim and bike were both a teeny bit slower than last year. But overall, I had a blast!



5) I completed the 13-week P90X program. Then I started over and after week 3 switched to Insanity. Now, I'm in month 2 of that and enjoying it...even it means I have to get up at 4:15 am to do it before work!


I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for now. I will be back with more and try to post more regularly again. I've miss you guys and need to catch up on what's going on in your lives again too!
Take Care!

Christy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Zooma 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Here I am. Finally, back to blogging! If you're still checking back here, thank you for your patience!

I thought I'd start with a race report. It's been over 3 weeks since the race, but since I like to have a race report from every race (mainly for my records), I figured this would be the best way to ease back into the blogging world.
First, let me tell you that I was really looking forward to this mini-girl's weekend at the Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. The best part of this race for me last year was relaxing at the resort afterwards - imagine this...relaxing on an inner tube on the "lazy river" sipping on a margarita....see? Sounds nice, right? But, before that part of the trip started, there was this one little thing we had to do. Yeah, that pesky 1/2 marathon. For some reason, I was just not wanting to run those 13.1 miles.

Here's the entrance to the resort. On the long winding road from the highway to the actual resort, there are tons of steep hills. At one point, my friend Erica and I were raising our hands as if we were riding on a roller coaster. Yeah, it's THAT frickin hilly!

We arrived at the resort a little after lunchtime. Fortunately, our room was ready and we settled in. We laughed about how each of us brought enough stuff for a week-long trip...clothes, running gear, food (the most important stuff), gatorade, plus make-up, hair dryers and all that stuff.
Here's a pic of our room...


The resort grounds are beautiful...I'm sure they're even prettier when everything is blooming!





The temps were in the high 60's/low 70's, so we had lunch on the patio. It was a gorgeous, sunny day! Then, we headed to the Expo, which was small, but had some great vendors...and free wine (free wine is good, right?). Zooma is an all-women's race, so there were tons of groups of women everywhere. It made for a fun vibe around the resort. Later, that night we had smores by the campfire...do smores qualify as carb loading???



After some gossiping and giggling, we finally decided to get to sleep. Of course, before we knew it, it was time get wake up and get a move on. Here we are ready to race. Well, sort of...I was still feeling that "I don't wanna run" mojo...



Much to our surprise, it was overcast and humid...that would actually be a blessing. We sang the anthem and were off. I knew from experience that the first 3 - 3 1/2 miles were REALLY hilly, so I was prepared for that. And last year, the route was an out and back, so there were some less scary hills in the middle and then you had to face the REALLY hilly area again before the finish. Mentally I was prepared for that, but the negative mojo was still with me for the first few miles. I really, really wanted to stop and return to the resort to relax in the spa all morning. Really! But luckily, I caught up with Katie and I knew that I would keep going. We left the resort grounds and instead of turning right like we did last year, we turned right....oh crap, I knew where we were heading...remember that hilly entrance? Yep, we were running that shiat.
On the upside, we did get to see some Texas Bluebonnets along the route. Well, that and cows...lots and lots of cows!



A couple of the hills were so ridiculously steep that Katie and I actually laughed about them. Unlike last year, we didn't walk up...we charged up them, determined to kick their butt and take names! We actually walked to eat our bee stingers during a downhill!

I wish I could say the miles just flew by, and for the most part they did...until we made it to mile 10. Mile 10 was back where we started the race. This was mile 13 last year, so we wondered where in the world we were headed. Turns out, the race directors decided to have us run the sidewalks of the golf course. To me, this was the toughest part of the race mentally. The sidewalks would wind their way back and forth, back and forth, over and over...you could see people heading toward the finish, but the distance was deceiving because of all the winding around. We felt like ants in an ant farm and it sucked. Finally, after all that winding, we could see that we really were finally near the finish line. We kicked it up a notch or two and headed it. It felt great to be done!
Finished...

Here we are after the race...yes, my face is as red as my shirt!

After the race, we picked up our finisher's necklaces, grabbed our "light breakfast" and cupcake, and headed back to our room to freshen up. We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to enjoy the pool and lazy river, because it was still overcast and windy. However, by the time we made it back outside, the skies were clearing, hooray! We headed over to the spa, where we relaxed in the hot tub and had a few snack. Next, it was lazy river time!

Overall, I am so glad I didn't go back to the resort at mile 3 and relax in the spa. I felt like I earned that lazy river time (and the burger I had for lunch)! It was a great experience. I wasn't looking for a PR at Zooma - no way, no how on THAT course, but I did manage to PR the race on a course that IMO was more difficult than last year. My final time - 2:26...a 12 minute PR over last year. Like I said, not a PR, but not too shabby either!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Updates...

I guess I lied. Although when I promised to get back to blogging, I didn't know I was lying. Sorry for the week-long absence...it just seems that any time I am in front of a computer, I feel that I must be hunting for a job rather than blogging.

The good news is that I have been working out. Since I have more time on my hands, I've been working out 2 - 2 1/2 hours per day between making phone calls, searching the web for jobs and cleaning/organizing the house. As a result, I've lost 2 lbs! I've been following the P90X workout program, plus I've been swimming, bking and running. It helps keep me busy and fights off the stress of being jobless - yay!

I also have lots of pics to share in the coming days, so stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

HELL TO THE OOOOOOOO

Hello internet friends! Sorry for the hiatus. I have been here, working out in true TX Runner Mom fashion - swimming, biking and running. My schedule has been really off though, swimming on Wednesday, long runs on Sundays, bike trainer on Fridays, working out in the middle of the day.

Yes, you read that last one right.

Working out in the middle of the day. And I'm not talkin' about my lunch break. Two weeks ago today I found out that my position was being eliminated. I worked for the next week - just wrapping stuff up and transitioning things.

But, I am working my network. The day after I was given the news, I had my resume updated and sent out to a dozen or so contacts - headhunters, friends, former co-workers, you name it. I've met with recruiters and had a real bonafide interview today. So, don't be sad for me...just send me some good luck vibes! I intend to get back to regular blogging now and catch up on reading blogs too...I've missed you all!

Enough of that! I don't like to talk about work stuff here, so let's get to the workouts already.

Sunday, 3/7 - Long Run, 12 miles
To be honest, I didn't feel like running 12 miles alone. Fortunately, my running peeps decided to run on Sunday instead of Saturday, which fit perfectly into my schedule. We ran 12 miles in the hilliest area around, which included a 2-mile trot through an even hillier neighborhood. (Is hillier a word?). We normally run on a semi-hilly road, then turn into this hilly neighborhood, do 2 miles and then head back onto the street again for an out and back, then through the hilly neighborhood one more time. But this time, we did 2 loops of the hilly neighborhood out and 2 loops on the way back. Ouch! Why all the hills? Zooma Austin, of course! The course is the hilliest I've run and the hills we train on are nothing compared to the hills in this 1/2 marathon. Ugh!

Monday, 3/8 - P90X and Swim
I felt that swimming would be best for the legs after the previous day's 12-miler and I was right. I swam 1250 yds. No drills, just swimming - 100 yd warm up, followed by 500, a short rest, another 550 and then a 100 yd cool down. Later in the day, I decided that I might as well make the most of my free time, so I decided to start P90X again. Monday was day 1 - Back and Arms, plus Ab Ripper X. Ouch!

Tuesday, 3/9 - P90X and Run
Day 2 of P90X - Plyometrics. But first, I ran 30 minutes on the treadmill (2.93 miles, 10:14 pace). I forgot how difficult it is to do plyo after running. But, it's even harder to run after doing plyo! But, I struggled through it and finished. My legs were still feeling tight from the 12-miler and my arms, back and pecs were hurting from Monday's workout...I've done this before, so I know it does get easier. Eventually.

Wednesday, 3/10 - P90X and Run
Doing my long run on Sunday sorta screws up my run schedule later in the week...especially when I am trying to fit in the biking and swimming. I've really cut back on the mileage over the past few weeks because of the hip pain. It's still there. Today's run was just 40 minutes, outdoors at a 10:36 pace (3.77 miles). It was hot today - 80 degrees! Just a week ago, I was running in tights and long sleeves, and today it was a running skirt and tank top! Why, oh why can't we get a few weeks at 60 or 70 just to get acclimated to warmer temps slowly??? Ugh! Today's P90X was Shoulders and Arms - my absolute favorite! Rather than doing pull-up and push-ups, this workout uses hand weights and works shoulders, biceps and triceps. Love it!

That's it for now...see you again soon!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Still here...

I'm sorry I've been MIA for awhile. I will get back to blogging next week - I PROMISE! In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday Brick

Back to the grind. Time for my Monday "brick". Should I call it a faux brick since I am doing this indoors? Maybe a frick?

The kids were just amazing last night - as close to being little angels as they can get. They didn't fuss at all when I picked them up from my parent's house - usually they want to play longer, eat cookies and all the other stuff that they get to do at the grandparent's. They ate their dinner with no playing around in between bites. They put on their PJs with no arguments. And, they went to bed right on schedule. Quick, write this on the calendar, because this almost NEVER happens! Before I knew it, the next day's lunches and clothes were all ready and it was time to workout. Gotta love that!


Just imagine the little halos, lol!

I rode 40 minutes on the bike trainer while watching the end of The Bachelor. Anyone else watch this train wreck of a show? Can I just say that Rozlyn is whacked! Although I never get to watch an entire episode, this is the 1st time I've actually kept up with the show...yeah, minutes of my life that I will never get back. Soooo, who do you think the bachelor will choose?

After the bike, I headed upstairs and jumped on the dreadmill. Only 2 miles tonight - 19:57, 9:58 pace. I know for some folks, this is your slow pace...for me this is pretty good! For some reason, I always seem to run better after the bike (at least with shorter distances). So, in total, a 1 hour workout.

And before bed, I watched Kell on Earth - another trainwreck of a show, but I love it! Guilty pleasures, we all have'em!

Finally, we're expecting snow today.

SNOW PEOPLE!

IN HOUSTON!

AGAIN!

WHAT THE FRICK?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pleasant Surprises!

Where does the weekend go? Seriously?

Here's an update on my workouts...

Thursday, 2/18 - treadmill run
Thursday is usually my swim day, but for some reason I had this urge to clean our master bathroom shower stall. I hate cleaning that thing - especially the glass, which always seems to have water spots, no matter how much I use the squeegee. Since I hadn't run all week, I decided it would be a perfect night for a treadmill run.

I hesitated a lot before this run, because my hip had been bothering me all day. When I finally mustered the courage to get on the treadmill and start moving, I was pleasantly surprised that my hip didn't hurt at all. However, it did hurt afterwards...ouch! Total run time - 30 minutes, 2.87 miles, 10:27 pace.

Friday, 2/19 - Swim, 1000 yards
After getting the kids to school, doing the grocery shopping and cleaning the house a bit, I headed to the gym for a swim. It was weird swimming during the day! I followed these drills for a total of 1,000 yards. It felt great and the best part - swimming didn't bother my hip at all! And, for some reason my hip didn't bother me at all for the rest of the day....crazy! I won't complain though, I'll just enjoy it!

Saturday, 2/20 - Long Run, 10 miles
I had the unique opportunity to run on Saturday morning with my running peep, Katie. I miss running on Saturdays with my peeps! Since the Kiddo has a class every Saturday, I don't get to do it often. Our next race is the Zooma 1/2 Marathon in Bastrop, so we decided to run the hilliest route in our neck of the woods - Flintridge.

Now let me tell you, we also ran some Flintridge last year to prep for Zooma, but there is nothing that can prepare you for those kind of hills! They hit you one after the other and they pretty much suck. But, at least the Zooma website doesn't sugar coat it - they do call it a "challenging" course! I'm a bit concerned, because I don't get to run hills every week....guess I need to up the incline on the ol' dreadmill more in the coming weeks. Let's face it people, Houston is not hilly! I was also concerned because of my on-going hip issues. I've been afraid of pushing it too hard and making things worse.

The course was an out and back with a couple of laps through a very hilly neighborhood. The conversation was good and there were pretty houses to look at, so the miles went by pretty quickly. It wasn't a fast run by any means, but then again, I am not accustomed to the hills. But, we did run a negative split, so that made me one happy runner! Afterwards, we met more of the running peeps for coffee and got to catch up! Fun times! Total run - 10 miles plus some change, 1:53, 11:21 pace.

Later in the day, we took my Dad to dinner for his birthday (the BIG 65!) And then headed over to a friend's house where the kiddos could play and the grown ups could watch some Olympics.

Oh - and no hip pain before, during or after the run! I was surprised how great my legs felt after the 10-miler, hills and all! WHOOT!

Sunday, 2/21 - rest day
I really need to work out my tri training schedule. Sunday should be a bike or swim day, but it's not in writing, therefore it did not happen! After a semi-late night at our friends, I was surprised that the whole house actually woke up in time to not only go to church, but have breakfast beforehand. After church, we headed to hell Chuck E Cheese for a birthday party. And, for the 1st time EVER, the Hubby and I were able to take a nap! The Munchkin was down for his nap and the Kiddo was perfectly content coloring and watching a movie....so we napped. It's been so long since I've taken a mid-day nap, that I forgot that I don't like them! Sounds weird, but I always wake up feeling groggy and yucky. No more naps for me.

Oh, and still no hip issues! Yahoo!

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to a super productive week of amazing workouts!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

(late) Valentine's Day post and more...

So how was your Valentine's Day? (Yes, I am a bit late in writing about this topic...) Ours was great...it's funny how low key V-day becomes when you have 2 small kids. The hubby and I decided that rather than wait forever for a table at an overly crowded, over priced restaurant, we'd grill at home. So, the hubby went to Hubbell and Hudson on Saturday afternoon and picked up some awesome-looking steaks, some twice baked potatoes and a bottle of wine. This is something we'd do often before we had kids....we'd head to Central Market or Whole Foods and pick up stuff to make a wonderful meal. So I guess you could say this was long overdue! After the kids were tucked into their beds, we enjoyed cooking and eating this yumminess!



The "sweetheart ribeye"....Can we say yum?


The meal all cooked...I forgot the almond slivers for the green beans. And no, I didn't eat the entire thing - I saved more than 1/2 of everything (except the green beans) for later.



Our wine...Edge - a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It's reasonably priced and quite yummy(read: around $20...remember, we're paying for 2 in daycare)!

Sunday the kids woke up to find their Valentine's Day gifts waiting - for the Munchkin, it was a Thomas the Train card and set of 3 dvds (oh boy!) and for the Kiddo, it was an Ariel card and Barbie and the Diamond Castle dvd (which several of her friends have and she's been wanting "forever") and a Disney Princess Sing-A-Long dvd (can't wait to watch that).

The weather was just awesome, so rather than heading to the gym for a swim, I opted to spend the day with the kiddos. The hubby and I took them for a walk around the neighborhood and then to the park. So yeah, Sunday became a rest day for me...although I really don't call chasing after your at the park rest.


Here are a few pics from our day....I would have added captions with each one, but freaking Blogger is making them too small to read! Grrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




















And now for the workouts....

Monday, 2/15 - Bike (trainer) and Core (Ab Ripper X)
Monday was a 40 minute ride on the trainer. I really should be doing more, but I am at a loss for what to do on the trainer. I usually warm up for 5-10 minutes, pick up the pace for 10 minutes, do some intervals (yesterday was 2 minutes fast, 1 minute slow x 5), then ride at a good pace for another 10 minutes, then a warm down. My ankle was feeling a bit strange since Saturday's race, so instead of following my ride with a treadmill run I decided to do some core work with the P90X Ab Ripper X. Love to "feel the burn"!

Tuesday, 2/16 - Swim
Tuesday I headed to the pool after the Kiddo's dance class. I was running a little later than usual, then I ran into one of my running peeps and talked to her and her hubby for a minute, so I was running even more behind schedule. I had promised the Kiddo I'd be back to give her a kiss goodnight, so that meant I had to cut my workout a little short. (Am I the only one who feels like they have their days scheduled down to the last second sometimes?) I still followed the workout from last week, but shortened some of the drills in order to get out of the pool on time. In total, my workout lasted 40 minutes. I have no idea how many laps I did, because I lost count. We'll just say I did "a bunch"...okay?


Wednesday, 2/17 - Nada
This is not normally my rest day. In fact, this is usually my shorter mid-week long run. However, I was at another job fair all day and as the day went on, I started feeling kinda crummy. Just that tired, feeling you get when you *think* you might be coming down with something. By the end of the day, I was sneezing and just feeling pooped. I crawled into bed as soon as I tucked the kids into bed and made lunches - around 8:45 pm. I was asleep shortly after 9 pm - a rare thing in my house! So now I know what 8 hours of sleep feels like...and I like it! However, the possibility of me ever going to bed at 9 pm and getting those precious 8 hours again are slim. Very slim!


Wurd.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Goals

Okay, so I realize that I am probably the last blogger on the planet to post my goals for the year. The problem is that I never feel I can start my new year's running goals until after the Houston 1/2 marathon. That race is one I always do and it kind of closes the year for me. But then, after the 1/2 I managed to get wrapped up into training for the next race and never get to my goals.

Before I can talk about my 2010 goals, let's review 2009...In comparison to 2006-2008, this year seems almost calm. In the previous years, I was in grad school, pregnant, remodeling a house, selling a house, buying a new one, moving, etc. When looking at 2009, the things I am most proud of are:
  • Learning to swim - a HUGE obstacle for me)
  • Competing in four triathlons - short ones, but swimming was required in all of them and the fact that I did not drown in any of them makes me quite proud!
  • My PR at the 1/2...I've been working on getting faster and it's actually working. I know it takes time though - baby steps!

I also managed to lose some weight and overall, I just feel so much stronger this year!

In 2010, here are my goals:

  • Spend more time with family - this includes more time with my parents as well.
  • Be more patient, especially with the kids. I find myself getting so impatient and getting bent out of shape of stupid stuff. This is a goal every year, but I always need to work on this one...my hubby and kids will thank me for it.
  • Get to goal once and for all! In 2009, I managed to lose 6.5 of the 8 lbs I wanted to lose between November and January (and they say you can't lose weight during the holidays - total hogwash!!!). My goal for 2010 is to get to my goal weight by my 1st tri in May...it's only 6 more lbs, but I know those are always the hardest to lose!
  • PR in all distances - 5k and 10k mainly. The next 1/2 I'm planning to do this year is Zooma, which is REALLY hilly...I am highly doubtful of a PR there. But, since I count Houston as part of my 2010 goals, I am going to work toward a PR there. I'd also like to improve my times in swimming, biking, and running and PR in any of the Tris that I competed in last year and will be doing again this year.
  • Complete at least 4 triathlons. 'nuff said.
  • Re-work our family budget and stick to it. We were pretty good with this until recently...time to get back to it (thank you Dave Ramsey)!
  • To become ridiculously organized. Seriously. We need help in the master closet and the kid's playroom...I will make some magic happen this year!
  • Be a better friend. Sometimes it's hard when you have small kids, you're always in training for something and feel you're going in a million different directions, so I want to slow down and take time out for my peeps!
  • Be happy!

That's it for now. Peace out!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Run Away With My Heart Race Report

Okay Mother Nature, this is Texas!

Houston to be exact.

We don't have cold winters here. (At least we're not supposed to.) And by cold, I mean lows in the 20s and 30s. I know you Northern folks are giggling right now and calling me a pansy, but seriously folks - this is NOT normal!

It's bad enough that Mother Nature has to kick us in the ass every summer with 100+ temps and 100% humidity, but does she have to do it in the winter too? Our "winters" are not what people in other parts of the country consider winter...Texas winters are just a series of cold fronts with warmer temps in between. Every summer, I long for the "winters" here...and when it's finally in the 30s, I usually savor every second. Why? Because I know that it's just a matter of time before my car temperature gauge will read 116 again and it will be 87 degrees at 6 am. When it's cold, I feel like I can run forever. I also love that I don't return home from a run as a sloppy, drenched, stinky mess. I hate to say this - but I've had enough!

So where am I going with this? The Run Away With My Heart race was Saturday and it was a whopping 36 degrees. Honestly not that bad for a normal Saturday run...but when you're dragging your 2 kids and hubby out to a race (and you have to stand around for an hour), it's cold!

We arrived at the race later than I would have liked. I forgot the camera, so we had to go back home. Fortunately, we live about 6 minutes from the start line, so it was all good. When we arrived, we had just enough time to get everyone out of the car, get the stroller out, get everyone bundled and pin on the Kiddo's race number. Both the kiddos had multiple layers on - kinda like the kid from Christmas Story who can't put down his arms. :-) The Kiddo was running the kid's 1-miler. We heard the announcer (Jon) telling all the kids to get to the start. The Kiddo looked a teeny bit nervous, but was excited. What I didn't realize is that even the kid's race was a trail run...and we just bought the Kiddo new Nikes! :-) Not a big deal if it hadn't rained all day on Thursday. I had planned to run with the Kiddo, but the Munchkin had other plans for me - he was cold and clingy - luckily, the hubby shunned his photographer duties and ran with her. In his Vans. With multiple layers of clothing. Did I mention that he is NOT a runner? The kiddo did great. From what I could tell, she was one of the younger participants. And she even beat a couple of boys who appeared to be a couple of years older. She was very proud of her finisher's medal (and her muddy shoes)!

And they're off! These are the youngest of the kiddos heading out on their run.

Daddy got a quick pic before taking off with the Kiddo. It was cold and the Kiddo didn't want to take her hands out of her pockets, lol!


After the race with "Kissy Bear", that's my girl!

A few minutes later, it was time for the 5-miler to begin. We took off and within minutes, I saw the mud. There was a lot of mud dodging going on in the 1st mile, so it was slow going. I was being overly cautious....heck, I've never run in mud before, so the last thing I wanted to do was slip and fall or tweak an ankle. For some reason, about a 1/2 mile in, I noticed that my left sock was coming off my heel and slipping down into my shoe. I stopped and pulled it up, then went on my way again. Before I hit the 1-mile mark, both socks were doing the same thing! I had to stop, untie my double tied shoes, pull up my socks and then re-tie my shoes (but much tighter!). Not sure why this happened...I did wear my oldest pair of shoes and from what I remember, I may not have worn this type of sock with them in the past. The shoes felt loose and everything was fine after I tightened my shoes. Then of course my shoes felt too tight and I was worried I'd start to lose circulation, lol! My 1st mile was craptastic - 11:33 pace! Doh!

At some point, in the 2nd mile I saw a sign that said "mud hazard". Sure enough, it was really muddy! Next, I saw a sign that said "water hazard". They weren't kidding! There was a dip, with a huge puddle of water at the bottom. Someone had placed a wooden pallet there to make a bridge, but when you stepped on it, it sunk. Then, when you stepped off of it, the only place to go was into ankle deep water! There was a volunteer there and he did warn us that the water was ankle deep. So the shoes were a little squishy after that, but it was all fun! I thought for sure that I'd lose the long sleeve shirt, or at least the gloves, but I never got that warm. It was nasty and overcast, plus the wet feet...maybe that's why I never warmed up.

A little later, I noticed that we were out of the muddiest area and we were running either on packed dirt or rocky gravel...it was an out and back course, so I made a little mental note that I should pick up the pace here on the way back, especially since that last mile would be a slow, muddy one. And that's exactly what I did - I ran the drier areas at a sub-10 pace. When we did get back to the mud, I said screw it and did my best to just run right through it. Screw caution. :-) I was getting brave. The only problem, is that after those fast(er) couple of miles, I was struggling. I was breathing hard and going as fast as I could (around 10:20 - 10:30). But, I think I managed to pick it up a little at the very end and managed to finish in 53:32 - the Garmin said I ran 5:07 at a 10:34 pace. Must have been all that mud dodging, lol! Official results - 53:32, 10:42 pace. As I suspected, not the fastest 5-miler.
Crappy picture. Almost at the finish...about to check the Garmin, of course!


With the kiddos after the race....brrr, so cold! We didn't stick around too long.


Ahhh mud! Actually, the shoes looked much better than I thought the would after all that mud.
Overall, this was an excellent race. It was well-organized and you could tell there was a lot of thought put into all the extras - the great swag (a Bondi Band, flashlight, water bottle, energy bar, t-shirt, etc.), carnations at the finish, breakfast tacos at the finish, donuts (which the kiddos seemed to enjoy while I was running), even the chance to renew your vows (maybe next year, it was too cold this year) and much more! I'm looking forward to next year - mud and all!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Catching Up

Thursday, 2/11 - Rest Day
Technically, I should have been hitting the pool since it was Thursday. However, my day started at 4:00 am, so I could meet up with a co-worker at 5:30 and drive to College Station (well, Bryan to be exact) for a career fair. As you can imagine, with the economy and all, we aren't doing a ton of hiring right now, but we do have 2 summer internships available and possibly some in the fall. With the slow economy, there were fewer companies participating...which means we get to talk to even more students. You wouldn't think standing around talking non-stop to students for 8 hours straight would be all that tiring, but IT IS!! By the time we made it home, it was close to 7 pm. Driving there and back in the rain is no bueno! No workout. I slept like a log!

Friday, 2/12 - Long Run
What to do, what to do? I needed 10 miles this weekend...but, I had a 5-mile race on Saturday. Probably not the optimal plan, but I decided to split up the run - 5 miles on Friday, 5 miles on Saturday. I took the kiddos to school, did the grocery shopping and did some cleaning around the house before heading out for my run around the hood. I decided to push the pace a little, since I knew Saturday's trail run would be slow going thanks to all the rain we had on Thursday. Final stats - 5 miles in 51 minutes, 10:14 pace. It was overcast and chilly, but overall not too bad. After the run, I met my Mom at the movies to see Valentine's Day. Cute movie! I've seen quite a few movies lately, but that could be a whole other post!

I'll have the complete re-cap of the trail run/race tomorrow complete with pictures. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brick and Swimming Pools

Monday, 2/8 - Brick - bike (35 minutes), run (3 miles)
I forgot to mention yesterday that I may have found the culprit in my hip pain - The 30 Day Shred! Maybe it's not the cause of the pain, but it certainly made the hip hurt on Sunday. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but I think it was the lunges. I may do the workout again this week just to be sure. Just when I thought the hip thing was just a fluke. Dang!

Monday, I hopped on the bike trainer once I got the kiddos into bed - and they actually went right to sleep (must have been the gin I slipped into their milk.....okay, just kidding)! I watched the remainder of The Bachelor followed by 10 minutes of Castle while I rode. After finishing the bike ride, I scooted right up the stairs and hopped on the treadmill for a 3-miler. This time, I was all business...no playing on the computer, no flipping through tv channels. Yay me!

I finished my 3 miler in 30:58, or a 10:19 pace. Not bad for me. And, this was kind of a progressive run. I started out really slow - just to test out the hip and back issues. Both ached a bit at first, but I noticed that as I increased my speed, the pain lessened. I also noticed that when I increase my speed, I am much better at holding in my core muscles and my stride is shortened. Maybe all that sloppy, slower running is what's screwing things up? I dunno, but I thought it was an interesting observation. We'll see how Wednesday's 5-miler goes.

Tuesday, 2/9 - Swim, 1600 yds
I decided to step up the swim workout a bit, especially since I know I'll be working late on Thursday and will more than likely not get to swim at all. *sigh* So, I found this workout on swimplan.com (my comments are in red):

Duration 45-60 mins
Distance 1600yd
Pool length 25yd
Issued Feb 10 2010

Warm up
• 8 x 25yd Freestyle Swim (even pace), rest 0:10 / 25yd [Easy]
Freestyle swim at a steady pace.
Brrr, water was chilly at first....

Build up (repeat 4 times)
• 1 x 25yd Single Arm (arm out front) 6 x left, 6 x right, 6 x full stroke, rest 0:10 / 25yd [Easy]
Freestyle using one arm at a time, focusing on shoulder and hip rotation. Complete 6 arm strokes with the left arm then 6 strokes with the right arm followed by 6 strokes using both arms. The non-stroking arm is held out front in a streamlined position.
I still suck at this one, but it's getting a bit better. I tend to bob up and down a bit when I take a breath on this drill...

• 1 x 25yd Freestyle DPS, rest 0:10 / 25yd [Aerobic]
Freestyle swim with maximum Distance Per Stroke (DPS). Concentrate on long, efficient strokes and a high streamlined body position to reduce drag in the water. Count your strokes per lap and try to reduce.
I still suck at this too...minimum strokes for me last night - 17! Not much improvement at all!

Core
• 8 x 25yd Freestyle Swim, rest 0:10 / 25yd [Aerobic]

• 4 x 100yd Freestyle (25yd Easy, 25yd Effort), rest 0:30 / 100yd [Endurance]
Freestyle swim at a slow, relaxed pace for 25yd, followed by Freestyle at a fast pace for 25yd. Recover during the easy part of the swim.
This was tough for me on the 3rd and 4th 100...at one point, when I was doing the 25yd Effort I got a mouthful of water and had to stop and cough. Can we say embarrassing...especially when the dude in the next lane can make the butterfly look effortless!


• 4 x 50yd Freestyle Swim, rest 0:10 / 50yd [Endurance]
This went well...

• 8 x 25yd Freestyle Swim, rest 0:05 / 25yd [Endurance]
This one too...

Warm down
• 2 x 100yd Easy Any Stroke, rest 0:20 / 100yd [Easy]
Swim your choice of stroke, at a slow, relaxed pace.
I did one 50 with nothing but sidestroke, just for "old time's sake"...side stroke takes a lot more effort than freestyle. I think people have been telling me that for a year and it took me this long to agree, lol!

So that's it for now! To my bloggy friends up north, take care and stay warm in this winter madness! I'll try not to complain too much about our 30-something degree temps. :o)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Super Bowl Weekend

Last week was pretty interesting. The Hubster had a big work project and between Wednesday and Saturday, put in over 30 hours of overtime which included a drive to Dallas and back on Saturday. Crazy!

Thursday, 2/4 & Friday, 2/5 - rest and running
Due to the Hubby being at work, there was no swim for me on Thursday. Friday I did get in my long run and it felt pretty good! I purposely started out very slow, just to see how the back and hip would feel. Fortunately, neither one bothered me too much! Surprising after Wednesdays craptastic treadmill run. One thing I am wondering - is my gait on the treadmill is different from my gait when I run outdoors? If so, it hasn't been an issue...until now. And maybe it's a non-issue, I don't know. Anyway, I ran 8 miles at an average 10:47 pace...like I said, slow and steady. I did run at my 1/2 MP for the last 2 miles though. The weather was awesome! 50 degrees and sunny...yes, there was sun!!! And the home builders in the neighborhood must have liked seeing the sun too, because there were cement trucks all over the 'hood...pouring driveways, pouring foundations. It was interesting to watch as I ran by.

Saturday, 2/6 - rest day
Saturday was my rest day....to be honest both the back and hip felt a little beat up. The hubby was at work all day, so while the Kiddo was in her theatre class in the morning, the Munchkin and I took a walk all over downtown Houston. We saw the Metro rail, we walked through the park and saw fountains, we went to Starbucks and we saw Houston's homeless. :-) Afterwards, I gave in and took the kiddos to McDonald's for lunch. It had been awhile since they'd had Happy Meals, so off we went.... Afterwards, I was forced to play "Scooby Doo" in the backyard with the Kiddo while the Munchkin napped. Yes, she was Daphne and I was Velma.


Say hello to "Daphne" who just loves to "solve mysteries" and "catch villians"

Once the kiddo woke up, we played outside and then took a walk around the hood. Later, the kiddo and I made cupcakes for her to decorate with her friends the next day while all the grown up watched the Super Bowl. We also made these...


Cake Balls...courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. And please, no hatin' on my decorating!

Sunday, 2/7 - Super Bowl Sunday (and a run/shred)
Knowing that I would not be eating quite as well later, I knew I needed to get in a run before church. I wish I had the kiddos that slept in, so I could sneak out for a run and be back before they woke up. Unfortunately, that's not the case yet. The Kiddo was in our room at 5:35 am, ready to start her day. Due to some scary stuff happening in our neck of the woods, I decided to wait until daylight to go for a run...yeah, that gave me time to do only 2.5 of the intended 4 miles. Grrr...However, after church I did manage to also get in the 30 Day Shred while the Munchkin napped. Whatever works!

We thought the Super Bowl party was going to be a dud....we had 2 couples coming over who both have kids around the same age as the Kiddo. One couple cancelled because the husband got called into work (we know that feeling very well) and the other couple cancelled because their kid had a fever and was all sniffly (we thank them for not sharing the germs!). So, our little party wasn't happening...and we had a ton of fajitas and a dozen cupcakes sitting in our kitchen! The person who was the most disappointed was the kiddo. She was looking forward to playing with her friends...so, I got to play Peter Pan with her for part of the evening and then she decorated the cupcakes for us.


Viola...here are the cupcakes! Looks like a sugar attack waiting to happen. What remains after Monday will go off to work with me (same with the cake balls)!

Luckily, my parents didn't have plans and they were nice enough to come over and help us eat some of the food.


Okay, so these aren't the fajitas...the hubby is a hunter and had just picked up this venison, so he just had to cook it. Mmmm...no yucky hormones or antibiotics in this!


Of course I had healthier options! The Munchkin and I chowed down on this.


And of course no Super Bowl event is complete without frosty adult beverages. My choice is on the left, the Hubby's on the right. I only had one of these and one of the "light" version.

Oh, and WAY TO GO SAINTS!!!