Monday, November 30, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Good evening, night-ish.

I'll be honest. I haven't been particularly diligent about working out. I've been making it when I can, when I'm itching to work out or something. A couple times a week probably. I went on my very first business trip the weekend before Thanksgiving, and then when I was in Tulsa, I had people I wanted to see. Working out/training wasn't high on my priority list. I'm OK with that. I don't regret any of the decisions I made. I've learned that a few weeks off isn't going to hurt me all that bad, so there's no reason to stress about it. Other things are more important sometimes.

On a side note, I thought for sure I was gaining weight due to the decrease in exercise, but my jeans are actually looser. Then I got on the scale, and I think I've lost a few pounds, somehow. I'm not complaining by any means (too many women would murder me if I was).

Back to the main blog. I went to work out today. One hour of cardio - It was amazing! My legs actually felt relaxed after. Like they were back to where they liked to be. Sometimes it's good to have a good sweat. Looking forward to it tomorrow, too! I'm wanting to get back on track in the next few weeks. I know it's crazy for people around the holidays, but my work is calming down for a few weeks, then I have two weeks off. January and February will be CRAZY, so I do want to focus on working out and enjoying it while I can. Of course, holiday shoppings, cards, decorations, etc., are always high on the priority list!

I love this time of year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


(I couldn't think of a clever title. Sorry.)

On Friday after work, I was planning to try out my gym at work. I've been really hesitant to work out there. I'm not sure why. My guesses are: 1) I'm just scared to do something new (but I've pretty much gotten over that), 2) I'm not wanting to mix my work life with my training-personal life (some of the coaches have offices right across the hall), 3) I'm bothered with the idea of working out with students - many of whom I'll know on a work basis, or finally 4) The buff intimidating looking guys who always starred when I tried to look in. Either way, it's kept me away. I decided I needed to suck it up and try...and if it didn't work out, it didn't work out. was one room, free weights and more of those big, buff guys. No treadmills, no cardio, no females. Not gonna work.

So, I'm in the market for a gym. There's a nice, small, 24-hour place on my way home from work, but they want me to sign a 12-month contract...and once summer hits, I won't need a gym. I'm not interested in a contract at all. We'll see what else I can's a small town.

I ran today. It was good to get back on the pavement and run. It was the perfect day to run, too...mid-50s, overcast, no wind, theatening to rain the whole time but never did...just perfect. I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up. As soon as I started running, it started hurting, but I had decided to go for 5 minutes to get into the pace before judging how it felt. The pain soon went away...and I was off! I ran for 30 minutes. My pace was was tough after a two-week break! But my legs held up and haven't bothered me the rest of the night. I think I'm going to just run once a week for the next month as to not wear my legs out before I really start training. Also, I'll get new shoes.

So that's the story. Need a gym, but I can run again without pain!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

What do we do? We swim, swim.

It's been almost two months. But I went swimming today. (Don't you like how I chose the coldest day in weeks?) It was a new pool - the school's pool. I decided to try it out. I walk in and there are three people. One huge pool with that ugly black line...but nothing dividing lanes. Just a giant watery space. The other swimmers were just standing around talking, like friends do at a pool party. Fine, I'll make do. My plan was to do two sets of 400m. (I'm guessing its a 25m pool...but the enthralled student at the door didn't know.)

The minute I started the front stroke, I smiled. I was swimming! I do love swimming! I did get tired easily -- which I expected -- and my arms also tired quickly -- 15 minutes of pilates yesterday had me a little sore today! The first 400m went fine, really, but when I started the second, I began have MAJOR goggle issues. I literally couldn't do two strokes before my eyes would be full of water. It was so frustrating. No matter what I did with my goggles, it didn't help. It wouldn't fuse to my face and even when it does, it's never all that secure...and I have good goggles...just an oddly-shaped, tiny head. I finally got so frustrated, I threw them to the side in the middle of the pool. I went the final 300m without goggles, which kind of sucked.  As opposed to the first 400m, I felt like a fish out of water. I suppose I did get to practice my direction when I can't see (crucial to open water swims in the lakes of Oklahoma)...

One interesting thing about the pool is that about halfway through, it gets really deep. It's actually a little creepy to be swimming along and all of a sudden, that black line you know and love so well from the hours of starring contests begins to drift farther and farther away. Takes a minute to get settled with what's happening. Plus, there's that minute of panic (strong word, but I can't think of another) when you realize you don't have the comfort of knowing you can stand up anytime you choose (not that you'll have to or that you're far from the wall). Perhaps thats another bonus -- makes it more race-day like.

Anyway, the swim was great. I'm taking tomorrow off. A Monday night basketball game threw off my schedule before it could begin. Hopefully get more done this weekend.

Also, I'd like to add, I'm doing OK so far with eating better. I went grocery shopping and I LOVE having food in the house. I'm trying to make wise decisions. Nick says he's on board too, so we can motivate and encourage each other. I hope we can stick it out!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome to the off season

Hey folks!

I've been taking it easy this week, letting my body get rested and back to "normal." Finally, I decided enough was enough, and I went for a long walk today. The pool wasn't open yet when I was on campus and it was windy, so I went with walk instead of swim or bike. Running is still not an option. It's funny that now whenever I walk, I often get the urge to jog. Crazy, huh? Anyway, I decided to try it out, basically just to test where my legs are. Still not close. I'm going to give it a few more weeks before I decided I really need to get back to running. Because of how little I ran before my 15k, and the fact that I ran the whole thing, I'm not too worried about losing my running endurance. My knees were hurting by the end of my 1-hour walk, so I think it still needs more time before we throw high impact exercise on them.

During the walk, I made up a tentative schedule for my workouts here in the off season. I really want to do some resistance training and work on my speed. With those goals in mind, I came up with:

Sun: Running (walking or ellipical for now), abs
Mon: Swimming
Tues: 20-30 minutes cardio, 30-40 minutes weights/resistance, abs
Wed: Rest
Thurs: 40-45 minutes cardio, 20 minutes weights/resistance, abs
Fri: Speed training of some sort (most likely in running, but it may vary)
Sat: Rest (maybe do something like light walk or bike or tennis, etc.)

I didn't put any biking in there because it's so hard to get out in the winter to bike. Basically, any beautiful day I can get, I'll get out there on my bike. Also, I haven't done a lot of exploring of the school gym, but it might have a bike machine that will work, so I might add it in. Basketball season starts Monday, so I'll have to see how that will affect things. Most of the games are evening games, which could prove difficult. May have to change some things around or just not have set days to exercise and rest and instead change it each week. We'll see...and I'll keep you posted!

I also want to concentrate on eating better. I eat proper portions, but I don't eat well. I don't get enough balance. I'm eating too much fast food. I've not been getting hungry at dinner so I skip meals. And I never want to spend time cooking, even though I actually enjoy it. I "can't make it" grocery shopping, so I don't have anything, which leads to the fast food problem. I really want to change my habits NOW, instead of later. Things get harder the longer you do them, right? Today, I cooked. Chicken and mashed potatoes. I need to go grocery shopping...planning on that Tuesday. I need to eat more fruit and vegetables, for sure. Less snacking -- If I'm not hungry for dinner, maybe I should skip the snack instead?

I'm also trying to be more productive and clean around the apartment! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tulsa Run race report!

"You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it; I doubted you'd do it. But now I must admit it that succeed you did. You should get a medal Or be even made a knight." -- "It was nothing. Really nothing" (You Did It! - My Fair Lady)

9.3 miles...15K...Check!

Can you believe it? I ran the WHOLE thing! My official time was 1:58:24! Three goals completed -- including the two I really wanted to hit! Wooo!!!

It was a great race, too. Literally thousands of people turn out every year to participate in the race. It was the 32nd one! The first 5k was all hills, and you could look ahead of you and see thousands of runners and look behind you and see thousands of runners. It was cool. Not only that, but hundreds of people turn out to watch and cheer on the runners during the entire race, which as you know, can be extremely helpful. And not only that, but every few miles, there would be a band playing live music, not always great music, but they were there! Pretty big deal in Tulsa, anyway.

As I said, the first three miles were hilly. I ran about 2k with my sister and her running buddy, but then I decided to slow down, catch my breath and work at my pace. I still had 13 more k to go...and let's face it, I'd only ever run 5 miles before, so I certainly needed to pace myself! My parents, boyfriend, brother-in-law and niece were waiting for me (and Jamie before me) between the 5th and 6th kilometer to take pictures and cheer me on.

There I am! Even though it was hilly, the first three miles went by really fast for me. Right after this picture was taken, we went down this off ramp and onto Riverside Drive, where we went 2.5 miles down and back before the finish. There were already people heading about 13k into the race.

I spent most of the next 2.5 miles looking for my sister because I knew I'd pass her after she turned around. What was nice about that is that I could spend my time looking at the costumes (a number of people showed up in them, given that it was Halloween and all), so that entertained me fairly well. I ended up seeing her and cheering her on close to the turn around. She was about a kilometer a head of me. I was surprised at how little I had to work to entertain myself during the race. Another good thing about it.

After the turn around, I knew I was halfway done...and pretty sure I'd be able to FINISH...running the whole thing and everything! At about 12k, I started to get dizzy and light headed. I didn't want to start walking just a few miles from the finish, so I concentrated on my breathing until I felt better. Then, of course, there was a huge hill. It starts off fairly short, but incredibly steep, levels off briefly, and then is long, but less steep. Cool. People were there saying, "Last hill. Almost there. It's all down hill from here!" Somewhat encouraging, but then again, they hadn't just run eight miles.

My crew was probably a few hundred yards before the finish line. It was crowded -- Did I mention the thousands of participants? -- so I saw them, they grabbed shots and cheered my on...and I started kicking it...a little too soon! I had to slow down a bit, but really kicked it up a notch (passing a person and tying another) in the last 20 yards or so! I had run the entire race!

After seeing me, Nick ran up to grab this picture of me crossing the finish line at 1:59:27 - my clock time.

I realized how far I'd training for my triathlons had not just helped prepare me for that race, but helped prepare me to do any physical challenge. I wasn't prepared for this race, but I could do because I truly am an endurance athlete...and I am a runner :-)

Jamie finished about 15 minutes before I did! She did awesome!!!