Thursday, April 10, 2014

1/2 marathon, a recap

So I never wrote a post about the 1/2 marathon. I meant to and then life interfered. So I'll write about that first and then other stuff later on.

My biggest concern did happen, and I got picked up by the bus of shame. The morning started very very early. We had to be on the bus from the parks before 4 AM. It was already 70 degrees. I had been training with Frank in temperatures that were 30 - 40 degrees. It was also somewhere around 100% humidity. Hence it was super hot. Since I'm a damn flower in the heat, I wilted. It took almost an hour to even get to the official starting time. Right off the bat I was having difficulty with my right shoe. It had caused little problems in training and I knew I had to tighten it. Have I ever mentioned that during the first 2 miles my back and legs are really painful? Well, during training the first few miles my back would be super tight and painful. So trying to find a place where I could bend the way I needed to to tighten my shoe was difficult. 

Early on I spent much of the race identifying a person I wanted to catch up with and then pass. I had read somewhere that was not a bad strategy. It helped keep me motivated and going forward. My sister did pass me (as I expected she would).  I was in the process of tightening my shoes at the time. I had hoped to get a photo with her but she's too quick!

Along the route there were photo opportunities with various Disney characters. I kept going past most of them because there was a huge line and I knew I'd be cutting it close anyway. I did have to drink a lot at every water stop. I think I took 2 glasses of Gatorade and 2 glasses of water every stop. I was WEARING the Gatorade by mile 3. I did stop for one set of characters - the villainesses. I stopped mostly because those were my older sister's favorites. The line was short so I felt okay stopping.

Mile 5 was the first pick up spot. I was ahead of "the balloon ladies" so I was okay there. The balloon ladies are how Disney paces the course. They carry a balloon (obviously) and they are walking the 16 minute mile pace. During mile 5 the balloon ladies passed me, but at mile 6 they told me the ladies were only 2 minutes ahead. I possibly could have run to catch up but in reality I don't think it would've mattered.

Between Mile 5 and 7 we got to go through Disney. We went through the castle which was awesome. I was really excited about that and glad I made it that far. Before the castle, I think, I saw Lyday waving at me. (Oh maybe it was shortly after the castle now that I think about it because she was on Main Street.) It was nice to have someone on the course cheering for me. Even though I knew at that point I was done at the next bus point.

At mile 7 they said "You have 11 minutes to get to mile 8 to not have to get on the bus." I honestly laughed at that. If I could do an 11 minute mile I would've been doing them long before. Along mile 7 there were a few characters. In hindsight I should've stopped to do my photo with each. I knew I was done so why not? I think I just wanted to keep going. I also walked past the song from Frozen, Let It Go, which made me tear up a little bit.

At mile 8 there were buses. There were 3 buses and I'm sure we were not the first buses and I'm fairly sure we weren't the last buses. I didn't feel too badly on the bus. A lot of the other people on the bus did. One woman, with her 3 friends so how awesome are they, had fallen very early on the race and couldn't run. She and her friends were clearly competitors so I did feel badly for her. On the trip back to where the run started we went over this HUGE overpass. Had I continued on, I would've had to walk over that. That might have killed me so I wasn't sad to not have to go over that. According to my sister there were Army men there (from Toy Story not the real deal) and they were harassing the runners about running.

The bus dropped us off at the end of the race and we got our medals anyway. I did tear up a little then because I don't fully think I deserved it, although my FB friends and Twitter peeps were glad for me even trying. So found Lyday and my sister and we went back to the hotel. Lyday left back to her home and Amanda and I took a nap and life was good. My right foot had a blister and on Monday when we went to Animal Kingdom it got worse. But that was about all the bad from the whole adventure.

I have confirmed I don't really enjoy this kind of activity. My sister has decided to try the Marvel Avengers 1/2 Marathon (at Disneyland) in November so that she can get the Coast to Coast medal. I'm going and registered as a chearleader. I want her to have good pictures of her crossing the finish line and to see someone cheering for her along the course.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

By this time next week...


I will be celebrating finishing my 1/2 marathon at the Happiest Place on Earth.

It is pretty apparent that I will walk the whole 1/2 marathon. Fast walk, but walk. I can't maintain a reasonable run speed. If I run, my walk parts slow down too much to maintain a 16 minute pace. But that's okay. Near as I can tell based on the walks I've done I can do it.

This weekend my sister came to town and we did the Electric Zombie 5k. I walked most of it (started jogging early on but not so good for me). We walked around the outside of the Texas Motor Speedway in the dark. "Zombies" were around the trail to scare us. Somehow the entire trek was uphill. How is it possible... we were going in a circle!? I think we only did 3/4ths of a circle actually. That's the only explanation.

This week is my rest week before the big day. I'm glad because then I can stop feeling guilty when I don't go to the gym (except I'm going to just do my water aerobics and Body Pump on Wednesday morning). I'm getting excited. And nervous. And ready for it to just be done!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

I'm getting it!

So all the time I've been training and struggling I kept hoping there would be one moment where I would "get it." Where, like all of those inspirational movies, things would just magically open up and I would be able to do that impossible task. But, I'm a realist if nothing else and know life doesn't work that way... or does it?

I've mentioned before I need to do a 15 minute mile and how concerned I feel because I don't know that I've ever accomplished this. (MAYBE in PE in high school... MAYBE, I think that was the bare minimum to get a "C")  All along, I've not been able to do a 15 minute mile. No matter what I've been doing I've not been able to get there.

Enter Frank.  Frank is this older guy from my water aerobics class (by older I mean OLDER... he's 72, just 5 years younger than my dad).  Frank is a marathoner. Frank has run in the Boston Marathon, one in Austin, New Orleans, here in DFW, etc. He has over 350 trophies and medals from his running. Even more impressive - he started at about age 50. Frank ended up with a heel spur in like October/November I think and has had a long road to recovery. All along Frank's been offering to help me train and so a few weeks ago when he said something about it, I replied ok - Tuesday morning 6 AM tell me where to meet. After that we've gone out on Saturday mornings - meeting at his house at 5:00 AM.  That's right, I arrive at his house AT 5:00 AM. We go out and he drags me around a course. He's given me some good tips on improving my breathing, my stride and all that.

Last week and last weekend (the week before last? I mean the week before last weekend) I was really struggling with my calves. They just tightened up every time I started exercising and on last Saturday's walk about 2 miles out I was hobbling and we turned back. That was one of the worst times I've had with this training, in part because I felt like I was wasting Frank's time. So I did a little online research and found I MIGHT be overworking myself and so I took Sunday (my new normal exercise day off once I started going out with Frank on Saturday), Monday and Tuesday off from walking. Saturday I also went into the fancy running store and bought a new pair of shoes. I knew my other ones were from July and so it was probably about time anyway and I needed to get them broken in before the big day.


Wednesday morning I go to my usual early am water aerobics class (class starts at 5:45) and then did my 30 minutes on the track. When I started out I was going at a pretty good clip. As I kept going, I realized I was on track to do a 15 minute mile so I kept going. And I did it! I was so excited I almost cried. To me, this means I CAN do this 1/2 marathon.  For so long when I couldn't get the pace I needed, this meant it wasn't going to happen. I wasn't going to magically accomplish something on the big day I hadn't been able to do any of the days before. Now that I KNOW I can do a 15 minute mile, I KNOW I can finish the 1/2 and that's very important.

This morning I went out as usual with Frank. I mentioned to him on Thursday that I made my goal of a 15 minute mile. I'm not sure he believed me. We were 4 miles out when he checked his watch and realized we'd only been gone an hour. He was so impressed and it makes me oddly happy I could impress him. Next Saturday we go out for 13 miles (even though both he and Kayteadee say if I can do 10 miles I can do 13, I feel like I need to do my 13 miles to know I CAN do them). The following week a simple 3 miles and then I go to my race. Now I know I can do it I feel so much better. I no longer feel like I've been wasting the past many months. So I have Frank to thanks for this breakthrough. Frank, and these fancy magic shoes -

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Six Weeks Left

As the title suggests I have 6 weeks left. I've been slacking over the holidays because a - the weather has been very cold and apparently just like I don't want to exercise when it is 100 degrees out, I'm not so fond of doing it when it is 40 degrees. I've also been struggling with the I don't wannas. But I'm (yet again) finding renewed vigor and excitement in doing this. It helps that there's only 6 weeks left. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see having to go to the gym a lot less and no more long runs on the weekend.  At my water aerobics class is this old guy who used to run. (I say used to because he has a heel spur which he has had to rehab for quite awhile) so now he's walking. He keeps saying he could train me so I've taken him up on his offer. On Tuesday we're going to go for 4 miles and see how to get me to the pace I need. If it works I'll see if he'll be willing to go again.

Today I went out and only managed 7.4 miles. I was hoping to go further.  My pace was better than usual but not where it needs to be. Part of that is the last mile and a half where I a - ran out of water and b - the wind picked up. This wasn't a nice cooling breeze. This was WIND and somehow despite the fact that I made a 90 degree right turn almost the entire mile and a half was into the wind. I almost gave up and sat down and took a nap. (Only a slight exaggeration).  The other problem is that I mis... mis something... misestimated (that's not a word I don't think). My concept of a mile is pretty much stupidly wrong. I knew the trek to my grocery store was about 2 miles and somehow I was hoping the distance going the other direction was further. That's illogical. I get that.

One of the things I want to do in Orlando is go to Universal Studios. I had forgotten that they had Harry Potter world now. I MUST go see that. MUST. That's the plan. A couple days in Disney World. A stupid 1/2 marathon. And never ever running again. :)  MISCALCULATED that's the word I was looking for.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hopefully over the hump

With this stupid running thing I hit a big ass wall. A big ass 'It's freaking cold and I don't want to do this anymore and I hate this and this is stupid and why am I doing this again' wall.  I haven't successfully done a long run since before Thanksgiving. It got crazy cold then it was Thanksgiving and then Icepocalypse and then... then I just didn't want to. Two weekends ago I got up, got dressed and drove out to the place I've gone on the super long runs before and just couldn't force myself to do it. I think I might have done 2 miles and then I just couldn't. I cried. I stood out in the cold and cried about how I didn't want to do this anymore and it is stupid and it was stupid I was crying and then I went home defeated. This week has not proven to be hugely better in the running department because the holidays are screwing with my gym schedule. I tried to run in the little exercise room here at the apartment and the treadmill scared me. The belt didn't seem it was on right. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.  Christmas Eve I did go and do 2 miles and it felt okay and I didn't hate it and I felt glad I went. Tomorrow I'm going to go for my 13 miles but I think I'm going to stick close to home and just do my 2 mile distance 6.5 times. We'll see how that goes.

I'm still struggling with putting too much pressure on myself over this. I think it psychs me out. I get in my head and then I over think the whole thing. Plus I just don't like to do hard things. I said that to my trainer recently. I don't like it... it's hard. (hee. that's what she said!) (Oh wait, that IS what she said!) (Wait, what am I saying about myself?)  (ok I'll shut up about that now). 

I've been meaning to sign up for a few more races to get the practice in. There's a 1/2 marathon here in Irving three weeks before my Disney one. I think I may sign up for that. It has the same time requirement that mine does and it will help me, I think, get an idea of how it will be for the real thing.  Then there's  a funny zombie one that if I can finish in under 35 minutes (I will not I already know) my medal will say "I survived the Zombies" and if not it says "I got eaten by Zombies."  That's funny to me.

I did hear one thing that is reassuaring, there are 'balloon ladies' on the course for my Disney 1/2. They are the very end. If I fall behind them - bam golf cart of shame. If I can keep ahead of them I'm good. I like that because I like the visual of where I need to be. I've been really nervous that I would just be going along and have no idea and BAM, golf cart of shame. But that won't happen. I'll have an idea of where I stand. So that makes me feel better. (Unless my sister is wrong and then I will kill her.) :P

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Upping the Ante - A stupid running update

There are 13 weeks remaining until the 1/2 marathon. I have 13 more weeks to be positive and strong and think good thoughts (and then NEVER RUN AGAIN!) (Unless I decide to do a 1/2 in Disneyland so I can get the coast to coast medal. But probably that won't happen). (Probably).

(Unrelated to running, I really like how in The Hunger Games they screw with the sound after Katniss blows up the cornucopia so for those brief minutes it sounds just like it would sound to her)

Anyway, I've decided to do a couple things to help this practicing along. My gym has a deal that for $40 you can do small group training with a trainer on Tuesday/Thursday nights for about a month and a half. I think this would be a good idea so I can do some weight training and build the strength I need to run better. The other is that I'm going to increase my run days. Currently I'm following the Jeff Goolsey method of training which is two days a week for 30 minutes and one long run one day a week, but I'm still concerned I'm not improving enough, so I'm going to up my running days to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday but keep Saturday and Monday exercise free. (Well, Monday night water aerobics but that barely counts.)

I was diagnosed with Exercise induced asthma (this isn't a new diagnosis. I was actually diagnosed a long time ago, but it has never really bothered me until I started running). So now I have a puffer to use before I exercise. I also was given some daily heartburn medicine since I do have regular heartburn and that can cause asthma problems. We'll see how that goes. I've only been using it for a week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pintesting - German Glass Glitter Ornaments

So for this round of the Pintester Movement we've been instructed to make Christmas tree ornaments. Now I live alone. I have no kids. I rarely put up a Christmas tree (although I do have a lovely one I bought back in the early 90s from the Pick & Save in Fairbanks. I think it was $19.95.  I'll let you translate that into an appropriate level of "lovely." I think it is 4 feet tall.)  Anyway, I don't usually put up a tree because who will see it except me? So once I have made my lovely ornament (something about Christmas requires multiple uses of the word "lovely.") I'm going to try to send it to Jodee who blogs over at the Cheeseblarg for her first ever Christmas tree. Why? Because I love cheese. And honestly I don't need a lot of Christmas tree ornaments. Also, I wonder if I could compete with her cheese love. I think I could.

I opted for the German Glass Glitter ornaments for the combined reasons of glitter and theoretical ease of the project. Except I can't make projects easy. I must complicate them in some way. In this way I didn't re-read the instructions that would have let me just do scribble designs and I actually attempted to create designs of actual things. Also, I don't know what the hell German Glass Glitter is and so in the great tradition of the Pintester, I just used what I had which was normal glitter.
 

So here are the ingredients. The basic instructions do not mention mod podge and the big paint brush but since glitter is the herpes and I don't want it all over the place I theorize I will seal the glitter on the ornament with the mod podge.
 
I started out with making holly. Holly is so easy to draw with a pen. It should be easy to draw with glue. See the first dot. 

 
Look! Three little holly berries. They will begin to drool almost instantly. Don't use this much to make your holly berries.
 
 
Note the blob o' berries and the outline of the holly leaves. This is good, right?
 

Sprinkled the green and red glitter carefully onto the holly and berries. 


 Then I had to take a fine paint brush and dust off all the glitter because glitter sticks to the whole glass ornament whether or not there is glue on the ornament. 

 
I also tried a snowflake. It was easier by far.
 
 
I carefully sprinkled white/clear shiny glitter on the snowflake.
 

You can't really see the glitter, but it is there. I promise. I wouldn't lie about this. (Would I?) No, I probably wouldn't lie about that.  


So because I don't want glitter to eventually get everywhere I sealed the ornaments with mod podge. My theory is that it will seal in all the glitter.


 Luckily the mod podge dried clear. I was briefly worried about it. But it is shiny mod podge (modpodge mod podge modpodge mod podge say it a bunch and it loses all meaning) so it enhances the snowflake (in my opinion)

 
So I hung several to dry. I did stripes which was much easier. I also had a finer glitter I used on some ornaments. Also, if doing stripes or covering the whole thing with glitter, it is much easier to use the mod podge to coat everything than it is to use the regular glue. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

16 Weeks Left

Subtitled 10 miles down 3 to go.

So today's long walk was 10 miles. I did run a little bit of that 10 miles but mostly walked. I did run down a couple hills and even ran up a couple hills (technically since it was on the way out and back it was the same hills down and up). The up hill almost made me die. But I felt really accomplished when I got up those two steep hills. Even though I wanted to die. :) In two weeks it is supposed to be 11 miles, but I may just jump up to the 12 miles. This way I can keep practicing the 13 miles for more time.

The wind was brutal today. I swear every time I turned a corner I was running into the wind. You'd think eventually the wind would be at my back, but it didn't seem to happen. I did get distracted for a few minutes studying some graves in the Grapevine Cemetery. There were 4 children graves around their parents. I got distracted because all 4 children died around the age of 2. How brutal that must have been for that family. They were all in the 1800s so it isn't like they had the kind of medical services that we have now. It makes me wonder if there was something wrong with one of the parents' genes. The nice thing about today's run (walk) was that it went past several parks so I had ample opportunity to hit water fountains and at the 5 mile mark go to the bathroom. (all the water breaks.) :) 

I had been feeling really really discouraged about my running. Really discouraged. Open enrollment at work didn't help because I was constantly at meetings (and really exhausted after them) so I missed a bunch of opportunities to run. (And really a bunch of opportunities to go to the gym in general). I've also been feeling like I am not going to succeed. I'm trying to reframe my running and be more positive since I think I need to up my mental game. If I always feel like I'm going to fail, I will definitely fail.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I'm like Percy Fucking Jackson

I take a ridiculous amount of water aerobics classes - 5 classes a week. Our old instructor had to leave the Y because her husband got a promotion which would have possibly made him her boss sometimes and that's against the rules. Our new early morning instructor is a young guy who has been a lifeguard for awhile. This morning he had us run suicides in the water. A suicide, for those unaware of this ridiculous activity, is to run as fast as you can to a certain point than run backwards back to your start point then back forward then backwards then forwards and backwards... On land I presume they're hard. In the water they're hard, but I liked them because they are hard. As much as I gripe and groan, one of the reasons my old water aerobics instructor was my favorite was because she pushed us.

Oh so the point of this whole post, this morning's water aerobics class was very complementary about my mad skillz in water aerobics. I use the largest "weights" (they're foam and so they want to float while I have to keep them underwater. I'm frequently the fastest at doing the different exercises back and forth across the pool. But on land... not so much. I know that the biggest part of that is my size. Fat floats and it is lighter to be in the water. So that's definitely something I'm having to overcome.

In place of one of my ridiculous number of water aerobics classes, I've picked up a turkey trot training class. For the next 8 weeks I will be training with a group and a real instructor on better running techniques. I'm hopeful this will really help me get where I want to be.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Asphalt Block

One thing I'm having a hard time with regarding all this running junk is running on asphalt or sidewalks. This seems odd, no? I've been doing long runs every Sunday and that's on asphalt. Except I start out running and then walk the whole rest of the time. I don't do well on the asphalt running/walking interchangeably. I can do it on the track or on the treadmill. I think it might be the how much harder the asphalt and sidewalk is compared to the treadmills or tracks. I'm going to try to get up early on Tuesday mornings to practice running on the road. I really hate the road.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pintester Movement- gluten-free chocolate brioche


For my latest post as part of the Pintester movement I'm making Gluten-Free Chocolate brioche found on The Culinary Life. I do not recall ever having gluten-full brioche let alone chocolate brioche but the picture looked delicious. Had I read the full recipe before I started I probably wouldn't have done it but, that makes it even better, right? (Good thing I had nothing else to do this Sunday afternoon)




For this test I decided to make gluten-free chocolate brioche. It just sounded delicious. It also requires about a million ingredients, many of which are expensive (xanthan gum is $14 for that little package). Oh and it also required oil which I didn't photograph and didn't need sugar which I did.
 
 
I sifted together the dry ingredients. This is a testament to my commitment to this project. I NEVER sift together dry ingredients. I did have a bit of a xanthan gum explosion which ended up getting it all over the place. Xanthan gum, when wet, is slimy. Seriously slimy. Kind of grossly slimy.  
 
Next added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. I really love my stand mixer.
 
 
Go mixer go!
 

Then it had to rest for 2 hours. This project took a lot of resting. Please try to not notice my khaki capri clad legs reflecting in the bowl. That made me giggle just now.
 
 
Next up - chopping chocolate. Yum chocolate. I love chocolate. That's the whole reason I wanted to do this. Chocolate. (I do have 5 toes even though this picture makes it look like I only have 4).
 
 
Using a new bigass kitchen knife I cut up the chocolate to put inside the buns. mmm... chocolate.
I had to buy a new bigass kitchen knife because one of my other ones broke. The blade flew out of the handle while I was using it.  
 
This is the rested dough. It is SUPER sticky. I thought I put down enough corn starch. I didn't. At least not in the center. I had too much in the edges. It seemed a difficult balance. But seriously it takes a lot of corn starch. Oh and here's where I remembered that the texture of corn starch freaks me out. Something about it. It's just so... weird. This part was difficult for me.
 
 
Rolling out the dough with my rolling pin coated in more cornstarch. This is nothing if not a seriously messy project.
 
 
You sprinkle the chocolate onto the rolled dough and then roll it into a log. Theoretically this is tightly done but it was seriously sticking to the counter so it probably isn't as tight as it could/should be.  
 
Once you cut the roll into 6 pieces you roll them into balls and put on the parchment and let them rest again for 45 minutes. This project took the whole afternoon. It is hardcore. Also I'm concerned about the quantity of cornstarch still all over the rolls. Plus they are HUGE. Seriously huge.  
 
Here's the finished product. I cut one open and ate it. It was DELICIOUS. Seriously. Delicious. I have no idea what gluten-full brioche tastes like but these are very good. Almost worth the 4 hours it took me to make SIX of these. (Wow that's not a good effort to result ratio is it?)  

Friday, September 20, 2013

There's no Crying in Running (Well maybe there will be)

I just finished the book The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women. In it the author describes her training . It is a fairly hysterical read. One thing that has made me a little ... nervous maybe... is how she describes crying while actually running her marathon. Now I am not doing a marathon. I'm only doing a half marathon so maybe I won't cry - at least not about the running itself. Since I am a big marshmallow I'm pretty sure there will be some tearing up. Here's where I expect to tear up a little (or a lot)

1. When I see people cheering. I know they won't necessarily be cheering for me specifically but I know that when I cheered for people while watching them do their marathons they were all total strangers. The people out there cheering us on will make me tear up. I'm a sap like that.

2. When I finish the run. I'm not sure I will cry then but it won't surprise me if I do. See above about being a marshmallow.

3. If I don't finish the run. If I get picked up by the damn golf cart of shame I will cry. I may be inconsolable. I'm actually working fairly hard to train for this. If I can't do it, this will represent a HUGE fail for me and I'm not sure how I'm going to react to that.

4. If any music plays at just the right time. When I first started training my calves were killing me while I was running. During one of these bouts Carry On by F.U.N came up on my iPod. So because I'm a weirdo when the line "but my legs are fine, after all they are mine" came on... I totally teared up. And then the lyrics move on to "We are, we are like shining stars, we are invincible..." Seriously. F.U.N can't be on my running on the big day playlist.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mayor of Excusesville

After I ran my first 5k I felt like my left knee was less than happy with me. It's been bothersome enough that I bought a knee brace. It's also been bothersome enough that I didn't run last Sunday. I felt like I wanted to let it rest or heal or whatever it needed to do. I have kept up my short runs. Yesterday I didn't run. I woke up in the middle of the night with stomach issues and decided that running was not going to be the correct answer. That instinct was correct. Although by mid-afternoon my stomach had settled down and I could have run except it is TexAss and I wasn't going to run in the middle of the day here. So I thought this morning I would go before work. Except I woke up at 3:00 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. So no running today either. Tomorrow I'm back on the exercise wagon although tomorrow is water aerobics in the evening and I don't know what in the morning (maybe nothing).

I am a lazy exerciser. I go to classes because I know left to my own devices I tend to not work out as hard as I should/could. I feel concerned that I'm not pushing myself as hard as I could/should. And this knee trouble provides me with plenty of excuses to keep easing off.  On the flip side I have managed to improve my single mile time. I'm down to 18:11 for a mile. So I am pleased with myself for that. (That seems like a contradiction - I'm pleased with my mile time but don't feel I'm working hard enough. It isn't. I am pleased with my single mile time right now but this isn't a single mile run and so far I can't move far enough past the single mile)

On another positive note, I went back to Zumba last week. I still like it and I feel like I was able to keep up with the pace of the exercise although not the actual steps because damn I can't dance.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

First 5k out of the way

I ran my first 5k on Monday. Running outside is very different than running inside. It's unreal how different it is. It's the same air. How can it be such a different experience? (I understand the treadmill vs regular ground running) 

On Friday I went to the gym in the morning like always. I've become a treadmill convert because I can control my pace and watch the time. For the first time ever I ran more than I walked in my 30 minutes. Unfortunately it was actually a slower pace than I usually run but the endurance is important. This isn't a sprint but a long run. Unfortunately this still means I have to improve by 6 minutes by February. I'm still very concerned about that. I have no doubt if given an unlimited amount of time I could walk the 13.1 miles (in one day). Because I know this, it is always in the back of my head that I have to meet a time requirement and I think that forces me to focus on the wrong thing. I need to focus on improving endurance and the actual running and the time will come. I'm just not that patient. Also with Open Enrollment coming at my job, my whole exercise schedule is going to get screwed up completely so there's that to look forward to. 

So back to my first 5k. My sister came out to run it with me. I was glad to see her. I don't think I run well when I'm with her, though. I think because her pace is so much faster than mine I try to go faster than I can/should and get winded too soon and then can't recover from it. Which is what happened on Monday. I think on my next one I'll go on my own and may not do a lot better but maybe walk a little less. As I said on FB, I walked probably 99% of the damn thing because any time I tried to start running I just couldn't breathe. It didn't help that it had been raining much of the night and was raining much of the morning. I think it stopped while we were on the course but now the air was hot and wet which is a breathing nightmare. I was not the very last person to come in on the 5k course. So there's that. Although we were one of the very last people to cross the starting line because I knew I would be slow and in the back of the pack. I did cross the finish line. I did run/walk a 5k. 

In order to try to facilitate my improved lungs, I'm going to be adding more exercise to my days. Currently I do water aerobics Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Wednesday and Friday mornings. I then do my 30 minute runs on Wednesday and Friday mornings too and my long runs on Sunday. I am going to try (emphasis on TRY) to get up early Tuesday and Thursday mornings and adding either lap swimming (crawl only no more breast stroke which I find easy) or this machine at the gym called the ARC trainer. My water aerobics instructor says this is a hard machine and will improve my lungs. It seems like a hybrid between an elliptical trainer and a stair climber maybe? I don't know but she says it is an ass kicking machine and is easier on my joints than true running (which I'm looking for). 



In December I'm going to try a 10k. I feel like in October/November I need to do one more 5k. I have to get used to doing this outside and under the running specific conditions. Plus I kind of want to do one of those color runs where you get doused with flung colored powder. :)  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Hunger

Since I've begun this regular running program, I've found I'm hungry ALL THE TIME. I only run 3 days a week. I do not run 7 days a week. I do not understand why 7 days a week I'm STARVING. The other part I don't understand is that it isn't like I've gone from complete and total inaction to exercising 3 days a week. Prior to starting the running program I was doing water aerobics (which I'm still doing) 3 days a week and swimming laps 2(ish) days a week. Swimming actually burns more calories than my walk/run does. What the hell is going on here? I don't get it. But damn I want to EAT it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Training - Week 5

As of today I've been working the program for 5 weeks. Today I felt like I am going to fail big time at this. Like completely and totally fail. Like why am I even bothering. Like if there was any way to get my money back I would. (There isn't and that's probably a good thing since I would and be disappointed in myself forever) (Ok well probably not forever) 

Anyway, this morning I felt like I was failing completely. But to back up, for the past few weeks I've been doing my 30 minute runs barefoot.  I've found that I really enjoy running barefoot. In the gym on the track I can feel every board in the track. I can feel the nuances on the ground as I put my feet down. It also seems to make my calves hurt less. Now if I'm being positive I've shaved 1 minute off my mile time and am able to legitimately run 50% and walk 50% of my basic mile. That's huge for me. but this isn't a 1 mile run it is a 13.1 mile run.

This evening I'm back to a little more positivity. Mostly because I have no soreness in my legs. I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday that are minimalist running shoes. I bought a pair of New Balance which have a 4 millimeter drop.  They are almost perfectly flat - with no extra padding under the heel. Now had I been on the track I probably would've done better. Instead I decided to try the road near my house. It is 1 mile long. It is also completely hilly and I've apparently never noticed it when driving it almost daily. It was also 85 degrees out this morning. The combination of those two things made me give up after only 2 miles instead of the necessary 3. I'm like a goddamn flower in the heat. I just don't take it well. Last weekend I went to Alabama to visit my sister. I had to cut a mile off that Sunday's run as well because of the heat.

Fortunately the average in Florida in February is in the 70s and according to my old man running friend that's ideal running temperatures. And I'm going to presume that since we're running at the ass crack of dawn we'll be closer to the 50 degrees than the 70s anyway. That makes me happy. I have 28 weeks left to train. With one weekend exception I'll be doing a long run every weekend. Maybe I got this.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Disappointing

One of the things that has been a struggle for me with all this running shit is that I don't feel like I'm improving fast enough. Now in reality I've been "running" for all of 3 weeks. (I use running in quotes because a - it is fairly slow and b - it is still mostly walking). My knees and outer calves are killing me. And for fun, my lower back has thrown itself into the mix. This is all muscular pain not joint pain. In my knees it isn't IN my knees but the part that runs on the interior of my knees so I don't think that's the joint that's causing me pain. I bought new shoes and I'm wondering if they aren't part of the problem. On Tuesday when I do my 30 minutes I'll wear my old ones.

So I've been working this program for 3 weeks. Going from the total couch to "running" I probably am doing just fine, but it feels like I should be able to do more. (I don't know why I think that. Honestly there's no reason for it whatsoever). I guess I keep thinking back to my first long run which I was able to do despite the rain and the wind. I think I've taken a step back with the last two long runs which is where my frustration lies. Today I pulled off my shoes and finished my last 2 laps (or 1/2 mile) barefoot because my back and legs were screaming. Barefoot was much easier. (related, the track is more cushiony than I thought it was. I thought I was running on regular road asphalt but when I was barefoot I discovered that's not the case). It does make me ponder minimalist running shoes. I prefer to be barefoot in general. For people who are regular runners there's a huge length of time to make the switch, but since I'm a new runner I wonder if I could just start out that way. Something to consider. (Except I will never ever ever wear those ugly toe shoes. Never. Ever. Ever)

According to my calculations I should be hitting 13 miles in December. Since I have a long time I should be able to do this but damn if I wasn't feeling like I can't this morning.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two Weeks Down - A training update

I've done four 30 minute runs so far and one long run on the weekend. I seem to be consistently doing a 20 minute mile. My long run on last Sunday took me an hour to do 3 miles. I've got a 4 mile run coming up tomorrow. I have 6 months to shave 6 minutes off my time so that I can get to a 14 minute mile. Have I mentioned I've never in my life run a 14 minute mile? I'm pretty sure I have. (mentioned it that is not run a 14 minute mile). But a 14 minute mile is my goal which means that by August 20th I need to do a 19 minute mile. I can do that. Maybe.

I bought new tennis shoes yesterday. The running shoe store took video of my gait and figured out what kind of shoes would be the right ones for me. It seems the pronation I used to do is no longer happening. My new shoes are lighter in weight than my current shoes. I hope they'll help with my calf muscles. The outer muscle has been getting tight and painful when I run. I've also been adding some stretching to target those muscles because I need them to not do that every time I run.

I feel all athletic and crap now that I have a regimen and I've bought protein powder that I drink in orange juice before a run. Oh and I bought protein bars which are delicious because they are basically nuts held together with something yummy and then dipped in chocolate.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pintester Movement - Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since I love the Pintester's blog, I have joined her Pintester Movement. This is my second Pintester Movement experiment. This task was to take a pin she's already done and do it myself. I opted for Bisquick chocolate chip cookies. She found the original post here on Plain Chicken's blog. Since I'm gluten-free I miss the old chocolate chip cookies I used to eat. I like them to be a little doughier because that's what I grew up with. GF cookies tend to be super crispy.
 
 
 
Here are the ingredients. The bottle of peppermint and green food coloring are not part of the ingredients. They were part of another experiment. So the ingredients are 1 egg, 1 stick butter, 1 c brown sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 3/4ths c of Bisquick and 1 c chocolate chips. After I experimented with my peppermint chocolate chip cookies I decided that it needed more moisture so I added 1 egg white too.    



I creamed together the butter and sugar. I remember that from the olden days of cooking. I don't know why you cream things, you just do.
 

 Then added the egg and vanilla. I love vanilla. It smells so delicious.
 
 
Look! Gluten-Free Bisquick. I bought it at Kroger. I can buy it in the regular grocery store! I didn't have to go to Whole Foods or Sprouts or another health food store. It is ridiculously exciting.
 

I added in the requisite 2 3/4ths cup (the entire package of Bisquick for me) and mixed.

 
But it was dry y'all. Dry like the desert. It was not bonding together well which is why I opted to do 2 things. 1 I started mixing with my hands because I always feel like I can really get things well mixed with my hands and 2 added the extra egg white.
 
 
Now I knew I was bringing in these cookies for my coworkers that were stuck at work with me on the Friday after the 4th of July. Seriously. There are 9 people in my department and there were 4 of us stuck there on Friday. That just isn't right. So to be all patriotic and supportive and good "go to person" (that's the euphemism for in charge that my boss uses) I brought them cookies. Don't worry, they know I'm gluten free AND they knew this was a cooking experiment so they were well prepared.
 
I've totally digressed. To make these patriotic I decided to color them with a little food coloring. But I didn't mix them so well together that it made purple cookies, just read and blue swirled cookies.
 
 
 
Look! See the swirls? You might have to look closely.
 
 
Finished product! The instructions didn't require parchment paper but I like to use it because I'm lazy and it is so much easier to clean up if I use parchment paper.
 
I'm not sure how I felt about the cookies. They were super dry which is a GF issue. As a result of the super dry cookies they are very fragile and tend to fall apart easily. I think if I do this again maybe a full egg extra instead of just the white. Otherwise I liked that they were doughy and not super crispy. My coworkers loved them. They thought they were great and I was being silly. They're good like that. :)
 
Recipe:
1 egg
1 stick butter
 1 c brown sugar
 2 tsp vanilla
 2 3/4ths c of Bisquick 
1 c chocolate chips
 
Mix the ingredients altogether. Bake at 375 for 8 - 10 minutes. I did add an extra egg because they were just too dry for me but that could be a gluten free issue.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Marathon Whoaman

My friend Lyday made a mistake recently (and by recently I mean YESTERDAY) and posted a link to this half marathon indicating that she wants to do it. By it I mean the Disney Princess Half Marathon in Walt Disney World in February of 2014. Now what Lyday didn't know is that I've volunteered for marathons before and I always find them so oddly inspirational. In 2004 when I volunteered for my first I pondered doing a half marathon then but didn't have any... motivation to do it.

So like an idiot I say if she wanted to do a team I'd sign up with her. And like an idiot she agreed. And then I did it. I signed up for a fucking marathon. What was I thinking? I'm not a runner. I don't have a runner's body.
 
This is me.  Well technically this is me like 3 years ago, but you get the picture. This is not the body of a runner. This is the body of a Polish field worker (which I know because I am built like my grandmother and as I've heard many times over from my mother, who rants about this after hearing a news story about slavery reparations or the atrocities visited upon Native Americans, our people were still plowing away in fields in Poland during the time all that bad stuff was happening in the states so a Polish field worker I am). (At least I think that's what she says, I tend to tune out)
 
I will say that although this is me 3 years ago, this is still pretty much me now since I can still wear both that pair of capris and that tank top. So this is me.
 
 
 
 
This woman, now she's a runner. She may eat cupcakes once in awhile, but you can be sure she's earned the damn thing.
(Image pilfered from Ultimate City Fitness website who probably pilfered it from someone else.)
 
But I have now committed to doing a marathon. And since I have paid a ridiculous amount of money and it doesn't even include park tickets or a hotel room I'm doing it. I have a training program downloaded from Disney's website. It is a 19 week program that, theoretically, should have me up to 13.1 miles by the end of it and at a pace that won't get me stuck on the golf cart of shame. I actually have more than 19 weeks, 32 by my count, and so I am hoping I can improve time and endurance during the part after I get to running 13 miles.
 
Let me repeat that in case you missed it: RUNNING 13 MILES!
 
Well, I don't have to RUN all 13 miles. All I have to do is have a 16 minute mile and I won't get picked up by the golf cart of shame. (Really I need to shoot for a 14 minute mile. I feel 100% certain I have never in my life run a 14 minute mile) (really)
 
So  my goal in all this is to complete the damn race and not end up riding in the golf cart of shame. Organizers of a marathon have a time you have to finish by (we get 3.3 hours for this 13 miles). If you are not at a pace to complete that in time they will pick you up. I've seen it at the marathons I've volunteered for although those are usually vans of shame because we're out on public streets. I want to finish. I just want to finish.