Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
We got to the venue about 7:15, and wandered around. Saw a few runners, but there was not much signage where we parked....honestly, if we didn't see people walking on main street in between the buildings, you wouldn't even know there was a race. But, once we got to main street, it was evident. We wandered around looking for the porta-potties and the packet pickup. Neither was in an intuitive place. I think the main street merchants ensured that the porta-potties were placed far far away from everything else, which is odd....after all, the merchants were closed during the race. As for the packet pickup/registration table, we definitely needed to ask for guidance to get to it...it was a bit rainy, so maybe the table was moved from a better location to this location last minute (as it was under shelter). When we got to it the lines were all over the place and not clearly defined. If there was a way to put signage over the tables (rather than on the front where visibility is hindered by people standing at the tables), that would have helped tremendously. That being said, I simply don't know how overhead signage could be accommodated given the location of the tables. I don't want to make it sound as if this was stressful at all...these are two minor things that could be improved upon and did not detract from the race at all.
Now, once everyone gathered their items, they walked back to main street. There were announcements, tables to check out, drinks, an array of tables from the restaurants that were closed this early. Plenty of space and plenty to wander around to waste time until the race started. The race actually started 10 minutes late due to a police issue on the route....details were not provided, but then again, definitely not needed. So, the announcer took the opportunity to thank the volunteers and let the charity organizations speak about their efforts...all worthwhile minutes.
The starting line and finish line were clearly marked with blow-up tunnels. So, I was able to get pretty close up to the starting line. I absolutely didn't want to have an experience like I did at my last race, so I ensured that I was up close away from any pets and strollers! Now, that being said, I know I wasn't as fast as many up there, so as soon as we started the race, I made sure to move to the right side to avoid hindering others run. I saw the kids and Joe, and the kids were clearly excited to see me run :)
I started out too fast, for sure. After I saw the kids at the corner of Main Street and Lakewood Ranch Blvd, I saw I was running under an 8min/mile...absolutely too fast...I slowed down, but not fast enough...I was still running under a 9min/mile pace. I continued doing this pace too long though. The first mile ended in 9:11. Great if it was a 2-mile race, but I knew I was headed for trouble doing the first mile faster than I should. Second mile was 9:55...so I was right were I should be, although a mile too late. The last mile, I stopped 4 times...a total of 1:30 minutes...crazy, eh? Well, I should have been able to predict it, since I started out way too fast. Last mile (due to the stops) ended up at 10:19. My total race time, per garmin, was 30:56 (official time on digital timer at finish line was 30:58, I think. Official postings forthcoming.
About the race...pros:
- Great layout....widest path was in the beginning (the way it should be) and by the time most crossed Lakewood Ranch Blvd, it went down to 1 lane...which was perfect for the size of the crowd. Nobody was riding anyone's behind!
- Course clearly marked....honestly, hard not to do so as the road was the perfect layout for this. It was a simple out and back, which is fine.
- Police were great holding back traffic. I did hear coming back one woman yelling at an officer because they had to wait. Seriously, I'm assuming that there was signage before they got to Main Street telling them to bypass the area due to race (or expect delays). Granted, this is my assumption...but sounds logical.
- Nicely sized event...the venue could easily double the number of participants and it would be fine, so this event can easily grow over the years without much change.
- Water stop was about 1.3-1.4 mile out...you could grab water outbound or on the return...more than sufficient
- Chip timed, which is important to me
- Final 1/10 mile I was able to see the digital clock which definitely encouraged me to kick it up a notch at the end and finish with a strong sprint.
- Takes forever to get the official race results online...and when the results were taken they were a tad off due to the line waiting to get scanned. Not significant, but I really was hoping to see an official timing under 31 minutes. The digital timer said 30:58 when I crossed the finish line, but my recorded time was 31:06. Also, I don't think the results are posted to Active.com, Athletes.com or Coolrunning.com for posterity.
- Weather looked unpredictable and started to sprinkle near the end....seriously, didn't Mother Nature know we had plans????
- Would have liked clear markings from parking lot to packet pick-up. We arrived in more than enough time, but if you were a late arriver, I can imagine this would have been stressful if there wasn't that police-dictated 10 minute start time delay!
- Wish the bathrooms were closer. When you have kids along with you, its quite a trek...would be nice to see bathrooms at the start line area and the finish line area
- Packet pick-up table should have overhead signage if at all possible. Maybe a pop-up shade tent would alleviate weather issues AND allow for display of this?
As for my time, I was quite pleased with it. I will have to work on balancing my energy and not starting out too fast, but at least I was able to give a final kick at the end to finish in under 31:00. So, a PR for me. Sure, I'm a new runner and still have a ways to go, but I'm pleased with this performance, even if I did have to stop more times than I otherwise should have!
Friday, October 28, 2011
- great costumes
- free face painting for kids
- nice festival atmosphere all around
- great venue
- great Mix1 protein drink (disappeared fast as they were so tasty!)
- I was in the front of the pier and it wasn't clear to me where the starting line was. Silly, I know, but I kept seeing the finish line which was on the main part of the pier, and it was logical to me that it would start there....so there was no way I could be at the front of the pack. There was also no indicating of pace flags, so those that are faster start near the front...but this wasn't a huge race, so that shouldn't be expected.
- The 5K and the 1-mile fun walk started with the same shotgun...and the first 1/4 mile was surrounding the building at the end of the pier, so there was little room on the road. Now, this would be bad enough with just the 5k'ers (as they did have more than enough if they started the run on the pier roadway (which was 3-4 lanes wide and then it would easily/naturally widdle down to a 1-lane width at the end of the pier to the sidewalk/roads). The problem here is that there were double-wide strollers and lots of small/large dogs as part of the 1-mile fun run. So, I was competing with an unnecessarily crowded 1-lane space against strollers and dogs with dim lighting for the first 1/4 mile. There were a few people that were tripped by leashes; I was fortunately not among them, but it was close more than once!
- Sorry...but I don't think a ton of dogs should be jammed in a small darkened space with tons of strangers running....just asking for trouble there.
- There appeared to be a chip mat at the start of the race, so I unfortunately presumed that my time would be adjusted by my actual start time...not so. I waited until the crowds dissipated a bit, so I was one of the last to cross the start line. This could be clearly a result of my naivete here, I completely admit that. But, if there is a mat that looks like its recording chips, why not use it and adjust the final recorded "official" times with the data? This would have been a PR for me, if it were adjusted...as the first 1/8 mile took me time to cross the line + congested....yeah, 3 minutes to do just that! Live and learn.
- The course was dark for most of the way, which is what is expected...but I rarely heard anyone telling times. I actually saw 8-9 signs indicating where the course marshalls were, but only saw 1 sign indicating my distance. Frustrating since I had no idea how far I had gone or how far I still had to go.
My official course time was 32:45. That being said, I absolutely know it took me over 45 seconds to cross that starting line....without a doubt. So, my true time was under 32:00...an unofficial PR for me. Again, my disappointment with my time is my problem as I just assumed the time would be adjusted by the starting time...but just imagine what it would have been if I didn't have to compete with double-wide strollers and dogs AND was at the front of the line!
Now, on a really happy note, I am finally in the top half for my age group (Women 40-44)...and I would have been in the top half for these other age groups as well:
- Women 35-39
- Women 30-34
- Women 25-29
Not bad :)
UPDATE: So, I received an email from athlinks.com, stating that the Creaky Bones race results are now available to link. Lo and behold, I have a chip time of 31:35! Not sure why only shot gun times were (and still are) posted on coolrunning, but that is besides the point. Woohoo.... So, I'm presuming that I had a 32:48 shotgun time and a 31:35 net time. Love to see improvement!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I was clicking around Road Runners Club of America's website and came across the Coaching Certification program that they offer. I must say it does intrigue me, so I got on their email list. The course seems to fill up rather quickly and they are not offered very often, so maybe by the time they make their way to Florida, I'll be up for it? As long as it doesn't occur during the crunch time for runnign the half marathons down here (February-April), I may just do it. Its $300, but the sense of accomplishment would be wonderful, don't you think? Its completely a personal endeavor, I know. And, I doubt I would ever generate revenue from it, but I would enjoy having that little piece of paper. In all actuality, I'm very curious to see if I'm doing things properly here at work. I know its hard to screw up a newbie and the certification really helps those develop more competitive runners, but still it would be nice to know these things. If nothing else, i can use it on myself!
So, how does this differ from those other models? First and foremost, there is no monthly subscription price. While I was really intrigued by the BodyMedia Fit, I was a bit put off by them "owning" my data and that they can also sell it and sublease it to others, for commercial use. I also didn't like the fact that I needed to invest in a product and (if I only used it on occassion) would have to pay a premium to utilize the device I already purchased.
Now, Fit Bit does a lot of the things that these other products do. It does err on the low side, compared to the BodyMedia Fit, which I prefer, e.g. it estimates steps/calories less than the BodyMedia Fit.
There is also no bulging arm band. Now, for those in northern climates, this may not have been an issue when you always wear thick sweaters or long-sleeve shirts, but for us Floridians, I wear short-sleeve shirts more days than not.
This is definitely a gadget, very unnecessary. But, it does its job. Its not going to yell at you like Jillian Michaels, so you need to have some personal drive already. But, if sometimes you need that extra push, this will do it for you. You will instantly see your progress in the day, calories burned etc (unlike the other devices which you need to sync/upload first), so it will provide a little extra incentive to get moving.
All in all, this is now on my Christmas wish list....hope my hubby sees it! So, if I do get it...I will definitely provide a formal product review afterwards.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
But it has hindered me enough. Maybe its just the last few weeks and the craziness that we've all been dealing with. Between the trips, the funeral, the hectic schedule...I just need a week to rest, but we all know that is not going to happen. Life goes on and its surely not going to slow down for me! I'm just mentally worn out right now. At least its happening now, rather than when I need to start my half marathon training, right?
But, I want to get in some more exercise and not make my stomach worse in the process. My daughter's softball game is tonight, so hopefully I can run there and then run back, so while its not a solid 3 miles, its 1.5 miles twice :) And, then if I'm up for it, I'll do some kettlebell exercises later on....and then bed!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Now, I did list out all the items that you should consider having when running in the cold here....but seriously, alcohol could easily be added to that list!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Now, I still want to get the miles in, so I just have to determine how I'm going to do this if there are some runners who are in the early weeks of the training....I feel I should step back with them, or maybe we can rotate...those that have time to do 4 runs a week can take one run to do the early weeks of the program. That way, they are still getting out and giving back, but are not risking injury simply because they have a somewhat bigger base AND because the early weeks are not requiring a lot of extra exertion. Besides, I think it will encourage their pride if they can rerun Week 2 or Week 3 and realize how easy it is for them now :)
I simply cannot wait to have scheduled runs every day of the week, so people can just join when/if they are able to. Right now, we have 2-3 scheduled runs/week, and schedules/vacations/sick days all limit everyone's ability to always make those scheduled runs. But if we have critical mass to have daily runs, then everyone can chose those 2-3 days during the week that works with their individual schedules...how great is that!
I do love the comaraderie that is being felt. Everyone is so encouraging of everyone else, and I love playing the role of mentor, even if I am still a newbie myself!
Most of them should be able to run 30 minutes straight by the end of November, which will really help my half marathon training also. That starts mid-November, and I need to get in at least two 5ks mid-week during the first 2 months....so if I can get that done during lunch, I should have more time with my family at night. Besides, the weather is great this time of year!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
So, I got my prize package Saturday...and I laced my shoes up last night. Went for my first run in them during lunch today (lunch bunch run) and I really like them! Sure, I have a lot going on down there between my RoadID and my garmin footpod, but these things are neon-y fresh! I received a yellow and green pair, and I must say that they are flourescent colors...really stand out. So, put them on older shoes and all of a sudden, your shoes will look hip again!
I think my shoes are actually more comfortable now. Seriously. Why? There is even tension throughout the shoe now. And, my shoe feels more secure, and therefore, there is less heel slipping going on. Its definitely one of those little products that you don't need...but then when you try them, you really like them and may decide to stay with them for the long run. Hey, its a cheap little experiment, so maybe its worth a gander?
If interested, they are pretty cheap...but you can get free shipping with amazon's minimum here.
So, everything is being put on hold....KettleWorx will be slightly delayed, but I should be able to catch up by doing the exercises every other day (rather than 3 days/week), but "Slim in 6" will have to wait until I get back home. So, I basically did 3 weeks of the program, and will have taken a total of 2 weeks off....so when I get back Sunday, I'll attempt the "Ramp it Up" again and see how that goes.
Fortunately, the organizers of the Creaky Bones 5K Sarasota allowed me to change our submission to the Creaky Bones 5K St Petersburg. That was kind of them...I'm not sure if we will have the energy for this next week, but at least we now have a choice. And, if it gives the kids something to look forward to, even better!
I'm just bringing the necessities via carry-on, but that will include my running shoes. If nothing else, getting out for a run will allow me some breathing space while we are up north, and since there will be so many people in such cramped quarters (not much playing outside I'm sure since I have Florida kids...it will be freezing to them) so getting outside will be a nice stress reliever....or so I hope.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
So, with changing seasons....come changing habits...come changing workouts? New Year's resolutions have never meant anything to me...but it seems that refocusing around the equinox may be appropriate.
Summer was focused on running. I must say I really have come a long way. I'm proud of myself! I don't say that often enough, and I know I should. I'm a confident short-distance runner. And, I've strarted getting stronger! Between the Shakeology Challenge and the Slim in 6, I definitely see the differences. And, I've lost about 35 pounds this year!
But that was just the beginning. I want more. So, soon enough I'll be starting my Kettlebell workout, my half marathon training and the P90X (if I can squeeze it in). And, I want to lose another 15 pounds. That is my winter goal.
So yes, I have goals...I just need to constantly refocus and not over-train at the same time! What does the changing seasons encourage you to reflect on?
Friday, October 14, 2011
While I want to plan, I also don't want to over-indulge on "winter" equipment that i will only use one week a year. For Florida winters, I can do with tights and a long sleeve top. So, I need to purchase each needed item frugally....if its an item that I will use for years and years, then I'm ok with it, but if new technology will come out that really makes an item age fast, then I should try to do without.
First thing that i do think that I "need" are Kahtoola Microspikes. Everything I've read about these, people are raving about them. You simply can't slip, even on ice. So, I would feel better running on potential black ice on the hilly streets.
I also will only be able to run during the day, which should be fine for me, since it should be warmer mid-day than morning or evening. There are no street lights on these hills afterall...this is horse country.
I have a few winter running tights, in all grades. Some base layers I still have from rock climbing and hiking when I lived in California, so I should be set there. As for tops, I do have a few long sleeve running technical tops with zippers so I can adjust air once I'm warmed up (bought them on season clearance when I first started running)....hope those are enough! I do have my old marmot skiing shell...will I need that to keep the wind at bay? How about arm warmers? Should I get some zenzah's for my shins to keep the muscles warm? Remember, I am sooo not acclimated for this weather!
I will not, however, purchase new shoes...my current ones will have to do. I have one pair of "warm-ish" non-florida running socks...hope those work fine. There is a lot of mesh on them, so I may have to layer socks to keep my feet warm.
I do have some "runners" gloves (again a season clearance item).
But, this is what is suggested for wearing, based on the current weather:
- 30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).
- 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over the tights.0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.
- Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.
- Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, "Stay inside."
But the above assumes you are accustomed to the temperature. I'll be leaving 65 degrees and going down to 30 degrees! So, I think the 10-20 degree references above may work better for me.
As for running, I've read that you should start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn't blast you after you've broken a sweat. But, there is really only one road, and I can only really go in one direction if I want to stay away from crazy drivers....and besides this hilly road is fairly desolate, with lots of open areas, so I will just have to deal with whatever it brings.
One thing I must do is protect my skin! Vaseline or BodyGlide all over my cheeks/face to prevent windburn....remember, my skin won't be accustomed to this! Kiehl's makes a product people rave about....called All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector. They are out of stock now, but will probably have some in the Fall...and I will be looking for it. Apparently, it feels like a very thick balm, but is absorbed into the skin quite quickly...very good reviews.
And, if I need to dry my wet shoes overnight, crumpling up some newspapers and cramming it in tightly into the shoes (with the insoles removes) helps soak up the moisture! Who knew!
So, I'm 5 days behind...I just got back from Hawaii yesterday, so I will do the "Ramp it Up" tonight and see how I feel. I swear I really did work out in Hawaii though. Between some running, some hiking and a lot of dancing (which my calves were sore for 2 days, so you know there was some serious aerobic jumping there), I felt pretty active. I'll probably do the "Ramp it Up" tonight and tomorrow, and then Sunday move to "Burn it Up" and continue that for 2 weeks. I did get the "Keep it Up" video as well (part of the package), so I may try that afterwards.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
My first half marathon is scheduled for 2/12/12. Assuming a 12-week training schedule, that means that my training will start on/around November 21th! Yup, thats right....so after Slim in 6, I'll give myself a rest and then jump right into this training schedule.
For my training, I'm going to use the "Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon" training schedule. My goal is not a time goal, per se, but rather a goal to finish in the standing and unaided position! I'm really not sure how this will work if I couple if with the P90X program. With the running training, there are only 3-4 days of running each week, so I may be able to do it if I really focus on time management. But, I know that this training has to take precedence over the P90X if I want to ensure that I finish in the upright position! I hope I can do it both...but if I have to slack-off on P90X and only do half of it, so be it. I definitely don't want to overtrain and risk injury after all!
So, what is the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon training plan? Its a 12-week conditioning program that focuses on a single long-run, with 2-3 short runs in the week, coupled with other cardio and/or strength training. Its truly a very well-rounded program, which is what attracted me to it. And unlike Galloway's method of run-walk-run, I think Hal's program assumes that you will/want to run the whole thing. Maybe I can't when it comes right down to it, but I certainly want to get close!
Week 1 starts off like this:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5K Run
Wednesday: 30 minutes Cross Train or 3K Run
Thursday: 5K Run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 30 minutes Cross-Train
Sunday: 4 Mile Run
Week 10 looks like this:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 Mile Run
Wednesday: 5K Run or 30 minutes Cross-Train
Thursday: 5 Mile Run
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 60 minutes Cross-Train
Sunday: 10 Mile Run
The following two weeks are taper weeks, finishing with my first half! So, you can see that its possible to work P90X into this schedule, if I plan it carefully. Rest Days can be substituted for upper-body strength building in the P90X program since it won't encourage overuse injuries with my legs, and the program above clearly has sufficient cross-training opportunities for the yoga or kenpo exercises of the P90X program.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Just as there are three "blocks" in the P90X training, there are also three phases to the nutrition plan. Most important to the plans is the macronutrient content, rather than specific food choices. One needs to find foods that fit into the macronutrient ratios that one loves to eat, rather than have a specific diet dictated. The plan encompasses the following three phases:
Fat Shredder is a higher-protein diet that jump-starts your fat loss as you begin building muscle. Meals in this first 4 weeks should proportionally be: 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fat.
Now, just by reading this, for me personally, the first phase will be the hardest. This is basically an atkins/south beach diet as carbs are severely restricted. The biggest concern I have with this is how to keep up my energy for this phase. While I know restricting carbs will seriously get me in ketosis so I utilize my fat stores for energy rather than my glycogen-muscle-carb stores, it does drain you. I just need to remind myself that its only for a month.
Energy Booster gives your body the energy it needs with a balanced mix of carbs and protein. Now, the Energy Booster is very balanced clean eating with lower levels of fat and extra carbs for extra energy during those Plyometrics workouts. Simple to follow.
Meals in this phase are 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. Eat three serves of complex carbohydrates daily (e.g. whole wheat bread, pasta or oatmeal as well as one piece of low glycemic index fruit daily). Protein remains high so as to aid in muscle recovery.
Stay with this program for the duration of P90X, or progress to Phase 3 if muscular endurance is your goal and/or gain more muscle.
Endurance Maximizer is a serious athletic diet with more complex carbs and lean protein for ultimate performance.
This phase, if chosen, kicks in near the tail end of the program to avoid plateaus. It’s heavier on the carbs, but hte potential to push your endurance will follow.
20% protein, 60% carbohydrates and 20% fat. The extra carbs will allow you to work out heavier and harder, thereby pushing you farther than you thought possible. Of the three phases, elite athletes eat most similarly to Phase 3 (especially long distance runners). When you’re at your peak/plateau, your body needs this extra easily-absorbed fuel to break through ceilings.
So, the Endurance Maximizer is basically a carb-laden, prepping for major endurance exercise type of eating...perfect when you are piling on the miles late in a half marathon training plan :) so I'm sure I'll be following this late in my training schedule when I slowly enter the highest mileage and taper and then the actual run.Throughout
In all of the phases eating frequent small meals and drinking lots of water are emphasized.
Also, you can follow the meal plan or the portion plan (many serves of each food type you are allowed), whichever suits you....or you can simply create a sound nutritional plan of you own based on the information above.
Before you start the program you will also need to calculate your recommended calorie intake (and maybe readjust it with each plan), which is based on your activity level and resting metabolic rate.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Each week is a different video, so if you just stick to 20 minutes, you are going to view each video only three times...not much chance for boredom here, right? I like that! Cuz, while I do think the Slim in 6 is working nicely for me, I've been watching the same 57 minute video every day for almost 2 weeks already....so I will appreciate the variety!
So, I have the videos....and I ordered the CAP 15 lb Kettlebell. And man oh man, that thing is solid! Its small, which makes it less intrusive, but it is a serious weight. I suppose I didn't expect this, since its less weight than you are supposed to start with. No way could I start this with 20 lbs. Also, no way that someone who hasn't done any strength training could do this with 15 lbs! I would think someone who has never done anything could start with 5-8 lb kettlebells max. So, I know there will be some delayed muscle soreness that I will have to deal with, but hey, how bad could it be if its just 20 minutes?
As always, I'll provide a weekly update on the effort (the video as well as how effective kettlebells are) and maybe, just maybe you will want to give it a go :)
Sunday, October 9, 2011
The "tricep" part of the upper body warm up is still hard, but doable. Its just so early in the video so when its so hard, I feel a tad demoralized...but that goes away quickly. The lower body exercises around minute 30 are still hard but doable. The crunches/ab work are still hard, but doable. Yes, I'm very tired and am still sweating a lot to this video! Let me just say that exercising under a fan on full speed is HEAVEN!
Thus far, I had 6 workouts with the "Start it Up" video, and 12 workouts with the "Ramp it Up" video. I'm predicting that I will have another 3-4 on the "Ramp it Up" (we travel Wednesday night through Thursday morning, so not sure if I will take Wednesday or Thursday as my recovery day for the week). So this Friday, will go onto "Burn it Up" for another 2.5 weeks ....at least when I transition to "Burn it Up", if I'm really sore, I can limp around all day on Saturday and avoid doing errands :)
I was hesitant about doing this series on vacation...not sure if I would have the time, but then again, its only one hour every evening. And, we are not "party" people. We just wanted to spend time together, be casual, be active, but no bars or nightclubs or even fancy dinners for us. We have a condo here in Hawaii so we can make everything we want here. I was a bit worried that we wouldn't have the time, but its amazing how relaxing and how much one can do when they are not working and/or caring for two little munchkins :) So, I can commit to doing this an hour a day while we are here.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I was with him for a good 11 years, was married, divorced, etc....but when I look back at this time, I remember being involved in a particular national marathon quite a bit. His father was the Race Director, and he has now taken that reign and manages it. I do look back on this time fondly. We were both very involved in the race weekend, from helping at the expo to helping with drug testing to helping wih the finish line chutes and even recording the race results!
I mingled with the world-class athletes...attended the cocktail party the evening after the marathon with all the invited/elite athletes. Even had dinner multiple times with Anne Audain. Of course, at that time, I didnt know that I should be so impressed with her (At the Olympics in 1984, she competed in the first women's marathon, and in 1988, she finished 11th in the inaugural women's 10k). She was just this quirky kiwi running a 10k that wore full-faced makeup at every running event :)
I even had dinner many times with the elite USSR athletes who came over to the US with their "coaches" (but we all knew that they were really KGB agents watching them to ensure that they behaved themselves and didn't defect...seriously, no running coaches ever looked like these burly men!).
I remember always seeing these slender gizelle-like athletes and thinking how they are a world apart from everyone I know. Its not that I didn't want to run, it was really a matter of not knowing that I could. I was surrounded by people that had trained with professional trainers for umpteen years of their lives. This was a "runner" in my mind, not the thousands of other local/regional/national people in these same races. So, it never really crossed my mind that I could be runner as well.
Its interesting how I've come full circle in this regards. I was interested in how the marathon was managed, but never really had an interest in running in it. Now, I don't really care how a race is managed, but want to run one!
Friday, October 7, 2011
But, I do plan on keeping up as much of my exercise routine as I can while we are there! I won't be bringing my yoga mat, but my running shoes and resistance bands will be packed! I finally get to run WITH my husband. We've never done this before, since we've always had to balance the running with the kids. I'm excited for this though. Hopefully we will fall into sync quite nicely. He's much taller than me, but I think my cadence is faster than his...so we shall meet somewhere in the middle :)
I also hope to continue the "Slim in 6" while we are there. I'll take the video with me, and should have more than enough space in our unit. Between the luau, the wedding and the after-wedding brunch, we will be busy. And, we also want to check out Hana, which is the other side of the island. We won't be there too long...in fact, its too short of a trip really, but didn't really have an option as my parents had to fly back a week after they got here. So, busy? Bring it!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
There are a ton out there. Some are cute and comfortable, and some appear to be smolted straight from the Soviet Union. Some are filled with sand/water and some are truly 100% cast iron. Some even are adjustable with a slight twist....so they can expand from 5lbs-30lbs.
So, what is the right option for you? First, a few things to consider:
- Vinyl coated kettlebells may have a nicer appearance, but they will not protect your floors if the kettlebell falls. Seriously, these suckers are heavy, and no amount of 5mm coating will protect anything...but they will wipe down nicely! I simply don't know why people think that they will do so. They are heavy. If they fall on your toes, you will be visiting the emergency room. If they fall on your tile floor, you will have a crack to contend with. If they fall on a wooden floor, you may have a dent.
- Vinyl coated kettlebells will tend to slip more if you are sweating, so be warned. I think they have a nice feel to them and they would rotate more easily in your hand, but then again, I plan on doing these workouts inside on my tile floor, so the risk of slippage isn't worth it for me.
- Err on the side of a lighter kettlebell. Seriously, you need to concentrate on proper form before using heavier weights. But, if the kettlebell doesn't exert any muscle burn, its not doing you any good. Kettlebells are designed to help you stabilize your body or your muscles. Men tend to overestimate their strength, while women tend to underestimate their strength...so purchase accordingly.
- If you can do bicep curls with 5 lb weights, then get a 10 lb kettlebell and so forth, but never heavier. So, don't go for the 15 lb one just yet. You may grow out of that first weight within 2 months, but thats ok. Having one too heavy will hinder your progress and cause injury. So, if the first kettlebell you purchase is simply not right for your current fitness level, do not be too timid to return it for the proper size.
- Buying individual kettlebells are fine, as you only need one at a time. So, don't succumb to purchasing a "set"
- Sand-filled or water-filled kettlebells tend to be bulkier than their pound-equivalent cast iron versions, so they will be more awkward to work with
- Buy a kettlebell that is part of a line that you will buy again...so stick with a bigger brand thats easier to find. I personally would hate to have two kettlebells at home that don't match (but I'm anal like that)
I ended up purchasing my 15lb kettlebell from Amazon. It arrived the following week, and I'm pleased with it. Its a heavy sucker, so I know it will work me, but its not so heavy that I will struggle and over-strain. Remember, most kettlebell exercises use two hands, so you rarely do exercises with just one arm/hand. 15lbs seemed appropriate for me. As for the finish, it definitely looked like a "serious" piece of workout equipment...so if your brother is a personal trainer, he will not laugh at you! Its also very compact and stores in much less space than one of my other handweights. And because its only one piece (as opposed to storing two dumbbells), its easy to find a home for it.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
- Buy running shoes from a running specialty store...yes, you will be paying a lot, but its worth it (all other purchases related to running are nothing comared to good shoes)
- Never run back-to-back days until you have 6 months of running under your belt. Trust me on this one....its simply not worth a stress fracture. So, even if that last run wasn't very good and you know you could do better, wait another day before reattempting it!
- Remind yourself that if you can make it through the first 6 weeks, it will get so much easier!
- Call yourself a runner, even if you don't believe it quite yet...by saying it over and over again to people (strangers even), you will start to believe it
- If you (like me) stay encouraged by buying the little accessories that make running "cute" and running clothes enjoyable, by all means, buy it
- Read books about running...they will help you stay motivated, even when you were over-zealous and ran back-to-back days and now have to abstain from all impact exercises for the next 6 weeks (yes, personal experience here)
- Subscribe to running blogs (have you done that yet? hint hint) or facebook pages (I know this great one about a crazy mother) that put the sport in your face so its always on your mind and keeps you motivated
- Try to meet other runners (even if they are only virtual), as your friends won't want to hear about all of your running woes....its not that they are disinterested (well, yeah, they are disinterested), but that doesn't mean that you should be disinterested!
- Remind yourself how far you have come in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year...be proud of your accomplishments!
- Remind yourself (even if you are dead last in a race), that you are much much faster than that slob next door that never even got off of their couch!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I love to learn. Hey, if you cant find something on the internet...just let me know, as I am the notorious google queen (or so I've been told many many times before). Yup, I understand the google search engine pretty well.
And learning for self-fulfillment just doesn't cut it though, as I feel the need to share the knowledge. You see the theme here...this blog is for me :) Yeah, maybe I'm a little narcissistic as I did get all excited when my blog hit 1000 page views, but really, its more than just a number. I want to make a difference. Sure, I'm still trying to determine what I want to be when I grow up (I suppose that means I'm still young at heart, right?), but I know I like to guide and teach and encourage...I've found that I'm pretty good at that actually!
While I get a lot of joy out of my family and watching my kids fail and then step up and try again until they understand how to solve problems by themselves, I likewise want to give others the tools that they need to be successful.
You see how this all comes back to my blog? Funny, isn't it? I recall last year when I was humbled by gaining all the weight back that I lost early in the year (it was really only about 15 pounds and I know why I gained it, but that didn't help me accept it...I simply pushed those smaller sizes to the back of my closet and went on with life). Yet, the running has fueled this blog, and the blog fuels the running....and its all centered around health and fitness.
I suppose something last week really culminated it for me. Someone I work with has always complained about her 30 year old husband's lack of a balanced diet and lack of exercise. He's overweight, but was ok with that...and the fast food twice a day? Regardless of the about of nagging she gave him, it didn't matter. They recently were blessed with a beautiful little boy. One would think that this major life event would kick his ass into taking better care of himself....there was more talk, but there still wasn't an impetus for him to do so.
He's been complaing about vision issues for the last month...headaches, a little eye strain here and there. So, he drove to work on Monday (same way he drives every day), his boss hands him client directions (to their house, work orders, etc) and he realizes that he cannot read them...with either eye! He refuses to go to a real medical doctor, saying he just needs to see an eye doctor. She knows better, so she coerces him into an opthamoligist begrudgingly, only to be told that the doctor can see a hermorrage in his eye with her naked eye! She says that its the worst case she's ever seen (except in text books). They are immediately sent to an urgent care (again, he doesn't want to go to an ER) and his blood pressure exceeded the capability of the machine! They were sent to the ER and they read his BP at 240/180. Know this..he felt fine. Why? Because his blood pressure has been so high for so long that his body has acclimated to this level! Quite frankly, everyone at the hospital was surprised that he has yet to have a stroke! Remember...he is only 30!
Its been 5 days now that he's been in the critical care unit, and who knows when he will be moved to a "regular" room. My heart goes out to him and his family. I can only imagine the self-hatred he is going through right now simply because he knew that his life is at stake and it was due to his own failings. I so hope that they rebound from this (physically, I mean) and that he makes a determined effort to adjust his lifestyle. His father died 6 years ago today, and I know that he does not want his little boy to grow up without a dad. Fortunately, he has a wife that is well-versed in healthful living, so I know he has a good guide. I just wish I could help.
You cannot force someone to find motivation. They need to find it themselves. But, the moment they have it, you watch out for it, and delve in and help them! I suppose this is similar to the person who I mentioned awhile ago who we wanted to help do the C25K program, but I know she is simply not ready. She wants shortcuts. I simply need to watch for signs of readiness. And if you are reading this blog and have suffered through this long post, I hope you also are watching yourself for those signs of readiness. Its tough. Its sometimes telling yourself how you have failed in the past. There are no quick fixes. But this is your life we are talking about...this is your family's future. Its worth it.
So, get up and do something...anything! And if you need a penpal or any guidance whatsoever...if you need someone to remind you to get up and move....if you dont have that support at home...don't let that stop you. Let me know....let me see how I can help. Hopefully if you are reading this blog you continue to read. Hearing it and being reminded of how much our body can do is one way to keep that motivation up. If nothing else, I hope that I inspire someone. If not, I'll be content with trying :)
I told her I've only been doing it for 2 weeks, and she said that she already sees a difference. So I suppose I shouldn't be too disheartened by my "Diet Sucks" post from earlier. Yes, I know I haven't lost hardly anything in the last month, but I am being noticed for my continued headway towards "slender" status!
That does feel good, I tell ya!
So, what did I indulge in? I'll tell you if you promise not to tell my husband. He saw the bag, and just said "I don't want to know how much, right?" ...so you see, I can't tell him now since I promised :)
Three capris! One was a heathered off-white basic "Wonder Under" gym crop capri which I just had to get because I never see any colors other than grey and black. See, its a necessity, right? I also purchased the "Its a Cinch Crop" which was basic black on the bottom with a teal super-wide waist band that cinches up with two little drawstrings above each hip. I saw this in the catalog and wanted it then, so I indulged. I also got the "Aero Crop" which is just really cool. Its a dark grey, but it was a 3-d feel to it with yoga-inspired design all over the bottome 3rd of the legs that are "grippy" texture...which also cover the knee. Is suppose its not only really cool, but also I justified it because it will allow me not to slip when doing anything on my knees :)
I also picked up a "The Bust Stops here' sports bras. These were similar in construction to the Moving Comfort Fiona. I really wanted a "Ta Ta Tamer" but alas they had none in the store.
I also picked up a hat and a visor...I simply couldn't pass up the $5 price, even if I typically don't wear hats. But, given these two, I may just have to start! :)
Last but not least...I picked up two tops. The "Scoop Neck Tank" is absolutely cute. Seriously, just look at that picture...love it! Its designed for yoga, and has a fairly high cut in the front, but more of a racerback in the back, and I swear I could wear this out and about and even dress it up...loved it in the lavender. I also grabbed the "Dignity Halter" in black....I could easily wear this with jeans as its quite a low-cut, but still somewhat simple...and at $9 it was a steal.
Yes, I should hold my head in shame...but what surprised me most about this visit is the sizing. I know the size 8 bottoms fit great for me, but Lululemon's size 6 are a squeeze. I do have one running skirt in size 6, and its not comfortable enough for me to wear. But, regardless, all the bottoms I purchased were size 6. They were tight, but I'm determined to get to this size within the next few months. Tops purchased were all size 8s...the girls will never fit a size 6, which is more than ok for me. The tops were a tad tight as well, but once I get rid of my back fat, I should be good :)
No running skirts in the store, which was disappointing, but then again, I'm well stocked there. I did think it was strange to see the store arranged by size, rather than item. So, all of the size 6s were together, and all of the size 8s were together and so forth. I don't think they sold anything smaller than a size 2, or larger than a size 10. A smaller mens section was also available. And, no yoga mats were there for sale. I would have liked to check out "The Mat" as I really think I need a thicker one...I'm so tired of folding mine for some exercises.
So, it was a splurge, but its the only store I ventured into! And I love everything I got. We'll go back in January (for husband's baseball tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports) or February (Princess Half Marathon) I think...and maybe we'll see what they have available :)
I *think* my body fat is around 26% now, so I'm close to my goal. But, I simply don't see it being close. I know I'm jaded when thinking about my own weight, and I know it will take time and that the last pounds are always the hardest...but darn it! I want it now!
If I don't think about weight as the goal, my goal is to lose another 2" on my waist, hips, buttocks, chest and on each thigh (I have seriously fat inner knee/thighs, so I can definitely lose half of my weight here, if the diet gods were smiling on me!).
But, I have noticed an increase in strength, so I do know that I've gained muscle...not enough to offset the amount of weight that I should have lost by now (last 6 weeks or so), but I know I've gained good stuff, so I'm not going to stress over it too much. At least if I've even gained 2 pounds of muscle, I know that my metabolism will increase simply as a result of this.
So, whats the plan...I'm going to stick to relatively decent eating habits. I'll never go over 1800-1900 calories, so worst case, I will plateau. But I'll continue to ensure that 80-90% of those calories are excellent choices and the other 10-20% can be crap :) But, I'm still going to continue the serious exercise for at least another 4 weeks and then re-evaluate. That should get me past the "Slim in 6" program, and it should get me to the point where I am running more during lunch with my fabulous "Lunch Bunch" :)
If I feel I still have a ways to go, I will go on an ultra strict diet for a few weeks and then re-evaluate again. I just really want to be in near-excellent shape before starting my half marathon training! I want to be able to start strong and focus on strength of running rather than weight loss. Iknow a lot of people actually gain weight when training for a marathon, so I know the tendency could be there when training for a half marathon....all that exercise does make one famished!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sound was a bit better than the first video. Only a few times did I think it was noticeably strange, and only then for a few minutes. The trainers....There were, as with the last video, two additional trainees. Both were young, mid 20s or so, and both were very lean. However, one was female and one was male. They hadn't perfected the workout (the man really), which was nice to see because they seriously reacted to some of the moves in a realistic way, which made it a bit easier to feel at east with the effort demanded.