Friday, December 28, 2012

Maybe I'll Just Never Move Again

Merry (belated) Christmas! I've been traveling for the holidays, finally coming to a stop in Washington state at my parents' house. I'm couch surfing so my little niece can have a room to herself. It's a good thing she's adorable. :)

I went to the gym Wednesday with my Dad and sister-in-law. I talked my sister-in-law into doing this superset workout that always, always makes me super sore. Maybe I'll rename it the super-sore workout. I knew it would be especially bad this time when my legs were already hurting as I left the gym. 

Given the large amounts of pain I've been in for the last 48 hours, I've toyed with the idea of just never moving again. I did, however, make it to the gym again today. All I could do was spend some time (~50 minutes) on the bike and the elliptical before heading over to do some half-hearted core work. I finished it off with some stretching and foam rolling. When I got to my quads, I about cried. Seriously.

So here's my question, do you always have to be sore after a workout to be improving or making progress? When I lift weights consistently there comes a point when I'm no longer sore after my workouts. I still feel like I'm working, and I'll increase my weight intermittently, but is pain the only way to know you're improving? Inquiring minds need to know...

Happy New Year! I'm thinking about my plan of attack for my resolutions!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Trottin'

Had a lovely wake-up Skype call from SeRUNity Now and Her Royal Highness as they toed the line at their local Turkey Trot this morning! It's slightly embarrassing that that was my wake-up call; it was two hours earlier for them. Sleeping in is totally justifiable on Thanksgiving though, right? Especially when you're a grad student. (At least that is what I'll tell myself.)

I was too late this year to find an official Turkey Trot to run. I didn't even think about it till earlier this week, and by then, all the ones close to "home" were already full. So I had a turkey trot of my own this morning. I hit up my favorite trail for a 6-mile trot this morning. It might be a little cliche, but I really did think about all the things I'm grateful for while I was running--not least of which was the amazing weather we're having! It was in the low 50s, sunny, and slightly breezy.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving then, here are a few of the running-related things I'm thankful for:
  1. I've had some injuries in the past, but never anything that was "career-ending," if you will. And I am grateful for that. 
  2. I am grateful to have a really nice trail system pretty close to where I live, and today I was especially grateful there were so many people out on the trail so I felt safe running. 
  3. On a similar note, I'm grateful I've been safe over my years of running.  
  4. I am grateful for Lindsey, my best running buddy! Miss you! 
  5. I am grateful for fallen leaves that crunch when I run through them. 
  6. I'm grateful for my family who I get to run with sometimes, and for my sister-in-law's family who has assimilated me into their super awesome annual relay adventures. 
  7. Mostly, I'm just grateful to be able to run.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

You're Motorin'

Sister Christian is kind of my current favorite song. Ironic, since the song itself is not current. No idea why, other than it's awesome, and their hair is pretty rad. And by rad, I mean, perms have no business on men with mullets. Or do they...?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This Run Brought to You By

I knocked out 10 miles today. Boom. I got up later than I had planned on, but I still managed to get myself out the door and get my miles in. I ate half a Mint Chocolate Clif Bar and drank about 20 oz. of water before I left.

I ran on a treadmill this morning. There have been way too many attacks on women on trails in my area lately for me to feel comfortable running outside by myself--especially for ten miles. But I had a pretty sweet setup this morning. I downloaded Netflix onto my iPad and I was golden. Thank you Thor and Captain America for your stellar work not only saving the universe but also saving me from death by boredom on my treadmill run this morning. I had to stop for water (definitely need to find my water bottle), and I brought another Clif bar, but I ended up not needing it.

And the clincher: New. Shoes. Boom. I felt like I was running on clouds. It was magical. And the color. Love. Head nod to you, Saucony.

Oooh! Look! My socks match.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I found a good spin instructor at my new gym! I tore myself away (more like sprinted away) from grading papers yesterday around 4 p.m. to head over to my gym for a 4:30 spin class. I was afraid I wouldn't make it in time because of traffic, so I was extra glad I did when about 5 minutes into the class, I realized this spin teacher meant business. She had me sweating and working harder than any other spin class has at this location. And she had great music to boot. The only downside was that I had to leave early to give myself time to get cleaned up and make it to a meeting.

And I'm so glad I rushed away from what was probably the best spin class ever to what was definitely the worst meeting ever. There are no words to adequately describe the 63-minute Purgatory I endured. Only two things saved me from giving way to madness and running screaming from the room: the endorphin high from spin class, and the four other blessed souls who--like me--were at the mercy of one or two temporally unaware individuals. Strength in numbers, right?

On the docket today: more paper grading, some research, fact finding, and writing, a run, some strength training, and perhaps some ultimate frisbee tonight as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aaaand, We're Back!

Apparently summertime means I take a long, completely unintentional hiatus from blogging. You'd think the opposite would be true, given that I actually have some free time now that I'm not in classes, but there you have it.

A brief run-down of the last few months:
  • I moved out of my crappy apartment right at the end of last semester--and not a moment too soon. So, so glad to get out of there. 
  • I took a trip back out West to visit friends and family and ended up running races on both weekends I was there. First was the Dirty Dash (a 5-mile mud/obstacle run), and then the Sawtooth Relay (I'm now a four-time veteran of that one). This year was crazy; it snowed. Like unto a blizzard.
  • I backpacked about 25 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 2.5 days with some pretty awesome people. Awesome = crazy (i.e., they did about 70 miles in 4 or 5 days the last time they went). I was really glad we decided to be less ambitious on this adventure.
  • I joined a gym. While having access to treadmills during what is one of the hottest summers I've ever experienced is definitely nice, I have been kind of disappointed with the classes they offer. I have taken one really good spin class there (and I've tried a lot of them), and I am still trying to find a good muscle pump or weight lifting class to take (last night the instructor just didn't show up--lame). I miss my old gym, and my super rad, super buff, super inspirational pump teacher back in Utah. She was, obviously, super.
  • I still have to find a half marathon to run this year! The full is off the table for now, but someday I will run another full. So help me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Triple Tangent Tuesday

I've been entering data for HOURS today. It's one of the most tedious things I've done, and I still have HOURS more to go. So here's to taking a break and posting a few random tangents!

1. I have a love-hate relationship with Catch Phrase. I love it, because it's awesome and it's a word game. I hate it because I get seriously stressed out every time I play it. The beeping countdown makes me feel like Jack Bauer on the season finale of 24. And I have this embarrassing tendency to a) yell when I'm guessing/describing a word, b) fist pump every time my team gets a point, and c) throw the game set at the person sitting next to me when my team guesses the word instead of just handing it off like a normal person.  Like I said, it's embarrassing and strangely uncontrollable.

2. One of my favorite things to eat right now? Hummus + slices of red, yellow, and orange peppers + whole wheat wrap. Yum. The downside? Slicing the peppers. Blergh. Other than that though, it's super easy, fast, and yummy!

3. would seem I have no more tangents for today. We'll call it a Two-Tangent Tuesday instead.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Counting Down!

Only 32 days till the Sawtooth Relay!! Teams 6 Tortoise and Lots of Hare and Tortoise in Training will be making their triumphant return this year. So. Stoked. (Slash, slightly worried about running at 6,000 feet after training at sea level...bah!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ukrop Monument Avenue 10K

Went to Richmond this weekend. Got to hang out with two lovely ladies. Ate some AMAZING fried chicken and grits (that's right, grits). Watched some GC. Sat in the same seat as Jason Mraz.
I'm pretty sure this means he and I should hang out. And he should maybe date me.

Oh, and ran the third largest 10K in the nation! The Ukrop Monument Avenue 10K takes place every year, and it's been rated one of the best races in the country (according to USA Today). I'd totally agree with that assessment. There were more than 40,000 runners, but I've never seen such an efficient race. Ever. In my life. Everyone started in waves, the race started on time, and it was smooth sailing all the way through to the finish! There were bands all along the course, and, as the name of the race suggests, tons of monuments to gawk at as we ran. They had great aid stations (maybe even too many, if you ask me), great volunteers, and sweet swag bags! The t-shirts left something to be desired (cotton...and pretty ugly). The post-race food was pretty standard (a la bananas and Powerade), but they also handed out the famous Ukrop White House rolls. They were indeed, life-changing.

Should you decide to run this race in the future, be advised: parking is insane, which makes sense with 40,000 people flocking to the start line. Because I stayed and ran with native Richmond-ers, I had the inside track to where to park, how to get there, and the best escape route. Traffic was super backed up, but we circumvented it all. I would have been right there in the thick traffic, cursing my horrible luck if I'd been on my own. So ask around, look up routes, and be prepared to be creative with parking. I think they have shuttles, but I'm not sure.

For another race review, check out Runner's World! They were totally there on Saturday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ironman Week Report

Once upon a time, I worked in this horrible dead-end job that kind of sucked my will to live. This job, in spite of its soul-sucking properties, was not without its perks (otherwise I don't think I would have hung on as long as I did). The perks included being able to work from anywhere (hello Mexico beach), unlimited time off, mountain biking buddies in spades, and a triathlete of a boss who taught me to lead climb on our lunch breaks, and encouraged me in my races. It was this very boss who told me that one week he and his buddies had completed an Ironman over 7 days, and made themselves t-shirts. He thought it was a good joke, and I logged that idea away for later.

Fast forward nearly six years, and for the first time, I tried my own 7-day Ironman (only I tried to do it in 6, since I typically take Sunday's off). It was, hands down, one of the coolest training plans I've ever attempted. And I pretty much felt awesome all week which made it that much better. Here's a breakdown of the last six days:

Went to spin class and then stayed on the bike an extra 25 minutes to bike a total of 26 miles (Note: I don't have a road bike, so all my cycling miles had to occur indoors). I tried running right after that, and wimped out after about a mile. So total mileage for the day was 27 miles.

A tough day schedule-wise. I have two 3-hour classes on Tuesdays. I managed to sneak in a run between my two classes and finished 5.4 miles. My last class of the day ends right about 9 p.m., and I had plans to get some bike miles in afterward, but my mom called, and that took priority. So total mileage for the day was 5.4 running miles.

A big day, training wise. I started with a spin class, and stayed on the bike afterward to finish 30 miles of cycling. I finished out my work day, then headed home to grab my swimming gear. I had a running date for later that evening, so my swim was short and I only finished 800 yards (I am possibly the world's slowest swimmer). I met up with my rockstar running buddies and I managed to eke out about 3.2 miles before wimping out. Running is so much harder after doing all that other stuff! I even had breaks in between all three events... So total mileage on Wednesday was about 34 miles.

An easy day. I was pretty tired and not totally sure why. I spent some quality time in the pool though, and I was glad I did. I managed 1800 meters and was pretty proud of myself for getting myself out the door after a long day, and falling asleep reading. Total mileage for the day 1800 yards.

Another big, big day. I got to my spin class early, stayed late, and logged 56 miles to finish up the 112-mile goal for the week. I ate lunch after that, worked in my office, and then headed home to eat more before hitting the pool. I rounded off the 2.4 mile-swim with 1625 yards in the pool. Total mileage for Friday was about 57 miles.

Feeling tired and unmotivated, I missed my morning run, and instead hit my favorite trail late afternoon/early evening for a lackluster 5.5-mile run. Total miles for Saturday (don't judge): 5.5.

Overall Recap
Final mileage for my Ironman week was....(drum-roll please)....

Swim: 2.4 miles
Bike: 112 miles
Run: 14.9
Time: 10:05

So I didn't quite make it, but instead of beating myself up about the running miles I missed, I'm focusing on how awesome I felt all week! I seriously felt so great! I was pumped (PUMPED, I tell you!) all week, and much, much happier than I've been in a long time. Friday especially, I felt like I got a runner's high during my bike ride Friday, and I may have almost gotten teary when I finished those 56 miles. It was such a huge personal accomplishment.

This week also taught me a great personal lesson: I need large quantities of challenging physical activity in my life. I also think having a goal really helped me zero in on and structure my workouts. I didn't plan as well as I could have, so next time (YES, next time!) I will get a better schedule put together.

Looking ahead, I think I will make this a regular event (probably once every couple months). It's also inspired me to better plan my workouts one week at a time so I have a short-term, achievable goal to keep me motivated and driven. I'm going to focus on weight training next week (in addition to keeping up with my regular cardio). I haven't been this amped about my workouts, probably ever. Who am I??!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ironman Week

2.4-mile swim.
112-mile bike.
26.2-mile run.
6 days
(I realize this is not as cool as say, 1 day, but this is as close as I'm ever gonna get).

Ironman Week!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed!

I am a product of the 80s. I am not ashamed, in fact, I embrace the decade of my birth in all its bodacious glory. I love power ballads, cheesy dancing movies (think Girls Just Wanna Have Fun), and the never-replicated awesomeness that is Top Gun. My alarm just might be the instrumental theme music from said movie. Maybe.

I think Tom supports my patriotic choice in wake-up music.

I digress. Yesterday I was feeling the need for speed, so I returned to a speed workout I haven't tried in several months. Let's keep it real, I haven't done any sort of legit speed workout in several months. And I've noticed that I'm running slower than I used to. So, what better training tool to increase speed than a speed workout?

I hit the treadmill for this one. I started out at a pretty slow pace and then increased my speed by .1 mph every half-mile. It HURT. In the past, I used to bust out a speed workout twice a week. And love it. I'd get this super awesome runner's high right around the 4- or 5-mile mark. Did not happen yesterday. Probably made some people nervous because I looked like I was going to die. But that's OK, because like I said, I haven't worked that hard in months. Now my resolve is to reincorporate a speed workout into my weekly schedule. I'll probably keep it at one, since when I was doing two a week, I was getting injured a lot (maybe there's a connection there?).