Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Pre-workout fuel: Banana and half-cup half-caff coffee
Workout: Rode 10.22 miles in 52 minutes, 53 seconds; average speed, 11.6. Followed up bike ride with short walk with Denali.

1. I had every intention of writing this post this afternoon when I came home for my lunch break. Upon walking in the house, though, I found that we had no water. What the frack! I went to call the landlord to see what was up but I left my phone at work. Double frack! I got the dog out and headed back to the office to start making calls. As it turns out, there was road work in the area and the construction company turned off the water. Thanks for the notice, buds.

2. Today was my first solo ride in a really long time. Mark had professional development ahead of the start of school week and wasn't able to go. It was a fairly good ride though I nearly wiped out twice. Apparently, I can't "site see" and steer straight at the same time.

3. One of the key factors in my weight loss has been planning. I know when I'm going to eat, where I'm going to eat and what I'm going to eat. Whether it's deciding on a week's menu before going to the store or checking out a restaurant online before walking through the doors, I do the best to stay in control of what I'm putting into my body. This weekend, though, is going to pose a challenge. We're going to a wedding tomorrow (yep, a Friday afternoon). And, to top it off, we have to travel a couple hours away. That means I'll have a lunch on the road, with the restaurant selected by my in-laws. I'll have a cocktail hour to navigate, and I'm sure I'll be starving by the time hors d'ouerves are passed at 5:30. Dinner? I have no idea what's being served and when I'll get to eat. Then there's the temptation of booze and cake. While I know it's OK for the occasional indulgence, I don't like feeling out of control because out of control equals weight gain to me. But as much as there is unknown, I do know once thing: I'll be burning those calories on the dance floor. Holla!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Run fast, repeat

Pre-workout fuel: HALF of a banana drizzled with honey and a dash of cinnamon, along with a half-cup of half-caff coffee
Workout: Ran 6.00 miles in 52 minutes, 29 seconds; average pace, 8:45.

Mile repeats scare the crap out of me. From the moment I see them on the schedule to the night before to when I'm eating breakfast to the instant I hit the lap button on the good ole Garmin, I'm flat-out terrified. I'm not sure why, exactly. They just do.
So it was with that fear that I headed out with Mark to tackle 3x1 mile repeats at a goal pace of 8:20.

Warm-up: I struggled to find a good pace. At times I felt too slow, others I noticed we were going to fast. I hate these warm-up paces with Mark because I feel guilty going too slow even though I need to. And the mile always seems so long as the anticipation of what's to come drives me nuts.

Repeat No. 1: My legs felt a little heavy, and I tried to find a good pace. This mile was definitely slower in the beginning and faster at the end. 8:07

Repeat No. 2: Why did Mark bring the dog? Ugh. I suggested that we keep him at home because the 6-mile run was going to be too much but noooo. We had to bring him. Too bad I was holding the leash and Denali was holding me back. About .6 in, we took a break to give Denali more water and switch the leash responsibility. I took off trying to gain back time on the repeat. 8:04

Repeat No. 3: It was just me now. Just me and the too gorgeous big, expensive homes on the boulevard that I use for my track. Mark took Denali home, and it was up to me to make sure I a) finished this repeat; and b) finished it well. I knew about a quarter-mile in that I was going fast but I didn't dare look at the Garmin. I didn't want to know how far I still had to go. I just used my fave houses as landmarks and kept going. I looked down as the Garmin beeped: 7:47. My fastest mile to date (I think). I stopped and wondered whether I was going to die puke. Fifteen seconds later I was off to cool down.

Cool down: I felt really good that last mile. It felt slow and I got my breathing back. I actually got to look at my favorite homes. I thought about going farther but there was a pang in my belly that was asking for a veggie egg white melt from my kitchen.

I came home and was greeted by a still-panting Denali.

He was pretty happy with his 3.5 miles, and I have to say I was pretty happy with my 6. I just I hope I remember this feeling the next time the schedule calls for repeats!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twix-y situation

You know you have one - an item in your pantry that you want to eat ... but you don't. You have to avert your eyes every time you open the cabinet as to avoid temptation.

For me, it's been a mini Twix bar that I picked up at the Flying Pig expo, oh, back in May. I think about eating it. A lot. I haven't, though, because those tiny guys pack a caloric punch. There's about 50 calories in a piece of candy that's two bites (if you're taking it slow).

Today, though, I couldn't take it any more. I had to move it to the counter when I was searching for the basmati rice. It had to be moved again when I was cleaning up dinners. And once again when I was doing dishes. This little Twix was the bane of my existence today.

So I ate it.

And you know what - it didn't even taste that good. The cookie part was stale, and I ended up throwing half of it out. I probably should have just thrown it out if I haven't found reason to eat it in the past three months. Or, I should have eaten it three months ago. Same difference.

Buzz off

Ohmygod, I miss caffeine. I miss it so much. Or at least my head does because the headache I have right now is EPIC.

That's what I get, though, for committing to cutting back on the caffeine. The other side effects? Just some irritability, crankiness, insomnia, lack of concentration, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle stiffness and pain, inability to work (now I have a reason!), nervousness, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue and ringing in my ears.

I'm not so sure that I'm exhibiting many of those effects in that list - you can never guess why I'm cranky. Even still, it's not a fun process. It's actually very hard. Beyond the headaches, I find myself WANTING my 3 p.m. Diet Coke and feeling like the crazy lady at the coffee shop when I order a decaf, non-fat, sugar-free latte.

The good news is that I can still have my coffee (I actually like the taste), and I find that I don't need the "pick me up" in the morning. I think it's just the hotness of the beverage more than the caffeine. I am also drinking more water and discovered the taste of Diet Rite Tangerine.

I will admit that I'm still drinking about one caffeinated beverage a day, usually at lunch, but plan to eliminate that in the coming weeks. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Something in the air

Pre-workout fuel: Banana with Peanut Butter & Company Dark Chocolate Dreams and half-cup of half-caff coffee.
Workout: Ran 4.26 miles in 38 minutes, 54 seconds; average pace, 9:08.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you for finding a way for the humidity to stop choking me the instant I walk out the door.

Thank you for lowering the mercury to a mere 60 degrees at 7 a.m. and protecting my eyes from the burn of salty sweat.

Thank you for the (dare I say) crisp breeze that cooled me off ... even as the sun hung bright in the sky.

Thank you for the reminder that it can be enjoyable to run for run's sake and not just to adhere to a training schedule.

Thank you for helping me to bask in the goodness of this run and forget about the wretched cramp I got because I ate too much right before the run. (Reminder to self: Don't eat the entire banana just because you want to eat more peanut butter.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

P.S. Sweet baby Jesus, Denali would like to thank you, too. He was not once called "Pokemon" for falling behind because it was too hot. He would also like to add that he ran real fast, sometimes too fast (or so Momma said).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Surf's up, dudettes

Pre-workout fuel: Water before yoga and breakfast of vegan banana muffin and Stonyfield Mango Honey yogurt before walk with dog.
Workout: 20 minutes yoga, 2.2-mile walk with dog, 20 minutes upper body and 10 minutes abs (on the ball).

I don't know about you but I love, love, love to workout in my bikini.

I found this little gem on OnDemand. Surf Girls: Malibu! Right on! I've always wanted to be a surfer girl ever since seeing that reality show on MTV, oh, like 7 years ago. Seeing as I live in Indiana and the closest I get to surfing is giving Denali a bath, I figured I should grab my board shorts and go for a ride. Or do Quick Shred Arms, which was 5 minutes of toning to get me bodacious for bikini season! Totally gnarly!

OK. That's enough of that. The workout was lame. The Exercise TV version had you doing biceps triceps and just a touch of shoulders. There was also a "coffee curl" - my favorite ... of course. It worked the area between the biceps and triceps or so the "instructor" said. She seemed a bit confused, as any good stereotyped surfer girl would. Her companion seemed a bit more off, just throwing up the weights with no purpose - easy to do when you're curling 2s.

Needless to say, I finished up my upper body session with Cindy Whitmarsh and will be sticking with her and her "Tank Top Arms."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sole of a runner

Best post-long run activity? Taking your poor feet ...

that are so calloused and beat up from running and going to get a much-needed pedicure.

Of course, it's a little awkward trying to explain to the nail tech that the pedicure may or may not cause your bruised toe nail to fall off and she shouldn't be alarmed. There's also the bit of embarrassment that comes with her spending what seems like forever removing the nasty bits and trying to get the soles nice and smooth.

What follows, though - the hot water soak, the leg massage, the weird pounding on the side of my legs ...

is pure bliss!

Eight is great

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams and half-caff coffee
Mid-workout fuel: Orange Gu, at 3.9 miles
Workout: Ran 8.04 miles in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 15 seconds; average pace, 9:14.

Gather round, kids. It's time for a little story.

It was nearly two years ago, on a chilly December day, that Mark and I got married. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer. He was mine and I was his. But before I could say all those words I had waited so long to say, my bridesmaids and I had to stand outside in the cold for 10 minutes. Waiting. Just waiting.

Waiting until Mark finished up in the bathroom and got his little behind up to the front of the church. I didn't know that what was going on when I was in the middle of a bridesmaid huddle - it was only until later, on the honeymoon, when he shared those lovely, lovely details.

Of course, he continues to share those details. Sometimes, for 8 miles. I could barely control my laughter (and other reactions) as he "called for ducks" along the Greenway. I'm surprised we didn't have a gaggle of geese trotting along after us. Wouldn't that be a sight? Of course, the birds would tire out after a while, and I would have been left alone trying to maintain my composure and my stride.

Why do I tell you this? Because running isn't always glamorous and it's rarely romantic.

Grossness aside, I couldn't be more pleased with this run. I maintained a comfortable effort for the first half of the run and did myself to push harder in the second half. With the exception of the heat, it felt really good.

Wait. Except for that part when Mark thought in the last third of a mile that we should go hard and go home. He was holding a sub-8:00 pace and just expected me to go along. Yeah. OK. Except I'm not the one hoping to go sub-1:50 at Fort-4-Fitness. So I did what any girl would do. I screamed that he sucked, kicked it into high gear and passed him just as we neared the house.