Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where I Sit On The Couch And Have A Glass Of Wine

Ahhhhhhh. THAT'S better! I'm sitting on the couch having a glass of chardonnay. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a boring drinker. I pretty much drink chardonnay or maybe a specialty beer. But I'm sitting here enjoying this buttery vacation in a glass because I finally finished my inventory. Woot! I was done already, really. I just had a page left to do out of my 600 unique skus. But I put it off because it's no fun to work on taxes. And inventory is a first step toward getting to work on your taxes.

So, here I sit. Today was a good day for my work (online toy retailer) and for working out :) I went to the gym this morning and did my typical 1 mile run to warm up. The added bonus to today's warm up was that my sister-in-law Amanda was also there running on the treadmill...on MY treadmill, might I add. I always use treadmill number 8. But, I moved on over to treadmill number 9 instead. ;)

My actual workout was good today. We laid off my legs and focused on my arms because I have a 5 Mile Run/Race on Saturday (with Amanda...which is why she was on Treadmill Number 8). Anyway, as usual, I worked out for an hour and then got some good stretching in afterward. I'm not used to doing heavy arm work because I have a left shoulder impingement, with a possible small tear in there. Not sure. Anyway, it was good to get a little extra work on my upper body.

Tomorrow I may get in a 2.5 mile run. We'll see. I want to keep the momentum up. But I don't want to feel uninspired on Saturday.

But, now, here I sit. Drinking that glass.

I've already read my political blogs for the day. Usual roundup includes Politico, Slate, Salon, Huffington Post (because it's like the National Enquirer), Five Thirty Eight, The and Little Green Footballs. I've skimmed the newspapers (Boston Globe, NYT, WSJ). And now? What's on the tee vee!

Thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Preparing For This Weekend's Race

Preparing for this weekend's race might be a little tricky. I did 5 on Saturday, which is good. Yesterday I did a mile on the treadmill and weight/core fitness. Today I won't be able to do anything because I am volunteering at the school this morning, and the kids will be released early because of an impending snow storm. Thursday I'm doing weight/core fitness again. So that leaves Friday. I'm thinking I'll do a simple 2.5 mile run--and that's it. Not sure what else to do, really.

Yesterday's workout was a good one. I'm really liking this new trainer. She really pushes me, which is great. And she listens when I say that a weight is too heavy or something doesn't feel right. Seems like a no brainer, but it's a hard balance between being pushed beyond your comfort zone and not hurting yourself. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend Roundup

What a great weekend! My sister and her family came up from Connecticut to visit. Six kids and 4 adults in the house, and yet mayhem was not part of the equation. Lots of Lego building, Star Wars watching and general silliness abounded. And who knows what the kids were doing :) Seriously though, it was a good weekend and really wonderful to get to spend some time with that part of our family. We don't see them enough.

I ended up doing my 5 mile run on Saturday morning instead of Friday. It was a good run. I lost some time on my watch, however, because the battery was getting low and I stopped the timer for perhaps a 1/2 mile inadvertently. Regardless, I did the Neighborhood Run with Pleasant Street extension (5.04 miles) in approximately 55 minutes. It was cold out there--about 27 degrees F. But it felt good.

I also noticed that my left leg felt a lot stronger on the hills. I'd pulled my hamstring about 25 years ago stretching after a run and it's always been a little wonky. But last week my new trainer really pushed my leg workout to the point where my left leg was trembling quite a bit. She paid attention to that though and stopped the workout to stretch the leg. We went back to work on it and really it was fine. I was super sore the next day (Wednesday) but did a 3 mile run that day. Later that night--ouch! I was sore. The next day, Thursday, my workout with Matt was great--I was still pretty stiff but we worked through it. The payoff was on Saturday where I felt a little bit of extra strength in that left leg. Hopefully I'm on the road to building up that leg again. It's always been noticeably weaker and I never really thought that was a fixable thing. We'll see!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sore, Sore and Maybe Even Sore-er

Yesterday was a good run, but yikes was I sore last night. It was a combination of a tough workout with my trainer Laura on Tuesday and then a good 3 mile run the next day on sore legs. Ouch. By the time bedtime rolled around last night, I felt as if someone had beaten me with a stick from the waist down. But, no injuries. I'm in good shape. I just was feelin' the burn, as they say.

Today I worked out with Matt. I walked into the gym feeling sore, of course, I stretched before hand and did a very, very short walk/run on the treadmill to loosen myself up even more. I had a good hour long workout with Matt and still feel good now. Less stiff than yesterday and even this morning.

So, tomorrow I'm going to shoot for a 4 to 5 mile run that I've done many times, but haven't done in a few weeks. So, we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to it.

I feel like I'm back in the groove again. The weather has been better lately (read that as warmer) and I don't dread the ice as much.

Updated: Removed Route Map

My friend Andra pointed out to me that posting my route (an actual map) that spells out exactly where and when I'll be running is a tad stupid. I tend to agree. I keep thinking that no one is actually reading this blog. But on the off chance that some creep from my past thinks it would be a good idea to look me up and "surprise" me--with a stick in hand--I thought I'd just do what I could to avoid a disastrous scenario. Andra, Chris and my children thank you. :)


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Let's Go!

It's a half day for my kids today--they'll be home by 12:15. After that, I take them skiing for their weekly lesson. Today is the last lesson. Can't say I'm sad about that. Driving up to the mountain has been a pain for all of us.

Pre Run

It's about 27 degrees F outside and it snowed last night. So, it's chilly, icy and slick! I'm aiming for 3.5 miles today :)

It's hard to get psyched up to run in the cold. I've got all the right gear, but, like I've said before, that first .25 to .50 miles just suuuucks. It takes me that long to warm up generally, but--when it comes to the winter--it takes me that long to warm up literally too. I'll be back with an update later.

Post Run

I completely over dressed again. I need to figure this out. I wore my thermal running tights, thermal shirt, a very light tech shirt over it and my windbreaker, gloves and hat. Gloves came off first. Then the tech shirt, all within the first mile. Then the windbreaker about a 1/2 mile later. I was most comfortable the day I went out with just regular yoga pants, thermal shirt, tech shirt and a bandanna. No gloves. It was probably slightly warmer that day, but not by much.

Total run mileage was 3.16 miles and about 31:57 overall. Since I stopped twice to take off my layers, technically I was a little slower than that, but overall I averaged about a 10:06 mile. I would have gone for a longer run, but I needed to pick up Jamie. I didn't get out the door quite when I wanted too ;)

So far so good, though. I seem to be getting consistent again. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gym Workout and Thoughts About Speed V. Distance

This morning I did a veeery short treadmill warm up (about .50 miles) before gym a workout with Laura, my new trainer. Holy crap, she kicked my butt today. Lots of leg work and some upper body work to address my shoulder issue. Split squats with a medicine ball, squats and rows, Ys & Ts, tons of abs, etc, etc. I'm glad I didn't do another 4 mile run before working out with her. Oy vey!

I went through the calendar yesterday to figure out when I need to start a regimented training schedule for the May 29th half marathon. Looks like I have until the end of this month before I need to really put my nose to the grindstone, as they say. Maybe a better cliche would be "before the rubber meets the road." :) I'm looking forward to pushing past the 5 mile mark. I have a 5 mile race on the 13th. That should help me get psyched up for going further. I'm getting a little bored with my routes, however. I'll think about changing that up soon.

I'm a little worried that all this winter running and longer distance-push has slowed my speed down a bit. I know I intentionally slowed down so that I could push past the 5K mark more comfortably, but I seem to be way slower than I'd like to be. Of course, running on ice--even with Yak Trax--is no picnic. Let's hope that when the streets are a little clearer and I'm more regular with my runs I'll pick up the speed again.

Cheers! Happy running!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Short run day--felt good

Very short run day. Only 2.11 miles at 10:08 average run. It wasn't too cold which is why I was able to get out today. The last two days were super cold. I've never run in those temps--14 degrees F and 20 degrees F with a windchill factor that took it even lower.

Theorectically I'm game for that kind of environment. I mean, hell, the worst that can happen is that I head home. Right? But my time is limited (when it comes to running) and if I can't do it the way I anticipate, I kinda don't want to. That's not necessarily the right mindset. I should probably go with the flow. But somehow I can't quite go out and "see what happens". I hope that happens soon. :\

Today's run, however, wasn't bad. It was short, but consistent. Not super fast (I've certainly done much faster) but I had some hills to contend with and alot of ice. I'm looking forward to my next race on Feb 13th. I want to have my speed challenged again. That one will be tough because I've been keeping my speed to sub 10. I guess I should start picking it back up again, but I'm not sure where I should hang it if I'm going to do a 1/2 marathon in May. Is 9:30 doable? is 10? I'm open to any time, I just want to know where I should shoot.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hair Cut

The last time I got my haircut, I waited 6 months in between appointments. I don't know if I had a good reason for that. In fact, I'm sure I didn't. So, after my last appointment I made another appointment that day for 2 months out.

That was too soon. At my appointment this morning my hair stylist said "Hmmm. Your hair looks pretty good." Doh.

So, I think that this is sort of analogous to how I operate my life in general. Either I let things get completely out of control to an uncomfortable stage, or I'm obsessively monitoring and tracking and tweaking. Basically, I'm not a 3 months person. Had I made my appointment at 3 months--not 6 and not 2--it would have been perfect. But I tend to loose sight of 3 months.

And although this may seem like an irrelevant post for a running blog, I think it's a fitting description for my running habits as well. Either I'm on top of it--possibly running a bit too much or too hard--or I'm slacking and eating Klondike bars causing my skinny jeans to break up with my ass once again.

Anyway, here is my fab new and not-quite-needed haircut. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slacker No More

Finally. I broke my slacking cycle. I went to the gym today and started my usual running warm up on the treadmill. I went about 1.40 miles before I decided to bust out and take my run to the great wide open. Yes, I went outside! It's been super cold here lately. And yesterday it rained buckets. Today it was a relatively warm 43 or 46 degrees and bright sunshine. So, I ditched the treadmill and headed out the door.

The other issue with the treadmill was that my shoulders--both of them--started to bother me. Getting outside helped me relax, improve my posture and with it the stiffness in my neck and shoulders.

I could really feel the effects of my aforementioned slacking, however. That first 1.4 on the treadmill was torture. Boring, tiring, blah. When I got outside, yes, much better, but once I got to the top of my first hill (about a mile into the run) I hit the wall. I was good to myself, though. I stopped. Stretched. And continued on. Then I gave myself the option of a nice long downhill stretch to give my core a break.

All in all, I did 4 miles. Not sure about the time, but I'm guessing something like 45 mins overall.

Running the rest of this week will be a challenge, however. Tomorrow I have kid commitments, as I also do on Thursday. Maybe I can actually haul my ass out of bed at 6am and go for a run. We'll see.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Which I Slack and Slack. And Then Slack Some More.

Ugh! I am slacking. That is the upshot of this short post. I have not run in several days. I have gone skiing. And yes, it is raining today. But the slacking must stop. I have no good excuse.

Tomorrow I go to the gym. I resolve to get there early and run on the treadmill. And then run again after my workout.

Wednesday I have volunteer work to do at the library. And then I take the kids skiing again in the afternoon. Not sure where I'll fit in the running unless I get up at 6am. Which may happen.

Thursday I will not be at the gym because I will be babysitting The Cousins and My Brood all at the same time.

Friday ... let's hope I get my act together and am running on that day. And Saturday. And Sunday.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Short run day

Today was a short run day--2 miles on the treadmill at the gym followed up with an hour workout with my trainer. Nothing exciting, but keeping myself in shape!

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Uninspired Day

It happens. No running today. I'm feeling tired from the long weekend. If I had the rest of the day to myself I would probably make it out for a nice long run. But in an hour I'll need to go pick up Jamie at preschool. And I'm not going to make it out there before then. So. No run today.

I needed this morning to recover from the weekend. We were just busy--friends, family, food, wine. Sounds wonderful, of course, but I'm seriously tired from it. I think I could have wrapped myself in a blanket and just slept the day away if I'd let myself. Basically I've done the mental equivalent of a blanket-wrapped day. I haven't spoken to anyone since dropping of Jamie this morning. I really needed the quiet.

Mental health day today. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's Saturday, January 9th. Although I'm ostensibly waiting for my Garmin Forerunner batteries to charge before my run, really I'm eyeing the thermometer and trying to get psyched up for at least a 4 mile run. The distance isn't the problem. The problem is that first .25 to .50 mile. It's freaking cold here. Tops it's 31 degrees F. Sure, it could be much colder. This is Boston. But I struggle with dressing right. Either I'm too cold or too hot. And since that first .25 of a mile is tough for me under any circumstances (one of my quirks) adding being cold to wanting to turn around is not a great mix.

So. I wait for the battery to charge and I realize that the later it gets in the day, the colder it gets.

My plan for the day: 4 miles at least. I haven't been moving my base much lately. I need to start a more consistent running schedule in order to be prepared for my first half marathon at the end of May. I have plenty of time. But not plenty of motivation. :)

I'll come back and update this post after my run. :)

Yes. It was cold! But I got through it. My legs and stomach are super red and tingling, but at least I was dressed appropriately!

I ran 5.04 miles in 55:34. Not my PR, for sure, but not terrible either. I wanted to push past 4 miles and I'm happy that I went to 5, no matter the time. Woot!