Monday, May 6, 2013

Rock the Parkway and Trolley Run Recaps

Hello there world, happy 6th of May! I can't believe it is already May, the great season of allergies and many miles. I saw my last post titled, "Taking the Pressure Off" and found it funny how quickly things change.

I took the pressure off and enjoyed some running, cut some weight, had a miserable race, followed by a PR race. One odd thing about running for me is that regardless of the outcome of a race, I leave wanting more. I'm a sucker for all of the little race fliers in my race packets, wanting to sign up for one every weekend! I had to really think about what my goals are and set a true plan to get there. Otherwise, I'm always going to be average (for me) in my running, and I'll have long streaks followed by the inevitable hiatus.

So, I've started a 10k training plan. Just enough bump in distance to make me feel like I've accomplished something, without the fears of getting too burnt out. Looking at the training schedule, I will naturally get faster, so it is a win win.

Here are the Race Recaps for my first two runs of the season.

Rock the Parkway 2013 - The Garlic Hangover
Saturday, April 13th was Rock the Parkway. This is the second time I ran this race. The first time was at the beginning of my running days, and I left this race with my fastest 5k at the time and a huge runners high. Not to mention a photo that made me look oh so very skinny and athletic. (All pre-baby of course.) This time, the experience was not as euphoric. The pre-race meal was italian. Sure, carb load. We went to dinner with my parents and some of their friends to celebrate my dad's birthday, and we ate at the absolute best italian restaurant in the city. Garozzo's is a fantastic meal no matter the dish, but they have a knack for sneaking in a lot of matter the dish. I LOVE garlic. But I do NOT love a garlic hangover. The garlic hangover is a mixture of stomach burning and cold sweats mixed with a slew of nightmares when you rest. The garlic hangover is not for the weak.

We woke Saturday morning, ready to hit up the race, and it was cold!!! This weather is something else man. Everything just felt off. I didn't have enough water, we didn't pick up our packets before the race, so we had to leave extra early. We didn't do a proper warm up, and by the first half-mile mark I had a cramp under my rib that never went away. 1.5 miles uphill with a cramp in the rib, followed by 1.5 miles down hill....with a cramp in the rib. This cramp seemed to hinder me from flying down this speedy hill. And I even grabbed the wrong cup at the water station and got some nasty lemon flavored sports drink. Let's go ahead and mix lemon flavored sports drink with a garlic hangover. Sounds ideal....

(Pre-race photos)

I finished with a chip time of 35:18.7. This is about the same time as my very first a brand new runner. I was disappointed.

The following Tuesday I did my first training run to prepare for the Trolley Run and had one of the best runs in months. Does that ever happen to you? A TERRIBLE run followed by a GREAT run and the ultimate runner's high?

Trolley Run - Following all the Rules
Leading up to the Trolley Run, I actually kept up with my training. I felt the need to redeem myself. Trolley Run holds some special meaning to me. This was my third time running and my fourth time participating. (My first was several years ago and I participated in the walking group.) I've never been particularly fast ast this run. My first run was a little over an 11 minute pace, my second (pre-baby) was 10:30 pace, my third (4 months post-baby) was a little over an 11. I vowed last year that I would do this run at a 10 minute pace.

Along with my training, I took the proper rest days, did some low mileage runs the week of, ate a healthy meal the night before of salad, grilled chicken and quinoa, drank a ton of water the day before, had a banana the morning of, and dressed appropriately for the day.

I ran with my cousin, and we spent the entire first mile weaving in and out of people. Sidenote: If you sign up for a group that is described as joggers to runners, please don't start off walking at the start line. And if you do, please walk to the side. This was so incredibly frustrating. Even with the weaving, our first mile was 9:17. From there we still had some weaving and some small hills, but it was still fairly quick. Then, I made one mistake. I was on the left side of the course, the water was on the right, and I didn't want to cut across all of the people to my right to get to the water station. So I skipped it. Let me tell you what I learned. If you think about skipping a water station for a reason as silly as this, the result is like the cartoons where someone is stuck in the desert and they see mirages of lakes, and Mile 3 was mentally tough. I just wanted some fuel. Once I reached the end of mile 3, I got to the second water station, took a drink, and I was good again. I finished the race strong...ok, I almost threw up because I was running so hard, because I knew I was SO CLOSE to my goal.

Finish time: 40:09.

I'll take it!

And for the record, the Trolley Run has the best spread of food and beverages at the end by far. I was in heaven.

What are you training for this season? How do you get over self-defeating mental talk during your runs?

~Mama Lo~

Monday, April 8, 2013

Taking the Pressure Off

You ever talk yourself out of a workout? Of course you do. Everyone does at some point or another.

I used to be notorious for talking myself out of workouts on Mondays. Like there was some magnetic force that kept me out of my workout clothes and Nike's on Mondays. Like I would start melting if I laced up and ran or attended any sort of workout class. I mean gosh, after the relaxing weekend, Mondays are exhausting.

As with everything else that has changed about me, Mondays seem to be my go to workout day. I can fail the rest of the week and all weekend long, but I seem to be consistent on Mondays. Hey, take your wins where you can get them. I've been hitting up Zumba class with my BFF and a friend from work, but tonight they were both busy. I took the opportunity to prepare for my race on Saturday. I put sweet (angry) Baby-Lo to bed (talk about being exhausted from Mondays. Toddlers do NOT do well on Monday nights..), laced up and hit the road.

For the first time this season I did my little 2 mile route. It has a couple of monster hills, perfect for race preparation. I am not at all where I should be for Saturday, but I'm just going to have some fun. Isn't it amazing what strides we make when we take the pressure off?

And here are a few selfies to describe my Monday. Pardon my closet. I clearly don't have enough shoes.

Ever look at a picture and immediately start picking yourself apart? I'm vowing to push those thoughts aside. That looks like a gal who just got out for a nice little run. Go her!

~Mama Lo~

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello my Long Lost Blogger Friends!

Hi There! I think it is safe to say from my reading list that I am not the only person to drop off the blogging radar. Particularly my friends from the WW 20's board who shared our weight loss journeys, followed by our pregnancies, then maternity leave, and back to the working world. There are days where I celebrate the opportunity to eat dinner AND get on the treadmill before crawling to the shower and then rolling myself to bed. There hasn't been a lot of opportunity to blog in there. And wouldn't you know, I've never been happier? Not because I'm not blogging, but because I'm busy, and I enjoy each aspect of my life right now.

Life is chaotic. Like....cha-o-tic. I look up to the sky often and think, "God, why did I get the career opportunity that I aspired to reach in my list of life goals when my son was 9 months old? Not before when I could fully jump into the position, work late and travel without considering other obligations. Not after, when my son was more independent and needing less of my time. Now. Now when he needs me from dinner time to bedtime, all weekend long, and every time he is sick. (Which has been a LOT this flu and cold season.)" And then I picture Him smiling at me, and I see just a tiny human understanding of His purpose for me, and I send gratitude.

Just some of the benefits of His timing include understanding that:
1. Family comes first. Always. No matter what.
2. Jobs come and go. I can love it. I can be proud of it. I can embrace it. I can work my booty off for it. But the day ends, and I go home to what really counts. To what motivates me to get up in the morning and go to work. I visualize the saddest time in my life, when I stood at the foot of my uncle's bed while he took his last breaths. He was surrounded by family. He was not surrounded by paychecks, by awards from work, by performance reviews. He was surrounded by those who loved him. Isn't that really the true performance review in life? Being surrounded by people who love you because you showed them love throughout your life? I think so. And while I really enjoy my job, I keep this perspective in mind as often as I humanly can.

This matters...

Much more  than this matters...

If I had received this opportunity before my family was established, I don't know if I would have fully understood this concept. I HOPE I would have, but it would have been much more difficult to train myself to cut back rather than start out with a healthy balance. (Even if that balance was a little forced in the beginning.)

But I digress....

I sit here at 132.3 pounds. I sort of laugh to think how HARD I used to work to reach this weight. Yes, I have been eating a low-cal low-fat diet. YES I have been hitting the treadmill and gym more. But really, I'm not working nearly as hard as I did before I had my baby to reach this weight.

What's the difference? For one, I don't have time to drink. So I'm not hitting up social situations where I drink my calories very often. Another difference is the 27 pound moving weight I carry around the house in the form of a 14 month old. I challenge everyone reading this to grab 27 pounds and carry it up and down the stairs a few times. Then, throw it up and down over your head. Cook dinner with one hand while the weight rests on your hip. Are you out of breath? I'm not. This just goes to show that you can find exercise in creative ways!

But alas, those who have followed me know how desperately I've always wanted to be a runner, and this requires consistent practice and training. I am not at ALL where I want to be in my running. I admit, I took a LONG hiatus from running when I started my new position. This new job rocked my world. I took on a commute and longer hours, and at first, I just didn't have the mental or physical energy to do it after my long days of learning the new job. But then it became a bad habit. Lack of running that is. Finally, after the new year when I felt that I had a handle on my work, when my son started going to bed a little earlier, and when my husband and I started streamlining our dinners again (protein and veggies anyone), I stepped on the treadmill.

I'm only up to about 1.5 miles of actual running without walking, but I expect to be at 4 miles of running by the end of April. (God willing that I stop getting head colds and allergy attacks.)

Daddy Lo and I have 2 races in April. One with a few family members, the annual Trolley Run which is 4 miles and ending in the Plaza. This is my 4th time running the race, and was the first race I ran after having Baby Lo! I'm praying for a cool, rainy day again. I have NEVER felt so good during a run.

The second is Rock the Parkway. This will be my second time running Rock the Parkway
(5k). Rock the Parkway was a race I ran when I was in the BEST shape of my life. If I recall the course correctly, the first half is uphill, and the second half is downhill. Zoom zoom! Maybe next year we'll be ready to run a half marathon. Wouldn't that be something?

Besides my running goals, I do still have a little weight to lose. Remember when I wanted to weigh 125 while I was still 25? And then I got pregnant? Well, how about I try again. I'm shooting for 125 while I'm still 27. Goodness, I can't believe 2 years have passed since I was at this stage in my weight loss journey. And I can't believe how dangerously close I'm getting to 30.

What challenges do you face to reach your fitness goals?
Do you work out early morning or late night?

~Mama Lo~