Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Daily Run + Hills

Monday I had to go out shopping for a new faucet. It's not an especially exciting thing to shop for. It's not like buying new sports and outdoor equipment or shoes or clothes. But it was a necessity.

I just love technology. You can drag a friend to do the most boring shopping with you via texting. Text shopping? Shopping texting?  

Got to Lowe's and they had a huge wall of kitchen faucets. I didn't even know where to start. That's when a friend gets dragged into the mix and the texting starts flying with pictures. "What about this one?" "Which one is better?" LOL  It was nice to have the input.

With some help I ended up with this one and I love it!
It was a rather busy day what with faucet shopping and running and all that. It was also weights day.
Chalene Xtreme, burn phase, circuit 3, week 3
32 minutes of strenuous exercise. It was perfect for releasing some tension. I wouldn't have minded a longer session. What is wrong with me?!

Dinner? Oh yeah. I'm the head chef here. Forgot about that part. Buffalo Wild Wings cooked me up some naked tenders and Diet Coke. No breading on the tenders, hence the "naked", so lower calories and carbs. Just dip them in some buffalo sauce and you're good to go. 4 of the little guys filled me up.

Tuesday What's the best way to start the day? Getting up at 6am for a hill training run, of course. I live near Houston. Hills are not part of our landscape. No, you have to seek out hill-like structures. So I drove for a while and parked near a bridge that's popular with other runners seeking hill formations to punish torture train their bodies.

It's a good half mile walk before I even get to the "hill."
 It doesn't look like much but, trust me, it is pretty steep when you're trying to run it. I tackled that bad boy up and over 4 times. I felt freakin' awesome!! The last uphill run started hurting. Booty, quads, hamstrings, calves. Every bit of it was screaming for mercy. After it was all done my legs were a little shaky but it was a great feeling.

Hill training, I found out, is not so much about distance but survival. LOL I survived so I'm pretty happy about that.
 20 minutes, 13:10 pace, 1.52 miles, avg HR 161 bpm

A great, great workout. I can't wait to do it again. Who is this person that enjoys a challenging workout? I like it!

I was a sweaty mess. Sweat was literally running down my legs and my hair was dripping. It was even dripping off my fingertips. Is it wrong to enjoy sweating like that? haha
The playlist that kept me going:
On the Floor by Jennifer Lopez
I know You Want Me by Pitbull
Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolph
S&M by Rihanna
Rock Me Tonight by Billy Squire
Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars (I LOVE this song. The sweetest words. Makes me smile just hearing them.)

On the way home I had to stop twice for ducks crossing the road. That's an unusual occurrence! The second time I stopped I got a picture. Aren't they cute?!

I never thought I'd say this but I think I'm starting to enjoy running. It's not something I tolerate now. I'm looking forward to each new run. Big change! I feel more energetic and very happy.

Happy Texan signing off. Don't forget to exercise today! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Random Stuff

I was surprised how many people are afraid of crowded social situations. I guess there are a lot of people trying to blend in and worried what others think.  That actually makes me feel better. :)
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Sunday did an Ab Burner workout. It was only 11 minutes but it was a very painful 11 minutes. Apparently my abs need to be strengthened.
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Went to Bass Pro Shops for a little shopping. This picture was in the elevator. That man really loves his fish. Look at the adoration on his face. Sweet and creepy. No, just creepy. Maybe he wants some tail. LOL Sorry. :-/
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Went out to eat with the in laws Sunday afternoon. Saw this ride in the parking lot. I want to be a party girl on the go!
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Got up early to run today. At 6:20am this is what it looked like. Hot around 83* and not a breeze.
I could not see the end of my street!

Not wanting another craptastic run like I had Saturday, I decided to take things nice and slow.
12:51 pace, 25 minutes, 5:1 (run:walk) intervals, 1.95 miles. Avg HR 167 bpm

I wasn't worried about distance or speed since the weather was not the best for running. I felt great! I could have kept going. Definitely a better run that Saturday. I think the humidity in the air kept me hydrated!

And a big thank you to the guy in the truck who whistled at me. Just the boost I needed to straighten up my posture and speed it up a little. ;-)
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Our kitchen faucet broke. Chuck replaced it and when I turned it on to test it out water sprayed from the faucet all over me. That one was broke too!  Today I have to go shopping for a new one. Maybe a little bit better quality.
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Vincent van Go (the mini van) is still dead. We got in the parts but they were the wrong ones. New ones on the way. I hope it works. I miss my party wagon.
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New toe color: Back to the Fuschia.

That's about it. It's definitely Monday. Time to get back to the daily grind. Hope yours is good. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scaredy Cat Edition

Friday was a scheduled rest day. Rest as in no exercise but the rest of the day was busy.

First was a gathering with our local homeschool group for Not Back To School celebration. Everyone brings something to share (I sugared up the kids with Caprisun and cookies.) and the moms hang out and the kids play.

Confession time: I'm freakishly nervous in crowds. I'm not necessarily afraid of crowds because I used to love to go to general admission concerts (rocking with AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, etc) and push my way to the front. But crowds where I'm expected to be social scare the hell out of me. I prefer to find a corner and just sit with my head down slightly and my hands crossed on my lap.

Doing this has always been problematic for me. Many people have thought that I was stuck up. Not true! Furthest from the truth. I'm just shy in those situations.

The menacing crowd:
 They're really a nice group of people but my nerves got the best of me and I first went to the swings on the playground then eventually ventured further to sit at a table by myself. So sad. LOL 

Then a few moms started coming over to visit. Some I only knew through facebook and got to meet in person for the first time. That was cool. There were some that are friends that I haven't seen in a while and we got to catch up. I slowly started to relax and enjoy myself. One mom and I are even going out for margaritas soon.

The best part was having three people come up and tell me how I've inspired them to either take up exercising or running! That made my day.

I hate that I get so nervous like that. It's draining on me. I always feel exhausted after an ordeal like that. And I don't know what I'm afraid of. Maybe being judged? Maybe that I'll say the wrong thing? I don't know. But I am trying to work on it. Believe it or not, I'm doing better than I used to do.

I remember befriending some people in high school and more than once I heard, "I always thought you were stuck up." No! I'm really not. Just shy at first. I'm always smiling. :)

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OK, keeping all of that in mind, I had a group run scheduled Saturday morning. I'd already had a big dose of nerves with the park day. Every time I thought about that group run I'd get butterflies in my stomach. I hate to even admit it. Oh, and my running buddy wasn't going to be there.

Saturday morning comes and I chicken out. So ashamed. I have to overcome this. And I will.

I'm actually glad I didn't go for the group run. It was so hot and humid and muggy. You could see the humidity in the air. I started out with my walking warmup and before I could even start running I was sweating.

That was one of the toughest runs I've had to date. I had to pause the Garmin to throw up once. My feet felt like lead. I pushed through and finished my 3 miles in 38:31 minutes at a 12:50 pace. Avg HR 165 bpm.   I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish.  Afterwards I drank electrolytes and lots of water and started to feel better. Humidity is not fun to run in. It's like running through soup. But I am proud of myself for pushing through and finishing up. And with a decent time for me!

I've decided to choose a tee shirt design to represent each run. This run's shirt:


I got cleaned up then went back out to sweat. This time to watch Chuck at his shooting match. Before he left he went and picked me up breakfast and had a big bottle of ice water waiting for me. So sweet. :)

The shooting matches have different scenarios. He loves it and he's very good at it. Here's an example of one scenario. Extreme lawncare.

So even though I had a bad case of nerves a couple of times I did have a good weekend. Sunday will be spent getting some much needed housecleaning done. Fun! You want to come over and join me?! LOL

Now for some really good news: I lost 4.3 pounds this week!! Thank you, running! And you too, strength training. I noticed my shorts were a bit looser so I thought I'd check what the wicked scale had to say. What a pleasant surprise. :)  Only 30 pounds to go!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Visiting the Old Homestead

After my stellar run yesterday (which seems to get better the more I think about it....at least in my mind I'm a Kenyan) I needed to get Charlie who had spent the week at my parents' house before we get started back to school (though we've been doing school throughout the summer).

Road trip! Rachel and I headed out to the Beaumont area. Stopped at a convenience store for some Diet Coke and beef jerky.  Saw this sign.
 I remember when you could have a crush on someone for free! Inflation.

Arrived at the folks' house finally. This is the same land where I grew up but the house where I spent my childhood is torn down. My parents built a new house.

The front yard. They lost a lot of big trees during Hurricane Rita.
 Back in my day, it was a small quarter horse ranch. I showed my horse in horse shows and did fairly well with her. I won a few horse shows and got neat prizes like silver bridles, silver mugs and many trophies and ribbons. It was a lot of work and a lot of money.

Prepping a horse for a show is a lot of work. You have to use shaving cream on their muzzles and shave them. Trim the ears. Trim the hair between their ears. Apply baby oil to the eye, ear and muzzle area. Apply black hood polish to the hooves.  And I had the whole cowgirl gear: boots, hat with silver band, chaps.

So here is part of the pasture that used to hold several horses. It's a bit overgrown now. No more horses.
 My parents love their plants. I kill plants.
 I also had about a hundred chickens growing up. I loved those chickens. Each one had its own name. Why yes, I could tell them apart. :)

My mom loves to tell how I used to have tea parties for the chickens. I also put up a Christmas tree one year and wrapped several loaves of bread for them. They were so excited that Christmas morning. haha
 Those are cochin chickens. They have feathers down their feet.

The front of the new house.
 Lots of pretty flowers everywhere.
 The long driveway where I practiced driving as a teen. Also drove around in the pasture. I only hit one tree.

 Self portrait under an oak tree.
 The bamboo clumps would hang over and make great places for me to relax with a book as a kid. I also had a friend named Kyle who would spend summers with his grandmother next door and he and I would play out there all day. We would cut bamboo and have sword fights until we were bleeding. I won most the time. :)
It was a nice road trip and trip down memory lane.

Have yourself a great weekend. I have group run tomorrow. Still a little nervous about those. A lot nervous. It makes me sick to think about it. LOL I'll be ok.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Random Stuff

Wednesday: Not much going on around here. Grocery store. I did go by the book store and got some reading material. Didn't realize it was printed in the UK so everything is in pounds in the ads.

I think it would be fun to do a triathlon. IF I decide to do one (which I probably will) it will be the Danskin Triathlon in Austin. Women only. Very beginner friendly.
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Work it out: Chalene Xtreme Burn Phase, circuit 2, week 3  Great workout. It was tough. There's one "pose" where you stand like you've just bowled a strike. Very little weight on the back leg. You're in a lunge and pushing that hip out. Oh, and while doing that you're doing a row with free weights. Yeah. It's tough!
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Shelley and I are doing Beachpalooza next month (see the counter on the top left of the blog?) and since we're all about the outfits and coordinating (we may not be fast but we have style) I was thinking of a cheap and easy outfit. We'd wear our normal running gear but we'd wear coconut bikini tops and grass skirts over the clothes! Except I'd trim the grass skirts.

Then I remembered a very important part of the race: jumping over fire. Those little grass skirts would have gone up in flames. Talk about wardrobe malfunction. I'm pretty sure I could PR with a flaming skirt though. :)
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Thursday: 20 minute run, 12:09 pace, 1.65 miles, avg HR 162 bpm. 5:1 (run:walk) intervals The last two minutes I pushed it and ran in the 10s. :)

What a great run!! I felt fantastic except my stomach being a little queasy from my thyroid pills. But my overall heart rate was below what it has been. My breathing wasn't gasping. I just felt good. That's what running is supposed to feel like.

I was super sweaty but it feels so good. A nasty, sweaty Kelly neck.
It's time for week 3 of half marathon training picture.
Love this little running skirt. :)
Just as I was finishing my run this morning it started to sprinkle. Come on, rain. The drought is like nothing I've ever seen. My grass is dying (yet homeowners wants me to keep it alive yet not use a sprinkler!) and some shrubbery is starting to brown. So rain is very welcome here.

As far as tales from the scale, the weight is up slightly but the clothes are fitting better so I'm not worried. The scale can say 500 pounds as long as I get in my size 8s. :)

Have a good Thursday. Hang in there. The weekend is almost here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lacitc Acid Dropper

Yesterday was such a crappy run for me that it was difficult to think of signing up for races but it needed to be done. I have to beat the deadlines before the price increases.

First scheduled race: Space City 10 Mile Relay.  The name that my running buddy Renee and I are going with: I Thought They Said Rum!  Great name. Can't wait to earn my tee shirt on October 9th.

The next race is scheduled for October 23rd. Two races in one month? Do people do that?  Anyway, the Houston Half Marathon Relay will be held downtown and our team name is The Knights Who Say KNEE! Blatant Monty Python reference and I love it.
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After my morning run I had to get my weights workout done. M,W,F.
Chalene Xtreme Burn phase, circuit 1, week 3, 36 minutes
One more week before I move to the next phase. :)
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It was a busy day but I didn't seem to get much done. Ever have days like that?  I did take Rachel on a hunt for some headphones. She wanted Skullcandy after reading some reviews and comparing prices. We finally found them at Best Buy and they really are nice.
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I did something to my neck and back because on the left side it's killing me. I probably need an adjustment from the chiropractor. Instead I had a little bit of whiskey on ice and it helped relax me.
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Tuesday morning and it's time to run again. I got up at 6:15am and it was already 81* outside. Neck still sore but I got out there and did it.

It wasn't a bad run! I did my 5:1 intervals (5 minutes running/1 minute walking) but the last interval seemed to last forever. My breathing has gotten better (not so much gasping for air) but my legs felt tired. Probably from lifting weights the day before. All of my running intervals were in the 11s and one was 11:05. I sure hope to break into the 10s one day.
20 minutes, 12:03 pace, 1.66 miles, avg HR 165 bpm

I am so happy that the rest of the day is a rest day. No weights. No exercise. Well, unless you count folding clothes as exercise. ;-)

Happy Tuesday to ya.

Monday, August 22, 2011

There's No Running on Vacation!

Friday we packed Rachel's little car (Vincent Van Go is still dead) and headed for Castroville west of San Antonio. It was such a hot trip. The temperature got up to 107*!

We finally arrive at the Alsace Hotel and Spa Resort and get checked in. Such a beautiful place! Thanks, Groupon.
Very large room with a balcony and a relaxing zen feel to it. Definitely a place I'd like to visit again. We got unpacked and headed out for a burger at the local eatery called Sammy's Restaurant. It's a dive but a dive with very good food. Charlie wants to drive back just for the food.

Saturday morning Chuck and I got up at 6am and headed to the regional park for a run. I had 3 miles scheduled. We parked the car and it was still dark. The gates to the park were even closed. We walked around and started the run then suddenly there was this terrible stench. I mean bad. It burned my nose and made me want to hold my breath. Goats. Over a hill was a goat farm and the smell was terrible.

We ran 5:1 intervals at a slow pace which was just fine with me. The smell finally got to Chuck and he had to go vomit. Yes, Chuck up-chucked. Poor guy. He did good though. And I appreciated the company. Makes the run go by quicker.

Besides the smell, there were hills, large rocks in the trail, overhanging branches to dodge and some spots where the gravel was very deep and it was like running through quicksand. Slow run? You bet. One other fun element: I tried some new running shorts and they rubbed really bad. It felt like I was trying to start a fire with my thighs. Never leave town without some Bodyglide packed. It still hurts.

The totals: 3 miles, 40:37 minutes, 13:32 pace, avg HR 156 bpm

After the run we went to Sammy's for breakfast where we sat next to a long table of grumpy old men. Apparently this is where they meet for coffee and breakfast and to complain about everything from beer to politics to how cotton is loaded on trucks. I kid you not. Chuck and I enjoyed listening to them as we ate our bacon and eggs and multiple coffee refills. As one old timer got up to leave another would arrive to start complaining. The group kept recycling.

Then back to the hotel to get the kids at the hotel and take them to the local bakery for donuts. Oh man, that place was dangerous. Charlie got a Texas cookie for breakfast.

I felt like I had a full morning and it wasn't even 10am yet. The kids wanted to go swimming so we got on our suits and stayed at the pool for 2 hours. I swam for about an hour of that time total. Rachel and I had swimming races which was a lot of fun. I tried different swimming styles back and forth. Swimming is a tough workout! My heart was pounding and I was breathing hard. I brought out a water bottle and had to keep getting sips. Whew!


Running and swimming all before noon. We got cleaned up and headed to the hotel's restaurant where we had a free lunch coming to us (thanks again, Groupon!). I got the chicken cordon bleu which came with a salad and a bunch of veggies. VERY good.
After lunch we got in the car and drove to Garner State Park which was about an hour away. The Frio River was so packed that we didn't stay long. Plus it was just so darn hot! I had planned on getting a pedicure at the spa while Chuck got a massage but they were booked up for the day. :-/

Back to the hotel we go, get cleaned up, then head in to San Antonio for Mi Tierra. LOVE this place. We even got a parking space right up front. A small miracle if you've ever been there on a Saturday night. I had two margaritas and felt no pain.

To the hotel again. By this time it's hard to believe that I had been running just that morning. It seemed like it was a day or two ago. Usually exercise is not on the menu when we go on vacation. But I feel like we got to do more since we weren't sleeping the morning away.

Sunday was breakfast at Sammy's again and then on the road home. Ahhhh......I get to sleep in my own bed again. :)
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Monday. Back to the daily grind.

I got up at 6:10am this morning for my Monday 25 minute easy run. I don't know why they call it easy. I've never found a pace that is truly easy unless I'm walking.

Not one of my best runs. I was having an off day. Heavy legs. Breathing hard. Tired. Heart rate up. But I pushed through it and I always feel better afterwards.
25 minutes, 2.04 miles, 12:17 pace, avg HR 163 bpm

It was nice catching up with you. I've finished my glass of electrolytes and guess I should get cleaned up and wash some clothes and plan my weekly menu. Hope your weekend was enjoyable and some crazy alarm didn't wake you up to run at 6am. :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Quickie

  • Waking up early to run yesterday made me tired the rest of the day. But it was good to get it done and out of the way early.
  • My eating started out great but went downhill. Dinner was great (roast and spinach) but then Dairy Queen was running commercials for buy one, get one half off Blizzards. Darn you, Dairy Queen. A mini chocolate extreme found its way home to me.
  • My weight is going down every day since I started this running club. And the clothes are fitting better and better.
  • I lost .8 pounds today. Yay!
  • I checked this book out from the library. Ohhh....just browsing. ;-)
  • I'm packing for a road trip to Castroville today. A whole weekend of doing nothing but swimming and relaxing.
  • That's not exactly true. Saturday I have to get up at 6:30 to run 3 miles. 3 miles is usually not a big deal but I'm still adjusting to the 5:1 intervals. Oh, and it's in the hill country so the legs are going to be screaming.
I've been signing up for some races. Yay! Here's what's coming up:
  1. Purple Monkey 5K September 3rd
  2. Space City 10 mile relay October 9th (still trying to think of a team name before I register)
  3. Koala Half Marthon Relay October 23rd (I'm not sure if my running buddy Renee knows we're doing this one yet. lol)
  4. Hope for Health 5K November 5th (with my friend Wendy, her first 5K)
  5. Texas Metric Marathon Relay November 13
  6. Gorilla Run 5K January 21st (you get to run the streets of Austin in a gorilla suit!)
  7. USAFit Half Marathon January 29th (it's all leading up to this moment. Scared, nervous, excited all at once)
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Anything fun/exciting planned?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Exercising; More Eating

Seems like my life revolves around food and burning that food off lately. Eat, exercise, eat, exercise. That's not a bad thing!

Yesterday was me against wifi. Seems that all of the electronics in the house wanted to malfunction. It started with my scale not sending my weight to the computer. Then it was Charlie's ipad. I was able to fix those then the computer wouldn't connect. Then Charlie's Nintendo. It was just one thing after another. As soon as I fixed something another thing would die. Finally, all is working well.  I was quite proud of myself because usually I'm the one breaking things instead of fixing them. :)

Breakfast was some chobani plain with a tiny bit of honey (it really needed more in my opinion) and a few walnuts. Mmmmm.
 Lunch: a leftover cheeseburger patty on a low cal, slightly low carb bun.
 Exercise: Chalene Xtreme burn phase, circuit 3, week 2. My legs were shaking and sweat was all over the place. A very good workout. No running because it was my "rest" day.

Snack: half of an awesome Atkins bar. Tastes like a Baby Ruth.
 Then my neighbor brought over cupcakes! Strawberry ones. Oh my. Charlie had some friends over so they helped eat some. I had to try it. One of those tiny guys in the back. They really were only one bite worth. Homemade strawberry frosting. There are still 2 left in the kitchen right this moment. That's why I'm in the bedroom. haha Is there a cupcake diet? Or maybe a pizza diet? Because I'd be all over that.
 While battling the electronics I got a roast out of the fridge to cook for dinner. It was supposed to have defrosted but it was still frozen solid. Not in the mood to deal with one more thing, I chunked it into the crockpot frozen. By 7pm it still wasn't cooked enough. *sigh* Off to Buffalo Wild Wings. I got naked......tenders. Dipped them in medium buffalo sauce. It did come with fries but they were nasty which is a good thing for me!
Then it was home for some reading and then off to bed. I'm reading aloud the last book in the Hunger Games series. I know we're going to be sad to see it end.
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It is now Thursday morning. I got up at 4:15am. Let me repeat that. I got up at 4:15am. That's craziness. Chuck wanted to run with me but I just never feel like doing it in the evenings. At the time, this seemed like a good idea. Get up early and get it done.

The alarm goes off and I'm confused because I had a dream that I had gone running so I thought we were already finished. That's the brain trying to protect itself from what I'm about to do to it.

Fortunately I had all of my gear together and was dressed and ready to go under 10 minutes. Then out the door for 5 minutes walking. It was still dark! This night owl prefers to go to bed at 4am. Not run.

I was very surprised. I felt great. The first 5 minute interval seemed tough. The second felt great! The third was just ok. The last interval was only 2 minutes and I pushed it a little because I still had a tiny bit of energy left.

Totals: 20 min run, 1.66 miles, 5:1 intervals (run:walk), 12:05 avg pace, 160 bmp avg. HR
The splits were: 11:24, 11:39, 11:24, 10:49 (that was the 2 minutes)

I took 35 seconds off my pace! Very happy with that. Last week my avg pace was 13:54 and I thought I was going to die. This week I'm down to 12:05 and feeling pretty darn good.

I'm off from running until Saturday when I do a 3 mile run. I'm going to take the pace down for that. Maybe a 13? I don't know. I think there are going to be hills where I'll be running so it may be slower than that!

Week 2 of half marathon training
That's all the smile I've got after such an early run. lol

I got some compression shorts at Target that I really like and only $12! I wear them under my regular shorts.

*yawn* Well, it's still early. I think I'll take a shower and then go back to sleep for an hour or so. Good night...er....good morning.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Lose 1.5 pounds in 25 minutes

I have had two trainers tell me that they weigh themselves before and after their workouts. For every pound of water you lose you're supposed to drink 24 ounces of water.

I've never weighed myself after a workout so I decided to experiment with my Monday run. The schedule was for 25 minutes easy (is it ever easy?!) run.

My hips were still aching from the Saturday run but I got out there and did it. I didn't even feel like I was about to die! Yay for progress! My legs and hips weren't thrilled but they cooperated long enough for me to finish up.
25:41 minutes; 2 miles, avg. heart rate 159bpm; 12:52 pace

I lost 1.5 pounds during those 25 minutes and it was in the low 80s outside that morning. Wow! I had no idea I'd lose that much water in such a short time. Good lesson. Hydrate, people!

Monday was also cross train day for me (M,W,F) so I did Chalene Xtreme, Circuit 2, week 2 for some strength training. 38 minutes. It's a bit more difficult after a run.
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I've gotten lazy with my picture taking. Last night I made spaghetti with yellow squash noodles. Here's a picture of the squash noodles I made with my spiral slicer. I LURV my spiral slicer.
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Chuck has decided to join in with the running thing. Last night he started out with 15 minutes at a 5:1 running:walking interval. I rode my bike to cheer him on and because I have a blinkie light on there. Gotta protect my man. Thinking I need to get a blinkie thing for running. He did great! He had a better pace than me but I won't hold that against him. Guys: they're faster at running and they lose weight faster. >:-/

Anyway, I got a 1.59 mile bike ride in. :)
I really am proud of Chuck getting out there after a long day of work and after mowing the grass. That's a lot of determination right there.
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If you're counting, yes, I did exercise 3 times Monday but you can hardly count meandering around on a bike for less than 2 miles exercise. I didn't even break a sweat. I almost broke my pride once when I tried to make a turn too sharp though! lol
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Tuesday's schedule called for 20 minutes running. Everything was put together in a neat pile waiting for me this morning at 7am. That's early for this night owl.

It wasn't too hot at that time though still warm. I just wasn't feeling the running mojo this morning. I felt sluggish and I was sucking air. It felt like I was hardly moving. More like plodding than running. I tried to work on my form a little because I know it's an area where I am lacking. I was just having trouble finding the groove.

Then a garbage truck passed me and I thought I was going to lose the breakfast I hadn't eaten yet. Bleck! I was breathing heavy and sucking in those smells and the tummy started to churn. I turned down a street to escape the stench that was assaulting my nostrils. But now everything smells like garbage truck. It's like my senses are stuck.

The stats: 20 minutes; 1.58 miles; 12:40 pace; avg heart rate 160bpm
I was more than a little shocked (and a bit proud) that I shaved 10 seconds off my pace. The whole time I was thinking that I was running a 14min. pace. Go, me! :)

I also weighed before and after the run. This time I only lost .7 pounds of water. Not quite 2 cups. Still amazes me that a person loses so much water in such a short time. I'm sipping on a glass of water right now. Cheers! :)
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Last night I signed up for a race called the Purple Monkey 5K. It was the first 5K I ran in 2008. I weighed 230 pounds.
I didn't know about sports bras or cotton being bad. I also didn't know you weren't supposed to clinch your hands like dead spiders.
It took me 53 minutes and the most I could run was 12 seconds at a time. With determination, a lot of sweat, maybe a tear or two, I crossed that finish line. One of my proudest moments. Just a couple of months before then the most I could do was walk around the block.

I still have my race shirt. I still remember crossing that finish line like it was yesterday. And the popsicles!

I think it's time to revisit that race and see how far I've come. I'm even going to wear that old, worn race shirt on September 3rd. This time Chuck will be running beside me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Group Run

My first group run was scheduled for Saturday. I had so many unanswered questions and didn't know what to expect at all. I emailed Shelley a few times and she was kind enough to comfort me and send me lots of encouragement. I sent Helen questions and she was kind enough to send wonderfully detailed answers.

Friday night we went to a friend's house on the other side of Houston and didn't get back home until around midnight. And I had to be up at 6:10am on Saturday. Not a wise choice but we did have a great time. Laughing with friends helped ease my nerves.

You know that feeling trying to sleep before a big event? You dream about it (when you actually sleep) and wake up several times to make sure the alarm is still set. I may have had a nightmare or two about arriving late.

I felt just like a kid the day before the first day of school at a new school. And I don't know my way around the buildings and don't have my schedule and I don't know anyone. All of which is a nightmare that I do have from time to time.

I had all of my gear and clothing together waiting for me, electrolyte drink mixed and ready in the fridge along with my water bottle. 6:10 arrives early and I'm out the door at 6:30am.

I was surprised at how many people were out riding bikes and running. So this is what the chronically fit people do on the weekends! There were 9 people running over a large overpass for some hill training. Houston is flat. We have to go to parking garages or bridges if we want hills.

Arrive at the park and start to mingle. The organizer that said she was going to meet me there with my packet and run with me didn't show up. I found out later that she was sick but I was in a bit of a panic that morning. I did locate a lady who seemed to be in charge and told her it was my first day. She was a sweetheart of a lady around 70 who has run a few marathons and a dozen halves. She's run 4 half marathons this year! People like that are such an inspiration.

We do some toe walks and heel walks and leg swings and stuff I've never done before a run. Then we just start! I ran in the 5:1 (run 5 minutes/walk 1 minute) group giving us a grand total of 3 people. I was the only newbie in that group.

I was pretty excited that I was able to keep up even though I was pretty sure I was going to die towards the end. There were a couple of times at the end when the Garmin would go off for a run interval but we pretended not to hear it for a few seconds. :) I started to drift off at the very end but I would say I was still keeping up with them.

I was so happy to see the park again. We all gave each other high fives at the finish and grabbed some water and ice cold washcloths. The washcloths were the most brilliant thing they could have had there waiting for us. It felt heavenly!

We waited for a few of the people running 7 miles and a few of the walkers to come in and then we stretched for a while and had a seminar on heart rate training. One lady even ran seven miles while pushing a stroller!

I did meet a lady who is also a newbie and just as scared as I was. Her friend had talked her into signing up. She will be running in my group so I'll have someone to struggle along with me but didn't that day because she got there late. We exchanged emails and phone numbers so we can encourage each other through the week. I'm so happy to be able to have that support and hope that I'm able to help her along too.

It was a warm 84*. I ran 2.5 miles in 33 minutes for a pace of 13:06.

I felt incredible afterwards. I cranked up the radio (and the air conditioner!) on the way home and wore a grin the whole way. When I walked through the door Chuck had made a breakfast of eggs, bacon, a slice of toast and a glass of chocolate milk waiting for me. So sweet.

And to chronicle the experience I have a picture of me after the run. I had cooled off a bit by now. What you can't see in the picture is that I am wearing diamond stud earrings. I wanted to feel pretty. :)
The nervousness is over and I can enjoy it now. It's the same way with every 5K though: I'm so nervous the night before and right before the race begins and as soon it starts I'm fine.

And I'm taking my training seriously. Sunday was a rest day and all I did was take naps and be lazy all day. Hey, it was on the schedule to rest! ;-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Quickie

  • I felt wicked awesome after my run yesterday. Is that the runner's high? Can I get that in a pill?
  • My hips are quite angry about the run yesterday. It hurts to move them. It even hurts when I'm not moving. I'll be getting friendly with ibuprofen today.
  • Did I mention my first group run is tomorrow? (Saturday)
  • I'm scared about the above bullet point.
  • No food pictures to post from yesterday. Oh, I was perfectly good I just didn't feel like taking pics.
  • Actually taking a rest day today! My legs insisted and I'm not going to argue with them.
  • I made a nice sugar free cranberry cosmopolitan (Baja Bob's mix) and sipped on it while listening to Def Leppard last night. Just a relaxing evening.
  • My mom's ducks drowned a chicken. Mean assassin ducks. (Random, I know. And tragic! And true.)
Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Punishing my Body

My poor body has been sore every day for almost 2 weeks. It's been varying degrees of soreness. A couple of days it hurt to breathe. Most days there are just isolated bits of soreness. But always it hurts somewhere. I'm sure my body wants to know why it's being punished.

Exercises:
Wednesday was weights routine with Chalene Xtreme. Burn Phase, circuit 1, week 2.  Hey! I can do a push up now! And Rachel is even keeping up with her weights training and shaping up. Proud of her.
Quads were sore from running the day before (rest days? I don't need no stinking rest days. Yes, I do. I know. Still working out the kinks in the scheduling) so squats and lunges were of special note. I felt them.

Thursday (today) I got out the door at 7:30am to run and it was already quite warm. Last night I had all my gear together waiting for me so I didn't have to think too much. The one thing I didn't have ready to go was the Garmin. I was supposed to run for 20 minutes but I set it for a 24 minute run. Really not a huge difference in the grand scheme of things but those 4 minutes do make an impact when you're tired.

In the running club I'll be running intervals of 5 minutes running/1 minute walking so I figured that's what I'd try today. WOW! That was tougher than I thought. I did it but I'm not sure I could have done one more interval.

The splits:
1st running segment: 11:21/mi
2nd       "         "       : 12:06/mi
3rd        "         "       : 12:19/mi
4th        "         "       : 12:58/mi

See a pattern? I got progressively slower. I actually remembered to wear my heart rate monitor this time and my max heart rate was 184 bpm. I'm pretty sure that's a bit high.

I hope to see a lot of improvement as the weeks go by. Right now, I'm giving it my all. Good news: my hips aren't hurting too bad. They're still sore the next day but I can walk without limping.

Total: 34 minutes; 2.45 miles
5 minutes walk warm up
4 intervals of 5 minutes running/1 minute walking
5 minutes walk cool down

To chronicle my journey into running I thought I'd take a picture each week and see if I can notice any changes. So here's week 1 pic taken today, August 11, 2011.

gear: newton shoes, cheap shorts, life is good shirt, Garmin Forerunner 305, hear rate monitor under shirt, sansa clip mp3 player, cheap sunglasses, academy visor, a smile & a lot of sweat
 Play list:
Backwater by the Meat Puppets (warm up)
Hung Up by Madonna
The House is Rockin by Stevie Ray Vaughn
Let it Rock by Kevin Rudolph
California Love by Tupac
No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand
I Know You Want Me by Pit Bull
Hysteria by Def Leppard (cool down)

Yesterday I had the privilege of bullying pressuring coaxing gently persuading my BFF from high school Wendy into signing up for a 5K with me November 5th. I actually found one that hands out finisher's medals and will have Frado from Biggest Loser give a motivational talk before the race. It's the Hope for Health 5K and Expo.

I'm so proud of Wendy for signing up for her first 5K and honored that I will be with her when she crosses that finish line for the first time. You never forget that feeling. I know it's also scary when you've never done a race and it takes some bravery to fill out that registration form. She's going to do great and we're going to have so much fun. Oh yes, there will be pictures. :)
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Eats: Ugh. Do we have to talk about this? I did good except for one meal and I certainly felt it afterwards. But here it goes.

Breakfast: On the road. I met my mom halfway between her house and mine to let her have Charlie for a couple of days. He loves going over there to play with his cousins.  So I stopped by Whataburger and got a bacon, egg, cheese taquito.

Lunch: tuna on a bed of greens, 1 Tbs walnuts and some Ranch; almond milk with some low sugar chocolate mix

Dinner: Get the door, it's Domino's.  Yep, I had a couple of pieces of pizza. Sure was good though.:) Not a good choice. The rest of the day was filled with good choices so that's something.

Now that I've cooled down and stopped sweating while writing this post (I started it after I got in from running. Can you smell me? lol) I think I better take a shower.  Hope your Thursday is filled with happiness.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Running Club Clinic

I had my first running club meeting yesterday. I received an email from the organizer along with the training schedule and as an afterthought she told me about a clinic they were having that night at Sun, Ski and Sports. I should go if I could. She didn't tell me the time so I emailed her back and figured if I didn't hear from her then I'd just stay home.

I'll be honest. I hate going to things like this where I know no one. I'm already clueless about how this whole thing works and I'm pretty shy around strangers. This is one of those life areas that I'm trying to work on.

With a little pressure from family and friends (thanks again, Chuck and Shelley) I called the store and got the meeting time and left. I got there a little early and browsed around then I saw a few folks mingling by the meeting area. *big breath* Time to go introduce myself.

Every one was very friendly, of course. The store manager asked if anyone would like a glass of wine. The ladies were all quiet so I raised my hand and said, "I could use a glass." With a little wine and a couple of crackers, cheese and meat, my nerves started to calm. The organizer said she would run with me this Saturday and help get me acquainted with the program.

At the clinic we learned about clothing, hydration, and fueling. I didn't realize how much water you needed! I'm concerned about the fuel (the gels, chomps, carbs, etc) because of my insulin issues. I'd like to be able to talk to someone about it but I have no idea who to even ask. A nutritionalist? A trainer?

When I take in carbs my body releases insulin but my cells don't respond to the insulin so my body releases even more insulin and then most of the carbs (sugars) are stored as fat. Mostly right around my belly. Should I still use carbs as fuel for the runs? Should I look towards protein? I have no clue.

Coach said I must have an hydration belt with 4 bottles so I got this Nathan. It even has several pockets and an ID card. We were given a 25% coupon so it worked out great. These things are not cheap.
And they also fitted us ladies for sports bras. I'd never been measured for one before.
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The eats.

I found some bread that is only 9g carbs for 2 slices and 90 calories. It's Sara Lee Delightful Wheat with honey. They have one that is just wheat but it seems the one with honey is the lower carb option which is counter intuitive. You'd think honey would add carbs. Whatever. It's tasty. I've found it at a local grocery store called Randall's (probably like Safeway elsewhere) and Wal Mart.
 Breakfast: scrambled egg, cheese and turkey sandwich grilled. YUM!
 Lunch: turkey sandwich and roasted broccoli
Snack: not pictured Atkins bar so my stomach wouldn't growl during the running meeting.

Dinner: grilled turkey sandwich. Way too many sandwiches, I know. It was just one of those days.
 Oh, and the little bit of wine and cheese and 2 crackers at the meeting.
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Exercise:
20 minute run. I didn't set the Garmin for any intervals. I just ran at my own pace and took walk breaks when I wanted. I ended up with four walk breaks but only reached 1.47 miles.  That's ok. It's a start.

I found out last night that the running group I'll be in will be running/walking a 5:1 ratio. 5 minutes running/1 minute walking.
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Rachel has been busy. She taught herself to crochet from a book and has been making little figures.
(from left to right: grim reaper, Spartan soldier, skeleton groom. Still working on the bride)
One last thing. I read a quote a few days ago and it keeps rumbling around in my mind.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
See? There is no Someday.

It's just a great reminder to me to not put things off.
Have a great Wednesday. See ya tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sh*t My Mom Says

There's a book called Sh*t My Dad Says.

I was browsing through it at the book store and laughing at it. I was also reminded of some of the little sayings my mom had when I was a kid.

Some of her sayings were (are! She's still around) inspirational:
"You can do anything if you want it bad enough. Anything!"
That one drove me often and she would repeat it to me when I had self doubts.

Most of her sayings were about weather:
"It's colder than a well digger's ass in January!"

"It's colder than a witch's tit in a brass brassiere!"   Classy, yes?

Others were backhanded motivational:
"Either sh*t or get off the pot!" This is one she received from her mother. It means either do something or stop talking about it.

For two years I've talked about joining a running club. I may not mention it much here but it's something I've gone back and forth with and Chuck has listened to me waver. Yes, I want to join. No, I don't have time. Yes, I'm going to do it. No, I don't want to run.

Yesterday I mentioned to Shelley in an email that I had asked the USAFit division near me when registration ended. They have extended registration until this weekend. Oh, ok. Good for them. Why did I even inquire?

Shelley encouraged me to join and told me how much fun it is and I should just do it. Time to "sh*t or get off the pot." Either do it or stop talking about it. (By the way, this works with weight loss too.) Or, as Elvis sang so eloquently, "A little less conversation a little more action."   I'm pretty sure he was talking about something else but we can apply it here. :)

So, before I thought about it too much and talked myself out of it, I signed up with the running club!

My hands were sweating as I filled out the online registration. My stomach became queasy. So many self doubts.  (You can do anything if you want it bad enough. Anything!)

For some reason I thought I was signing up to train for 5Ks. Nay nay. I think I just signed up to train for a half marathon. This is what happens when you don't think before diving. That's ok. I can do it!

And thanks to Shelley and Chuck for encouraging me to do things that I didn't think I could do. Chuck is my biggest cheerleader. I wouldn't do half of what I do without his support.

As of yet, I have not received a schedule or directions to the meeting place. I'm still very nervous because this is something I'm doing on my own (I usually have a buddy with me when I try something new) and I'm way way out of my comfort zone. But I'm going to embrace the challenge and go for it. Plus I get a tee shirt.

Quote of the day from Rachel: "You paid to do this?!"
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Exercise: rest day.  My legs were still sore from weights workout on Sunday.

Eats:
Breakfast--scrambled eggs (1 egg, 1 white) with cheese and salsa on low carb tortilla
 Lunch--can't quite shake my hot dog cravings.
 Dinner: the best tacos x2. Love these so much. The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen and they really are some of the best I've had. I didn't make my own shells this time. Too much work for a Monday night.
 Dessert: a mini "no sugar added" ice cream cone
Is there anything you've been talking about doing but haven't done yet?