Friday, October 18, 2013

I registered for a half-marathon

I bit the bullet and committed.

March 15th. Washington, D.C. Princess Knee and I will be there.

Technically, this will be my second half-marathon but I hope this will be the first during which I can run the whole thing.

22 weeks and counting... Anyone else running it? Who's in?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

From Seattle: Firsts and my new toy!

Today was a day of firsts.

1. I ran in the (early morning) dark. Even when I ran before, I was never one of those people you saw during your early morning commute running along the boulevard. Nope. Well, today I was.

But, before I pat myself on the back too much... I must 'fess up that I'm technically functioning on East Coast time on the West Coast, meaning, it was really 9am when I woke up to get my (predawn) run in. :-)

2. I ran outside. This is my first run off-treadmill on the Princess Knee since our come back. Luckily, my hotel is a few minutes away from the waterfront, so I ran through the early morning fog until the sun finally came up. I was a bit leery of the asphalt, but we did it.

3. I made it farther than a mile without pain for the first time in 3 years. I didn't just make it past a mile, I made it three and a half miles to be more precise.

4. I played with my new toy. Those who know me know I have wanted a Garmin GPS watch for years. I even got that (inaccurate) Nike+ sneaker in an attempt to forget about my Garmin desires. Well, when I couldn't check into my hotel room and I found myself in a running store, a Garmin Forerunner 10 found its way into my shopping cart.

Reasons why I love my new Garmin watch so far:

1. It tells me to slow down. I'm terrible at pacing myself off-treadmill. I felt disappointed when I first started running and was struggling to catch my breath. But, Garmin told me I was running at a 9-minute/mile pace. Aha! I slowed my tush down immediately to a 12-minute pace, which is where Princess and I are training this week.

2. Freedom. I can go wherever and know exactly how far and how long it took me to get there. I'm not confined to routes I've driven just to know the distance. In addition to poor pacing, I also have a terrible sense of distance which both helps and hurts my running. So I got to just run along the Seattle waterfront today -- freely.

Today's run:
3.56 miles in 47:01
13:12 min/mile average pace
Plan: Ran 3 minutes, walked 90 seconds, ran 5 minutes, walked 90 seconds until done.
the Princess Knee: ZERO PAIN!

Monday, October 14, 2013

First week recap: 10/4-10/12

I did it!

What did I do exactly? I made it through an entire week of running/walking without knee pain (all treadmill runs). In fact, I ran/walked 1.91 miles on Saturday -- the longest without pain in years.

I followed the first week of Couch 2 5K to the "T," with the goal of going slower in order to build up the knee before pushing myself too much.

Well, by week 2 of the plan (which still technically fell within a week of my start date), it felt a little and a lot like remedial math and I was starting to get a little bored and a little antsy ("Put me in the game, coach!"). So, Princess Knee and I decided to go off-C25K just a bit.

The first day, I had to shave down the 5-minute warmup and 5-minute cooldown in order to make it to work on time.

The second, I did the required 90-minute run then walk, 3-minute run then walk, but the walking breaks were too long and I wasn't getting in enough mileage, so I shortened it to 3-minute run/1-minute walk until the time was up.

The third, I just went straight for 3-minute run/1-minute walk... why waste time, right? I also increased my speed on this run to a 12-minute mile on the treadmill. This, after Mr. Bootcamp Guy destroyed my confidence with his ridiculously tough conditioning class.

Totals for this week:
8.38 miles of run-walk drills over 2 hours 38 minutes
4 hours of barbell class and strength conditioning

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

(late) 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon report

I never got a chance to post this last year. But, the weekend was great. I got to wear my colorful tutu and run with tens of thousands of princesses (and a few princes). Seeing all of those athletic women descend upon Disney was amazing. I would definitely do this again.

I made it to the halfway mark, then I felt the familiar excruciating knee pain. So I walked and ran the second half, finishing at 03:07. Aside from the pain, I was so upset about not meeting my sub-3 goal.

Unfortunately, 2014's race is already sold out. Guess I dusted off my running shoes too late...

She's baaaaa-aaaaack.... with new goals

I've dusted off this blog (and myself) and I'm ready to start putting miles in again. A knee injury kept me out of commission for a while, then my crazy schedule took over. I haven't run since the 2012 Disney Princess Half that I ran/walked without training and barely finished due to the knee pain that kept me from training in the first place.

I never ran the Stratton Half that I blogged about in my last post.

Now, an unexpected course of events has led me back to running with new insoles and a new training plan.

I've made some new goals (see on the right), most notably, another half-marathon, a duathlon and ultimately, a triathlon before my 35th in 2015.

Here's my tentative race schedule:
11/30 - Burn the Bird 5K, Bedmister, NJ
12/8 - Run for the Red 5K Race/Walk, Millburn, NJ
12/15 - Annual Christmas 10K, Newport, RI
3/15 - Rock N Roll Half Marathon, Washington, DC
4/27 - NJ (Half) Marathon at the Shore, Long Branch, NJ
5/17 - JerseyMan Duathlon, Clinton, NJ

But first, mile 1...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On the road to... A Half-Marathon

My knee injury squashed my goal of running the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. But, it's feeling good, and I finally splurged for better running shoes: Nike+ Pegasus 27

I also got the Nike+ sensor to help track my runs. Can't wait to try it out! Especially because I have zero sense of time, pace or distance. So instead of me having to check distances on google maps around my neighborhood and run only on those streets, I can have the freedom to just run wherever I want until I hit my goal distance. I could just run for time, but like I said, there are times when I think I've run 3 miles and I only ran 2. Logging miles helps me stay motivated too, and on my training plan.

To keep me on track, I registered for my first Half-Marathon:

Let's hope the knee holds up. I have 13 weeks to complete Hal Higdon's novice training program.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the running begins again... with an injury.

Come on, are you serious?

Day 1 back to running and training for my half-marathon and I injured my darn knee.

I made myself run the mile from home to my meeting today, convinced that I would not have run otherwise. Once the meeting was done and I had only 15 minutes to get back home in time to shower and leave for work -- I had to run back.

Halfway through my return run, I started getting sharp pains along my right lateral knee. I tried not extending so much, putting more weight on the left... but I ultimately just pushed through.

By the time I got to work, parked and tried to walk down the ramp, I was completely limping. Unbelievable.

Yes, I had on kitten heels which arguably did not help the situation. But, by the end of my 9-hour stint, I was hobbling and praying some nice security guard would offer me a ride to the garage, dreading the walk and flight of stairs that awaited me. Both were excruciating by the way.

I iced the disappointing knee for 90 minutes on my drive to Jersey. My disability improved from hobbling back to limping. I am really beyond irritated. It reminds me of my ridiculous ankle injury in month 2 of training for my 5K earlier this year. But, the rest of that training was a success, so hopefully there's good luck for me the rest of this training, too.

1.03 mi, 11:29 going to meeting
1.03 mi, 10:53 on the way back

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

25 Down... Now the real challenge begins

This is my first picture at goal (during a girls + kids trip to Boston).

I'm currently 25 pounds down now. I lost 3 more pounds since October 15th. 

Now the biggest goal: to keep the weight off for an entire year. 

October 15, 2011. 

Here we go!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Me @ 30: 22 Pounds Down!

Today, I did my usual early morning routine...

Wake up, strip naked, pee, then (and only then) step on the scale.

But, today, my scale said 130. Not 130.2 or 140.7 like it said 2 months ago. That means that I have now lost 22 pounds since I started this blog. I couldn't believe my eyes. It's been over a year now since I saw that number or anything close to it.

Remember me 22 pounds heavier??

In true award-show format... I'd like to thank God... and:
- 100-calorie packs
- Healthy Choice steamers meals (250 calories each!)
- Atkins shakes
- Crystal Light
- Nutrition facts
- My running blog buds who kept me motivated
- My gym, for having childcare, my favorite barbell class and TVs on each treadmill
- Dr. Scholl's for making these really cheap running shoes that have held up through all 150 miles of my running and walking
- All the low-carb products out there in the world

Enter the "get off the stage" music...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My First 10K!

On August 29th, I ran in my first 10K.

I ran this 10K after only running 5.5 miles in the 7 weeks prior.

But, I had signed up for it, so I decided to run it.

All I can say is... I finished. I didn't run fast. And I met another not-fast friend with whom I ran most of it with.

I finished #407 out of #427 people at an 11:57/mile pace. I told you I didn't run fast. I'm terrible at pacing myself and I didn't want to start out too fast and not be able to finish. Who knew I was running at a walking pace??

So I went from running almost a 9-minute mile to this. Guess it serves me right for not training anymore.

But, you know what? I still finished! Next up... a half-marathon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Me @ 30: Food!

As I mentioned in my Week 3 recap, I'm trying to eat better.

Earlier in the year, I used a low-carb diet to lose half of the 30 pounds I had gained last fall. It was effective, but then I hit a plateau and couldn't lose any more weight.

In hindsight, I think some of it had to do with my portion control. I would eat as much as I wanted, stuffing myself, so long as it didn't have carbs. But, I'm sure I was taking in 2,000 calories, if not more, with those habits.

So, now, I am interested in counting calories. The other pet peeve I have about a low-carb diet, is I found myself eating a lot of processed, fake sugar foods. Don't get me wrong, I still love and will always love my Splenda, but I was not eating much "living" foods.

Friday I gave my kitchen a makeover. I bought snacks in 100-calorie packs to start teaching myself about portion control. I bought fresh fruits and veggies. I fell in love with Naked's Green Machine -- tons of fruits and veggies in one smoothie-type drink. I'm also keeping a food diary and counting calories throughout the day. It's been rough. I keep eating smaller portions and finding myself ravenous afterwards. My 100 calorie Pringles had like 7 chips in there. Ahh!!!!!

My trick so far? Drinking water or Crystal Light until I feel full. Even still, I've been so hungry this past weekend. When will this get easier??

Friday: 1,370
Saturday: 1,420
Sunday: 1,355 (got in a 5.5-mile run, which burned 712 calories)
Monday: 1,310 (lifted weights for an hour)

My basic metabolic rate (the amount of calories I'd burn if I stayed in bed all day) based on a few calculators is anywhere between 1,400 and 1,700 depending on the website.

Calculator 1
Calculator 2 - also tells you how many calories will lead to fat loss.
Calculator 3  - pick sedentary to see you how much you can eat if you did NOTHING all day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Me @ 30: Goals for Week 4

Here are my goals for the upcoming week -- (thanks AM for the idea!)

Physical Activity
  • Go to the gym twice
  • Run 3 miles
  • Get outside and play with my son
  • Truly enjoy my week alone with him
  • Allow myself to get lost in his kiddie world a few times
  • Treat him to someplace he really likes (Chuck E. Cheese, maybe?)
Personal Growth
  • Journal at least 4 times
  • Meditate at least once
  • Don't fall behind on my work and studying
  • Work on stress reduction strategies
  • Start working on my list of things that make me happy (see this post by one of my blog pals)
Nice thing for myself
  • Do something off of the happiness list (see above)
  • Limit to 1500 calories a day -OR-
  • Aim for 60 grams of carbs or less
  • Try to eat fruits or veggies every day
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day
  • Unpack and arrange my closet
Fun/"Me" Time
  • Make it to my sailing course this weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Me @ 30: Week 3

Physical Activity
I ran 5.5 miles today... my first physical activity since dance class on 7/20. I've just been so tired between driving to/from Jersey and working that it's been hard to motivate. But, I got a good look at my scale today. I need to get back onto my workout routine!

I haven't been running since early July. I registered for a 10K that's two weeks from today. I know I'm out of shape, but I knew if I didn't put money down and commit to this race, I would never get back into running. In general, I feel like I've been letting myself down and breaking so many (running) promises to myself. Truthfully, running is getting lonely, and I lost my love for it.

I got to watch the kiddo swim at his swimming camp earlier in the week (I love his camp). He couldn't swim a lick before this camp and now he's swimming in 9 feet of water. He really wanted me to watch what he can do, so I went an hour early to pick him up so I could watch. It was fun, especially to see him jump off the diving board! I picked him up today, and I have him 24-7 for a whole week. This should be fun.

Personal Growth
I have been very introspective. I journaled a few days this week. No meditating (sorry). I've come to harsh realizations about my deficiencies, both personal and in my career, and have been working overtime (literally) to remedy those.

Nice thing for myself
Can't think of anything.

Still traveling to/from Connecticut every week, I did eat at McDonald's twice this week, but both times I got a salad, sliced apples and fresh fruit smoothies (an improvement). I was doing great regulating sweets and aiming to stay under 1500 calories a day. But, Thursday night while working overnight, I raided the snack closet and had 12 Oreos and 1 Fig Newton. Terrible, I know. But, one day at a time.

I started keeping a food diary. It is amazing what one can eat in a day. It's also amazing how small "serving sizes" are. When's the last time my overflowing bowl of cereal had only 3/4 cup of cereal in it? Why does my salad dressing have the same amount of calories as my salad? Why was my sizzling chicken and shrimp dinner at Friday's 1200 calories? It's no wonder that we Americans are overweight. Our portions are out of control, and I'm the biggest culprit.
My scale puts me at 140 pounds today (yes, I gained 5 pounds since Cancun -- 3 weeks ago), and I've lost a lot of muscle in the last 2 months, so it's actually more than 5 pounds.

No moves in the unpacking department.

Fun/"Me" Time
The girls and I went to see Eat, Pray, Love and had brunch afterwards to unload our thoughts.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Me @ 30: Eat, Pray, Love

Three girlfriends and I met up in Jersey to watch "Eat, Pray, Love," a book we all read (or, in my case listened on audiobook while I ran). The movie was great. It was interesting to compare the movie scenes with the images I imagined while listening to Elizabeth Gilbert read about her experiences. We finished the day off with dinner at Bertucci's and dancing in a Jersey nightclub.
The movie put me into a state of deep reflection though, making me long the freedom she had, traveling to those three places, becoming more spiritual and in tune with herself along the way. I've been nonstop since I was 5 years old. I was a student from age 5 to age 26. Since age 27, I've been a resident physician. In between, I held a part-time or full-time job since I was 13 years old. I took time off from medical school and got another degree full-time (my master's in journalism) while working full-time for an OB-gyn. While a student, I worked in news, I got married, had a son, wrote a book.. and now I'm on the brink of finishing residency and looking for a new job. But, I'm feeling like I want to get off of the treadmill at some point.

So, I've been deep in thought lately, trying to figure out how to allow such freedom, and still pay my bills and my school loans. I haven't found a solution yet, but I'm searching.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me @ 30: Registered for my first 10K

Yea... so I ignored the fact that I haven't run more than once a week since May, and registered for a 10K which takes place in *gasp* two weeks. I know, I know, but a girl's gotta have a dream, right?

So, it's back on a training schedule:

Week 1 5.5 + 3 = 8.5 miles
Week 2 3 + 4 + 2  = 9 miles

I'm not planning on breaking any records there. I'm probably going to aim for an 11-12 minute/mile pace. My usual pace is low 9's anyway and but there's no way I'm keeping that up for 6.2 miles.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Me @ 30: Riding the Mechanical Bull

For my pal's bday -- Style Scrybe of Shoes N Booze -- on Saturday, she decided to ride the mechanical bull and (lightly) twisted my arm to do the same.

It was an adrenaline rush. I stayed on for a while, but honestly, I realized it was never going to end and sorta let myself fall off. My inner thighs are still aching. Does that count as a workout??

Me caught in mid-blink with the birthday gal:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The First Ten Days of 30

30 started out with a sense of calm.

But, upon returning to CT last Wednesday, I was met with much drama and stress. I did, however, catch up on most of my to-do's by the weekend, with my list shrinking from 2-3 pages to a half-page.

Following in the footsteps of one of my blog buddies, AM’s blog, Goals for the Week, here are the things I wanted to work on this week. Some I scored well on, others I flunked.

Physical Activity
I danced for a couple of hours on the night of my birthday. None since.

Continuing to improve. I brought the kiddo to camp last Tuesday morning and put him to bed Tuesday night before going back to CT on Wednesday morning. Then, I came back on Saturday and spent the weekend with him, being there when he lost his first tooth!
Personal Growth
I meditated for a whole five uninterrupted minutes last Friday, in an effort to keep my utter disorganization and overwhelmed feelings from making me bawl my eyes out.

Nice thing for myself
I bought myself a (real) fruit smoothie from McDonald’s on Saturday.

Speaking of McDonalds, I have been terrible in the food department. I ate out at both McDonald’s and White Castle. I ate pastries and ice cream. I had two types of carrot cake today - one slice of cake and the other, I cupcake. Not to mention the gelato earlier in the day. Some of it is because I haven’t even unpacked my apartment in CT (including my kitchen), and I have been spending most of my days in NJ, hence the eating on the run.

I just made a dent in the disorganization, but still haven’t unpacked most of the apartment. My trunk is still full to the top (and I have a truck) with stuff I haven’t bothered to bring into the new place yet. Plus, there's junk that had been inside my car that I threw back there in order to get my car detailed on my birthday.

Fun/"Me" Time
I carved out a few hours and finally watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and Madea Goes To Jail (thanks Netflix!) while I chilled out on my couch in CT. It felt good to sit still for once.

I managed to dress up, do my hair with or without makeup almost every day in the past week and a half. I'm a firm believer of Look Good, Feel Good but it's hard to keep it up sometimes, especially when life gets hectic.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Year In Review (Jan until July 2010)

Since starting this blog and picking up running as a hobby, I have:

- gone from being able to run 1 minute without getting winded to running three 5K's (link, link and link)
- run a total of 136 miles (my best month was February at 39 miles)
- run a total of 30 hours
- burned off the equivalent of 107 donuts (thanks for that statistic)
- gotten my fastest pace down to 9:08/mile
- run 4.07 miles (my farthest run)
- turned 30 (why 30 is so important)
- lost 17 pounds
- done something special for myself on each of the 25 days leading up to my 30th birthday
- started dancing again (ballet and tap)
- learned valuable life lessons, included greater insight into myself and those around me

Then: Now:

What I didn't do (yet):
- Run a 10K or a half-marathon
- Get back down to my pre-baby weight

But, the year isn't up. It's only the beginning. My birthday marked the true beginning of my "year." Join me on the journey that is to come over the next 12 months.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

30th Birthday Celebration(s)

It has taken me a few days to recover from my 30th birthday celebrations.

My mom started the day off buying shoes and a necklace to go with my dress. Then we got our hair done and nails mani'd and pedi'd.

Mom all rolled up:

Then, we ran home to finish the party favors I made for each of my guests -- cards with my favorite thing about them, or my favorite memory, and a nip-bottle of various types of liquor.

The dinner was fabulous. The service and food were excellent -- from the cocktail hour to the actual dinner to the tasty Tiramisu dessert that I plopped my 30 candle in (yes, I brought my own candle).

After I gave a speech to my dearest friends -- ones that I have known since age 2 on up to age 24... so minimum 6 years -- they decided to toast to me one by one, sharing touching remarks and funny stories. I love these guys. They are my inspiration, and to hear the warm remarks were just what I needed to hear after this tumultuous year and as I step out into 30.

Our next stop was a nightclub in Jersey, dancing until 2am. Then we finished the night at our favorite JC diner, talking until our waitress packed up and left, giving us a hint.

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday, honestly. Thanks to everyone who played a part.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm 30!!!

I'm finally here.

I woke up on the flight after nodding off while reading Heart of the Matter. At first, I was disoriented. The customs form had been mysteriously placed on my seatback tray. I had no sense of time. Then I heard,
"Prepare for arrival."

Ahhhhh! That means, it's probably close to 2am. It's July 26th! I'm 30! Oh my gosh... as tears began welling up in my eyes.

I'm finally here.

The last ten years have been one heck of a journey. I have learned a lot about life, about myself, about the people in my life. I wish I could say it was all fun, but it was rough for a lot of that time. But, I'm here. At 30. With my fresh start. With my chance to do things differently. With my chance to be better.

And I feel different. I wonder if I even look different.

My first pic at 30: