Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 8 Tally: 2/22-2/28

I took it easy this week. Between life stress, fatigue, working a ton, and spending the part of the weekend I didn't work in New Jersey with my family... I decided to cut myself some slack.

7.2 miles in Run-walk drills 
(76 minutes running, 1 walking)
1 hour of Strength work
12 pounds lost total (10-15 more to go)
19 days 'til my first 5K

This time last month, I was only running 11 minutes straight. Now, I can do 30 minutes and even the full 3.1 miles straight without stopping. What a difference 4 weeks makes.

38.5 miles in Run-walk drills (in 6.5 hours)
5 hours of Strength work
2 hours of extra Cardio

Friday, February 26, 2010

Early Morning Runs & Chest Pains

I got off work at 7 this morning and went straight to the gym to finish out my full run.

I must have drank too much water beforehand, because I had the worst chest pains -- the kind that kept me from taking a deep breath (breaths are kinda important when you're running) and then became excruciating with each step I took on the treadmill. After 10 minutes, I had to stop and walk for a minute before starting to run again. The whole time, my stomach was in knots and I kept belching. Ugh!

At first, I told myself to just make it to 2.1 miles which, in addition to my pre-work mile last night, would equal a 5K. But, by 2.1 miles, the terrible pain disappeared, and I was able to finish strong, running 3.1 miles in 33:52.

Net Carbs: 39 grams so far (2 egg & cheese snack wraps from Dunkin' Donuts, and 1/2 can of turkey chili without beans)
Workout: Running
Days 'Til 5K: 21

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shorter And Faster

I didn't do my scheduled run today.

After working until 7 am this morning, I slept most of today. I finally woke up around 5-ish, too late to run before my weight lifting class. I went to Group Power at 6:40pm, so I only had 15 minutes after class to run before the gym's childcare center closed.

I increased my speed to 5.8 mph today (I usually run at 5.6), and ran for only a mile. It was a little more uncomfortable than my usual runs, but I pushed through. It was kinda cool to run shorter and faster. And at least I could withstand that speed for 10:26. Last time I tried to run at 5.8, I stopped at 2 minutes.

Group Power (a barbell class) went well. I went heavier on back, triceps, and chest. I love weight lifting!

I got on the scale today to find myself 2 pounds lighter, bringing my total to 12 pounds lost. That means I only have 10-15 more pounds to go, with 4 weeks to go to achieve my goal.

Net Carbs: 15 grams
Workout: Group Power, Running
Days 'Til 5K: 22

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Run to Keep From Crying

Yesterday was the only Monday I haven't run since I started on January 4th (also a Monday). Since then, my best or longest runs have usually occurred on Mondays -- even if I run the day before. But, this particular Monday, I was pooped.

I did make up for it today. Instead of running 28 minutes, walking for 1, then running for 1 (to equal 30 minutes), I felt inspired to run the whole 5K distance straight through. At the halfway point, I got bored and started bargaining with myself... I didn't sleep well, I had just eaten a little snack 45 minutes before which sat in my belly like a brick... it's okay to stop. But, I didn't stop.

In hindsight, I think I needed that run. Not just for my body, but my mind.

You know how people say, laugh to keep from crying. I think I'm running to keep from crying. I sweat like a pig as soon as my right foot hits the conveyor belt. So, maybe I sweat so much that there are simply no tears left to cry. Yup... RUN to keep from crying.

The past seven days have been rough between my work schedule, family stuff, and general life mayhem. Running and working out is great, but it also takes up more time that I don't have, making me feel even more out-of-control sometimes. Although, who am I fooling? I was playing catchup way before I starting running.

That being said, cutting today's run short, or skipping it altogether probably would have made me feel worse. I wouldn't be able to pat myself on the back for running 3.1 miles straight without walking for the first time since high school. I wouldn't have the endorphin boost. I wouldn't have accomplished something today, something I could control.

So, until things get better, I shall keep running.

Net Carbs: 40 grams
Workout: Running
Days 'Til 5K: 24

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Week Ahead

Last week of my modified 8-week running plan!

I decided to ix-nay today's workout. I got off at 1 am last night and have to be back to work at noon today. I could barely keep my eyes open bringing the kiddo to school this morning. Not sure if I'd be a very effective runner today.

Plus, there are only 3 runs this week, so no need to kill myself to get that one in.
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."
--T.S. Eliot


Run/ Walk
Run 28 min
Walk 1 min
Run 1 min

Run 28 min
Walk 1 min
Run 1 min
Run 29 min
Walk 1 min

Group Power

3.1 miles
(30+ min)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 7 Tally: 2/15-2/21

This is my tally for week 7, including today's run of  2.74 miles in 30 minutes. I ran 27 minutes straight (which worked out to be 2.5 miles), walked for 1 minute and finished up with 2 more minutes of running.

Only one more week left of this running program before I'm running 3.1 miles straight!

I didn't get much sleep today before my run, and from minute 10 to 16 I started to fatigue. But, just like previous runs after minute 16, a second wind kicked in and it felt good. 

Time for a hot, Eucalyptus soak before work!

12.4 miles in Run-walk drills 
(131 minutes running, 4 walking)
2 hours of Strength work
10 pounds lost total 
(Of 22-27... none lost this week)
26 days 'til my first 5K

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm A Running Woman... Not A Betting Woman

I've missed two days of posting for the first time since I started this blog. I feel so guilty!

Wednesday, hubby and I went to the casino for his birthday. He likes sushi, so we went for the sushi buffet and a little bit of Roulette and Black Jack. I lost all the money rationed for my gambling, and he won it all back. So typical. Neither of us gamble much, but it doesn't suit my personality -- too stressful!

I definitely overdid it on the carbs at the Sushi buffet, but I expected it going in and scaled back the day before and the day after.

The next morning, I had to be at work at 7am for a 13-hour shift, so afterwards, I couldn't pull myself together to post. Sorry... but I'm here today!

Today, I was back in the gym after those 2 rest days. First, I ran 3.21 miles in 35 minutes (25-minute run, 1-minute walk, 9-minute run). Then, I took the muscle challenge class right after.

The run went well. I turned the treadmill TV off and ran with just my audiobook. At minute 16, I got bored for a second and wasn't sure how I would pull off the next 9 minutes. But, I kept pushing, focused on just moving my legs and I got a second wind.

Muscle challenge was tough after running 3+ miles. My left leg kept quivering (I think it was calling out for help) no matter how much I tried to shake it out. So, I went half-intensity on anything leg, avoided using the Bosu (me and the Bosu have met before), and focused more on back-chest-upper body.

Now, it's time for a quick catnap before my 11pm shift. G'night!

Net Carbs: 20 grams
Workout: Running, Strength Training
Days Til 5K: 28

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Running to Storytelling

I ran 3.68 miles today in 40 minutes! The longest I've run so far.

How, might you ask...

My new (well, refurbished) Ipod came today. I have an RCA MP3 player, but it doesn't play audiobooks, so it was time for an upgrade.

I got the idea to run to audiobooks after reading this blog post, and this one too. I found out that music alone is not enough to distract me from counting the seconds on the treadmill clock (or my watch), but watching television does. So, I figured that audiobooks might help me zone out when I run outside.

I signed up for (First month free, and a free book download each month), and downloaded "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything."

1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

Well, I didn't run outside today because Snowmaggedon part 2 reared its ugly head here in CT. But, as a result of the snowfall, my gym had no childcare and then closed early. So I ran on the old, dusty treadmills at my apartment complex. Yes, the ones that click and buzz and feel dangerous to even walk on.

CNN glared loudly on the TV -- the TV with no buttons and a missing remote control -- but it couldn't hold my attention, so I ran the first 21 minutes with just my thoughts. Then, I remembered, try the audiobook!

That's how my 30-minute run turned into a 40-minute run. And I probably could have gone farther, but it was after 9 pm and unknown male neighbors started showing up to work out. I can't wait to run again and hear what happens next!

Net Carbs: 15 grams (saving my carbs for tomorrow -- hubby's 30th bday)
Workout: Running
Days 'Til 5K: 31

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stronger Each Day

Today's run was not pretty. 

I tried to go up to 5.8 mph and felt very winded and uncomfortable. I realized once I hit 3 minutes that I couldn't sustain that pace for the rest of the 20-minute interval. So, I downgraded to 5.6 mph again.

It still wasn't my best run. I didn't drink enough water during the day, nor did I sleep well, and it definitely took a toll. But, I still ran 2.75 miles in 30 minutes with a 1-minute walking break (that went too fast).

On the other hand, my weight lifting class afterwards went well. I increased my barbell weight for squats, chest, and triceps and finished all of the reps. At the end of the class, I was able to do the side plank with one knee down and the top leg extended without wavering (this pic has both knees bent, but you get the idea).

Also, when I did the regular plank, I didn't feel my usual sense of impending doom half-way through. It was work, but I could have held it longer if the song continued.

I'm getting stronger -- but not quite faster -- by the day.

I went grocery shopping tonight after the gym and my low-carb finds of the day are: Murray Sugar Free Cookies (creme and shortbread cookies) and Smucker's Sugar-Free Grape Jam!!!

I can have 8 shortbread cookies for the amount of carbs in one large cookie! I can't even tell either flavor was made with Splenda. I'll try out the jam on my low-carb toast tomorrow.

Net Carbs: 39 grams (blame the taste-testing and the Teriyaki stir fry I made for dinner!)
Workout: Running and weight lifting
Days 'Til 5K: 32

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Week 6 Tally: 2/8-2/14

11.4 miles in Run-walk drills 
         (126 minutes of running, 4 of walking)
1 hour of Strength work
1 hour of Tae Bo Kickboxing
10 pounds lost total (of 22-27)
33 days 'til 5K

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Guilt & Running Dreams

I worked until 2am last night, but I set my alarm for 7:10am just in case I felt rested enough to run at 8am with the New Haven Runners Meetup Group for the first time.

Once 7:10am actually came, I hit snooze and then proceeded to dream that the New Haven Runners (who do not know me, and whom I have never met in real life) called me to find out why I didn't show up.

I eventually got up around 1pm (after 9 hours of snoozing) and with my dream guilt, found my way to the gym for my run.

Today was the 19 minute run, 1 walk, 10 minute run day. I increased my speed again. Today, I went up to 5.6 mph (or 10:42/mile). My ankle hurt during the first 10 minutes, then loosened up. Every time I thought I might not finish, I listened to my body and realized I wasn't as tired as I thought. I was just a few steps below winded, but it was sustainable.

The 10-minute run was difficult. I was a little more out of breath. I made it to the half-way mark just fine, but the last 5 minutes I definitely had to keep pepping myself up... "Just one more minute... ok now two..."

I ran a total of 2.75 miles in 30:00.

Net Carbs: 15 grams (so far)
Workout: Running.
Days 'Til 5K: 34

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ten Pounds Gone!

Today was a workout off day, but I stepped on the scale this morning to find that I have beaten that frustrating weight plateau I was on. I am officially 10 pounds down, with 12-17 more to go!

Hubby and I celebrated at our favorite Thai lunch buffet... surprisingly, lots of low-carb options!

Net Carbs: 30 grams
Workout: None today.
Days 'Til 5K: 35

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gluts... Ankles... and a Great Workout Day

My gluts were so sore today thanks to Billy Blanks. I'm somewhat ashamed that a man on my computer screen worked my tush harder than it's been worked in the past few weeks.

The ankle performed well today. I barely remembered I "injured" it. I actually twisted my ankle a little yesterday running after my kiddo in the snow. Maybe I twisted it back into place, because it feels excellent today.

I ran intervals again today on the treadmill. Since I've been feeling so good lately running at 5.2mph (11:30/mile), I decided to crank it up to 5.4. Just like Monday, I felt a burst of energy at the end and decided not to stop at 30 minutes. I kept going until I hit 3.1 miles (or 5K... for the first time!) and ran it in 35 minutes including a 1-minute walking break. According to dailymile, today was my fastest pace - 11:17/mile.

Then, I went to weight lifting class where I went 5 pounds heavier than my usual on chest, back and squats, and even though it burned, I could finish all of the reps.

Overall, a great workout day. Who would have known that I had to sweet talk myself into going to the gym in the first place? Fortunately for me, reruns of my two favorite TV shows were playing on my treadmill's TV during my run: Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. Definitely made 30 minutes feel like 5.

Now, I'm typing to you guys from my nightly 106-degree Eucalyptus Aches & Pains bath soak (yes, I measured!) which I soooo deserve. Good night!

Net Carbs: 39 grams
Workout: Running and 1 hour of weight lifting
Days Til 5K: 36

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Me, Tae Bo and the Snow

In anticipation of 12" of snow, the public schools closed down and so did my gym. If you recall from this week's schedule, I was scheduled to do Group Kick and Zumba classes today.

So, I did some searching on You Tube and found a 1-hour advanced Tae Bo series. I'd never done Tae Bo before. The video was a little blurry, and the sound didn't always match the video, but I managed, and broke quite a sweat. Halfway through I opened up the sliding door (yes, while a blizzard was going on outside) so I wouldn't die of heat stroke.

Who knew B. Blanks was so inspirational? He kept cheering me on and telling me to ask my higher power for the strength to continue with the workout. That's how you know a workout is kicking your tush -- when the instructor tells you to pray for strength!

Then, I let a 4-year-old persuade me to play in the snow WHILE it was still snowing... I guess this was my substitute for Zumba. First, I ran up and down the hills trying to keep him and his sled from crashing into the trees. Then, I ran to save myself from his snowballs. It's funny how kids (and the adults who play with them) get a workout from just having fun -- no gym, no treadmills.

Me with the snowman we made. He needs some work.

On a happy note, I've finally budged from the 6- and 7-pound weight loss marks I've been oscillating between for 2+ weeks... today I finally weigh 8 pounds less! Only 19 more to go...

Net Carbs: 29 grams
Workout: Tae Bo, then fun in the snow.
Days Til 5K: 37

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Second Day on the Ankle

After getting off at midnight last night, I overslept today and missed most of what turned out to be a gorgeous Winter day (45 degrees and sunny) -- a day that would have been great for running. Oh well. I'm sure my body needed sleep more.

I did my scheduled interval treadmill run tonight: ran for 17 minutes, walked for 1, then ran for 12 minutes. My ankle hurt during the whole run, but it decreased as time went on.

From an endurance standpoint, it is getting easier. I did find myself making deals like, just make it to 10... then 15... but I think it was more about my boredom (during commercials) rather than being winded. It may be time to run at a faster pace.

Net Carbs: 43 grams
Workout: Running only.
Days Til 5K: 38

The Week Ahead

Since yesterday's run on the injured ankle went so well, I'm gonna be daring and put up this week's workout plan. The plan is to run 4 days this week, strength train 2 days, and have one day of fun cardio.

"You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, if you hold that desire with singleness of purpose."
--Abraham Lincoln


Run 15 min
Walk 1 min
Run 14 min
Run 17 min
Walk 1 min
Run 12 min
Walk easy
30 min



Run 18 min
Walk 1 min
Run 11

Weight Lifting
Run 19 min
Walk 1 min
Run 10


Monday, February 8, 2010

I Finally Ran...

...3 miles today!

So you guys know I've been nursing this ankle "injury" that came out of nowhere. I hadn't run on it since Thursday, to give it time to rest. I did, however, do some running in place and toe raises at home to test it out.

Well, I finally tried treadmill running this morning before work. At first, I felt the twinges again (which have now moved down to the lower part of the tendon near the side of my foot), but it loosened up and the twinges went away.

The plan was to do the 15 minute run, 1 minute walk, 14 minute run interval.

I did run for 15 minutes @5.2mph. But, during the second interval, I felt so good by minute 14 that I kept going -- I wanted to see how far I could run before I got out of breath (or make it to 3 miles, whichever came first). It felt really good, and next thing ya' know, I had run 3.02 miles in 35:30, including my 1-minute walking break.

It's still slow, but I did it!

I still think I'm going to go back to doing my interval training, but it feels good to know that if today had been race day, I at least could have finished.

Net Carbs: 20 grams (mostly in carrots - lunch AND dinner!)
Workout: Running.
Days 'Til 5K: 39 days

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week 5 Tally: 2/1-2/7

7.5 miles in Run-walk drills (Over 3 days only -- due to ankle injury)
1 hour of Strength work
1 hour of Zumba
6 pounds lost total (of 22-27)
40 days 'til 5K

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Things I've Learned

This week marked the start of my second month of training, and I've learned a few things about myself over the past five weeks.

1. Sneakers make a difference. My old workout sneaks gave me shin cramps. In my Dr. Scholl's work sneakers, I run like a pro (or something like that).
2. When I overheat, I don't run as well. More importantly, I overheat when I run inside on the treadmill, and my heart rate shoots up to the high 180s. Outside in 40-degree weather, it's 140s-160s max.
3. Slow and steady wins the race. When I started the run-walk intervals, I tried to run at a 10 minute/mile pace and I was barely finishing the assigned intervals. Now, I run slower (11:30/mile), but I'm able to increase my distance daily.
4. Warming up = Finishing. The days I rush into running without a good 10-minute walking warm-up, I'm usually sorry.
5. Running in place isn't for me. My best times (on the clock) and my best times (as in, enjoyable) are when I'm running outside. Can't wait for Spring.
6. Music is not enough to distract me from watching the treadmill clock. I need to get drawn into a dialogue, like on television. I'm gonna try audiobooks when I run outside.
7. I am an afternoon worker-outer. Despite the warnings that working out at night will keep you from falling asleep, I snooze just fine. I also run the best in the evening.
8. When I wear frumpy gym clothes, it affects my drive. If I can see the muscles developing in my arms or calves, it makes me push harder than if they're hidden or I'm wearing an outfit that makes me look heavy.
9. Treat my medical ailments. Now that I am adequately treating my allergies and asthma lately, it is much easier for me to withstand long-term cardio activities.
10. Respect the Process. I'm an all or nothing type of person, so a part of me wants to just go outside and run 3 miles, but that's also how I tend to get injured or lose motivation. I am respecting this incremental progress and watching my body change and strengthen week-by-week. Even with my ankle, I have to learn to respect the healing process, and get back out there as soon as I'm ready -- not before.

Net Carbs: 45 grams yesterday (had an emotionally-snacky day), 10 grams so far today.
Days 'Til 5K: 41
Workout: Still on break for the left ankle injury.      6EF57M4BQ49P

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Running Attempt

Today didn't go so well. After running for 10 minutes and feeling like my right leg was about to give out, I realized it because I was avoiding the left ankle (aka, the hurt one).

When I tried to focus on running on both legs, my left ankle felt even more tight followed by twinges I didn't appreciate, so I switched to walking. In total, I ran 15 minutes and walked 25 minutes.

I'll rest for another day or two and try again this weekend. I am upset, though, that this sets me back on my 8-week plan.

Net Carbs: 30 grams
Days 'Til 5K: 43

In other news -- 2 issues from my new Running Times subscription came today. I love magazines -- especially subscriptions -- so it didn't take me long to sign up for one. So far, I am intrigued...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Swollen Ankle Report

Remember yesterday I mentioned how my ankle hurt when I touched it, but not so much when I ran on it?

Well, it didn't really bother me the rest of the day. After I left the gym, I worked a 12-hour shift on my feet and by the time I got home, I told hubby my ankle felt swollen, but I still thought it was okay (I obviously hadn't really looked down).

He looked first and alerted me to the fact that something was obviously wrong.

This is a picture of my ankles last night. I chopped off my toes to spare you guys the horror. But, I think you get a sense of how swollen the left ankle was.

Finally out of denial, I soaked in a hot bath, then iced the ankle, wrapped it and elevated it while I slept and voila -- this morning I have creases in my ankles again.

One of my doctor buds and I figured out that it's probably an inflammation of one of my peroneus tendons.

Today was my day off anyway, so tonight I'll do another hot soak followed by icing and elevating (freezing water inside Dixie cups works great to ice injuries). But, the plan is to stick with my training schedule and run 14-minute intervals tomorrow.

By the way -- Two thumbs up for the new Panera Mediterranean Salmon salad! Without the olives, and using balsamic instead of the tangerine dressing, it was only 20 NET grams of carbs.

Net Carbs: 31 grams
Days 'Til 5K: 44

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My First Injury?

Even though I got off at midnight last night, I still got up this morning for my 9am muscle challenge class followed by 30 minutes of running. I usually like to run first (while I still have all of my energy), but I was not getting up any earlier than I did.

I got up to 13 minutes of consecutive running today. The first minute or so, my left ankle felt a little stiff (it did that yesterday too), but it loosened up just fine without any pain. However, when I was stretching, I noticed that when I touched the outside of my ankle, it was tender. I massaged that ankle while I soaked it in the jacuzzi, and it felt better.

I wonder when I hurt it - if it's from poor form, or maybe when I lost my balance doing lunges last week.

Running itself went okay. I got tired around minute 11 during the second interval, but I kept going.

Ok... time to go back to work (noon to midnight again)! Tomorrow is my (work AND workout) off day. YEY!

Net Carbs: 26 grams
Days 'Til 5K: 45

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Good Run & Carb Hallucinations

Before today's noon to midnight shift, I squeezed in a 30-minute treadmill run and an hour of Zumba

I had a great treadmill day. I ran 12-minute intervals and it felt really good. I slowed the pace down to 5.2mph so I wouldn't get so out of breath or overheat. My max heart rate stayed around the mid-160s, and I finally got into a comfortable stride. Yes, it's slow (11:30 min/mile), but once I get to 3 miles, I can always work on my speed.

Today, I had terrible cravings. I've been doing well on Atkins for the last 4 weeks, without cheating. I'm still keeping between 20 and 30 grams of carbs, mostly because I'm an all or nothing person, and if I start letting myself eat "more" carbs I will eat "all" carbs. But, for some strange reason, I kept smelling food aromas that made me crave carbs like Bruschetta, and fresh-baked Italian rolls.

I resisted. But... man did I cheat in my mind.