Saturday, February 28, 2009

Short Post about Long Run

Long run "with" running group today. Okay, it wasn't all that long, but it's the longest I've run for at least 4 months. Knee feels okay. Hammy feels okay. But nothing about this run was easy.

It was windy. I didn't sleep well last night. Six miles seemed to be pushin it based on my lack of running lately. But that is what was on my schedule and that's what I set out to do.

Honestly, I was ready to quit at mile 5. I stopped, walked a bit, drank some accelerade and pondered walking the rest of the way in. But then I decided I wanted it to be over more than I didn't want to run, so I convinced myself to start running again.

When it was all said an done, six miles at 11:30 min/mi average pace, although in reality, my pace was all over the map.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mid-week Pacing Question

Four miles easy was on the schedule and that's basically what I did (included in the mileage is a half mile warm-up at the beginning and a half mile cool down at the end). I'm very happy to report that hammy wasn't much of a bother today.

Also, after talking with the technical support people, I figured out how to strong arm my Garmin into place on my existing cradle so that I could get it charged for my run. Therefore, I have a graph to show my splits (broken down by half mile). Basically, the w/u and c/d was at about 11:30min/mi and the rest of the run was centered around a 10:45 min/mi pace.

Here's where the audience participation comes into play. MacMillan calls 10:45 my steady-state pace. However, I'm not exactly sure what that means! And to be honest, I wasn't targetting any specific pace, this is just what natually occurred when I ran today.

If anyone wants to clue me in on what steady-state pace is, please do so. Is this what I should have run? Or should I have run faster or slower today? McMillan does give paces for easy runs, tempo runs, etc. I know that my long runs on the weekend should be easy pace, but for the shorter runs during the week days I really have no idea what pace to choose.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Garmin Issues

For the past several weeks, I've been having trouble with my Garmin. It doesn't seem to want to get a good connetion to the cradle that it needs to rest in for the battery to charge. The last several times that I've wanted to use it, I have found it to be sitting there with a dead battery.

I really wanted to have my Garmin with me last night when I met with the running group, so I brought the whole contraption with me to work so I could babysit it. I really thought it was going to be okay, but when I turned it on, it couldn't find the satellites - a typical sign of an uncharged battery.

I thought I was fully addited to the Garmin at one point, but what I miss most is knowing how far I've gone. How am I supposed to run 3, 4, 5,6 or however many miles if I don't have a reliable way to keep track of distance? I can do it by running near home at places that I've run before, but the group has been running on some new-to-me trails.

Tonight I will call the Garmin people and see what words of wisdom they have for me. I suspect that it is dead or dying, but maybe it has something curable.

As for yesterday, I decided to stick with yet another new lady who was doing a 5:3run:walk interval. This didn't aggravate the hammy (which is still not fully recovered) and it was nice once again to spend time getting to know someone new.

Oh, and thanks for all the great suggestions from my last post. For this week, I've just decided to let that missed workout on Monday go and stick to the planned schedule here on out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Domino effect

It doesn't take much to trigger the domino effect that throws the training schedule for a loop.

Today should have been a gym day, but I had an appt with the dentist, so it ended up being an impromptu recovery day.

Maybe that was a good thing because yesterday should have been recovery, but I did the yoga that I missed on Saturday.

Of course I missed the yoga because we went to the gym to pick up the missing upper body exercises from earlier in the week.

But today I missed another strength session because of the dentist appt! Sigh.

And tomorrow is scheduled for 4 miles easy with the run group, but I didn't run last Thursday at all and I walked on Saturday, so I'm thinking maybe I should only do 3 miles this time and shoot for 4 miles next time.

What do you folks do when the domino effect comes into play? How do you know when to write off a missed workout vs. trying to replan to get everything back on track?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Super Saturday

I had a great session with Trainer Guy on Friday. He has some good ideas of what I can do to help with both the knee issue and this new injury to strengthen some of my weak areas. We also worked through my abs exercises.

The one thing we didn't get to was upper body. Husband missed his strength workout on Thursday and had upper body to do as well. So we went back to the gym today. Yay! I know some of you don't do much strength work, but I'm beginning to love my time at the gym as much as I love running. Does that make me weird?

Today being Saturday is one of the run group days. Well, I *did* meet with them and I *was* wearing my running clothes, but I didn't run. I'm fairly certain it would have been a bad idea to run today because the hammy thing is still bugging me. I realize that I'll be better off in the long run (heheheh - pun intended) if I let this heal completely.

So what was I doing there, you might ask? Well, there's a new lady in our group who's doing a run/walk program and today she was scheduled for 60min walk. I decided to join her, and I'm glad I did. It was nice spending some time getting to know her better.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Non-Running Thursday

As I mentioned Tuesday, I decided not to run today. Instead, I simply did my yoga, plus some core, and extra stretching. All of that felt fairly good; I think my body appreciated it.

In trying to diagnose myself, I found and article on Hamstring Tendonitis on The Injured Runner that includes this description:

"Hamstring Tendonitis is a pain that is felt on and just below the boney part of your butt that you sit on. The hamstring tendon attaches to this bone and can become painful. I have seen this develop after a runner stumbles and catches them self from falling forward. The hamstrings tighten to prevent the trunk from falling forward and may result in a pulled tendon in this area."

Yep, that's where it hurts, and that's how I did it! I'm still not sure how long to expect it to take to heal completely.

Tomorrow morning I am scheduled to meet with Trainer Guy at the gym. As always, I'm looking forward to that.

-------------- For Women Only ----------------

In an attempt to deal with this whole perimenopause thing, I have added two new supplements to my diet: 20g soy protein and calcium+magnesium+zinc. Will give it a month and let you know if there are any noteable improvements. [Edit to add: This is in addition to a high quality Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil that I recently started taking as well]

The most eye opening thing that I've learned in the past few months is how many different body functions are affected by hormones. It is beginning to make sense to me that the hormonal imbalance that naturally occurs during the aging process would therefore wreak total havoc on the body. The heart arrythmia that mysteriously presented itself in the past year is apparently a fairly common symptom. Who knew?!?!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This, That, & the Other

Clarification from my Abs post:
* My mystery exercise seems to be cat pose, but with abdominal vacuum included - meaning you blow out all the air in your lungs and suck in/tighten up your abs hard as you arch up - hold it 20sec or so - and repeat.
* Rope crunches are done on a machine. Again, tighten the abs as you do these, exhale, and curl down slowly (do not pull straight down). I found a video that basically shows it, but he's not exhaling and doesn't emphasise tightening the abs as he goes, so it's not exactly what I'm doing.

Running and the Injury
* Had a truly dis-satisfying run yesterday. I felt off the whole time and my hammy thing hurt more than usualy afterwards. I think I'm going to skip running tomorrow and give myself some more recovery time from that stupid injury.

* Why is it that women don't talk much about the transition time up to ten years that leads to menopause? I didn't even know it "perimenopause" existed until fairly recently, yet here I am smack dab in the middle of it with no clue what the heck is going on with my body. Knowledge is power, people! I don't think this needs to be something that's kept hush, hush.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Conclusions from a Month of Abs Work

aka What I learned during the Sexy Six Pack Challenge

* The Yoga DVDs that I am doing do include abs work, but it's not sufficient if you want to target ab strength.
* I still don't like planks (as in I despise them).
* I've been doing crunches for awhile and I don't think they are all that effective either.
* Trainer Guy showed me 3 new Abs exercises recently. Those are the ones that I think are making an impact. He has me doing rope crunches, slow ab curls, and something I dont know the name of (you get on all fours, exhale, suck in your abs and arch up your back - and repeat - it's harder than it sounds!)

As for my strength test.
* I started able to do 20sec plank. The goal is 3 sets of at least 60 secs. I really don't like doing these, so it is unlikely that I'll ever really make progress here. The only way I can get myself to do exercises is by having fun with it and I simply don't find these fun. I don't even want to put in the effort to see where I'm at. Sorry! [UPDATE: I decided to do one plank and made it to 50sec]
* I started able to do 0 slow ab curls unassisted and barely 3 sets of 5 with assistance. The goal is 3 sets of 15 unassisted. I ended able to do 0 unassisted and 3 sets of 10 with assistance. I have a long way to go! But I like these, so I think I'm going to get there eventually. :-)

Bottom line
* I'll still do the yoga, but not because of abs.
* I will continue the exercises Trainer Guy gave me and hope to see additional strength progress in another month.
* Have I mentioned that I don't like planks?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweetheart Run 5K Race Report

*Also my FFFK for Nancy

Husband and I have done this run several times. We entered as a team. Somehow doing a Sweetheart Run as a team just seems a bit more romantic to me.

Anyway, the weather was nice this morning. It was about 30deg, sunny, no wind.

The course is mostly flat. Not pancake flat, but there are no actual hills. The elevation changes involve a bridge to go up and over and and underpass to get onto the trail.

I haven't run since last Thursday due to my stupid hamstring injury and wasn't sure how this would go for me. The plan was just to run easy, have fun, and if anything hurt in a bad way or got worse, to ease up and/or walk it in. No pressure. I didn't even bring my Garmin.

I'm happy to say that running was relatively pain-free!

It actually hurts more to sit than it did to run. I'm thinking the injury occurred to the ligament that attaches the hamstring to the bone and not the hamstring itself. When I sit, the weight of my body is right on the sore spot.

I think I saw 30:10 on the clock when I crossed the finish mat. Not bad at all given the circumstances. I will update sidebar later when official results are up.

I'm planing on taking it easy for the next few days and may rejoin the running group on Tuesday. Although, Husband & I may go for a bike ride on Monday since we both have the day off work. That probably depends on the weather.

Have a great weekend everyone! Hug someone that you love. :-)

{EDIT to add: Official results are posted. My finish time is listed as 30:08, a 9:39 min/mi pace. That's basically my 5K pace, so the hammy really didn't seem to affect my running. This put me at 7 of 35 women in my age group. Also, our team placing was 19 of 47 teams. Yay us!}

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Sexy Six-Pack" Progress

Against my better judgement, I've decided to be brave and post a composite photo of my mid-section.

For the before picture, I cropped out an image of my pudgy tummy from the swim exit during a triathlon last September and stuck it up in the upper right corner. The "after" photo is from a few days ago.

I realize it's not really an apples to apples comparison, so to a certain extent you will simply have to trust me on this - I'm seeing less pudginess (probably due to diet changes) and more definition (probably from the ab work).

As for the challenge itself, I had agreed to use "strength improvement" as my measure of success. I'm still planning to do that.

In any event, I'm motivated to keep working on my abs at the same level of intensity. Who knows, maybe I'll even post another photo a month from now...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aging Gracefully?

Today is Husband’s 48th birthday. I’ll be turning 44 later this week. The kids somehow lost track of our age and were aghast to find out that we’re *that old*. Sure, we're no spring chickens, but I also don’t think we’re *that old*.

So, in honor of our birthday week, I will share a few thoughts on things that make me feel old vs. things that make me feel young.

Things that Make Me Feel Old

1) Watching my kids grow up. As I watch them grow older, it hits me that I must be growing older too. Son will likely leave the house in a year and a half. Daughter will be following a few years later. Where does the time go?

2) Sports injuries. The truth is, over-forties are more prone to injury and take longer to heal. I’m to be reminded of that every 4-6 months or so it seems.

3) Looking in the mirror. The grey hair. The wrinkles. The pudgy tummy. Definitely a different reflection than I saw 10 years ago. Perhaps this relates somehow to my obsession with cute workout clothes?

Things that Make Me Feel Young

1) Strength work at the gym. I’m able to see strength progress at the gym more quickly than speed progress or flexibility progress. I really don’t feel like a 40-something woman when I’m working out at the gym. Instead, I feel strong and youthful.

2) Long easy runs. Sometimes I feel like I can keep going and going at my slow easy pace. Kinda’ like the energizer bunny, only in slow-motion.

3) Being silly - in my mind, this is simply the opposite of being serious. Joking around, wearing an elmo hat on a run, dancing in the living room, making faces at the kids, “woohoo-ing” at friends at races, things like that. Perhaps these things make me look like a fool, but they make me feel vibrant.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Those who can't!

I went to the gym and was able to do about half of my stuff.

I wore a new workout top that I bought at Marshalls on Sunday.

I seriously do NOT need anymore workout clothes.

But it's really a cute top and was a great price!

Wish I could have snapped a gym queen photo today.

Too many people though, that just would have been weird.

I also bought a cute cashmere sweater, and wore it today to the office.

Oh, how I love Marshalls.

I could NOT get comfortable sitting in my office chair - too much pressure right on the sore spot.

After a few hours, determined that it would be best to work from home.

Had I known that, I would have saved the sweater for another day.

Tomorrow I may try yoga

Highly modified.

Oh, and I'll be wearing the cutest yoga top...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

3 Days Later

Husband and I are signed up for the Sweetheart Run 5K this coming Saturday. I'm honestly not sure whether or not I'll be able to run by then.

The pain has changed. I'm fairly certain it's healing, but I don't know how long the healing process is going to take. I have sharp pain during certain movements. Dull pain when sitting. It feels okay when I stand. I also notice that the muscle is very tight. I'm trying to figure out how to stretch it gently without worsening the injury.

I haven't done much of anything for the past few days. Except knit. I'm about 3-4 inches away from finishing Daughter's scarf. That may turn out to be a good thing. The weather has taken a turn for the worse - windy/gusty with rain/snow in the forcast. She'll actually be able to use the scarf if I finish it up tonight.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

I must have jinxed myself with the whole "I feel better than I have for months" statement a few days ago.

Met with the running group for a thirty minute easy run. Everything was just fine.

I had maybe 4 minutes left when I stumbled/tripped/mis-stepped and felt a sharp sudden pain in my upper left hamstring.

If I learned nothing else last year, it was to stop when something hurts. So I stopped.

Stretched a bit.

Tried running again.

Leg screamed at me "Pain! Pain! Pain!"

Stopped again. Stretched again.

Walked on in. This is soooooooo frustrating. I finally feel like I'm doing things right. The next thing you know I prove myself to be a clutz and injure myself.

I'm guessing a sprain/strain of some sort. Hopefully it isn't too bad.

Iced it last night a few times. Iced it in the middle of the night. Icing it now.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Three topics

1) Decision on Spring Tri

I’m not going to do it. My fitness routine is working really well for me right now. I feel better than I have for months. I can't imagine switching things up & I’m not in that big of a hurry to add in cycling and swimming right now.

Seriously - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I’ll do a few triathlons later in the season just like last year.

I'm happy with this decision.

2) More about my Yoga DVDs

I tested Dance the Chakras. I like the two yoga sets and three of the “dance” portions. Since it has the Matrix option, I can program it each time to deliver this workout to me. The rest of the DVD I won’t use – this turns out to be about half of it. If I paid full price, that would make me unhappy. However, it cost me a grand total of $9 including shipping from ebay so I’m fine with it.

Anyway, when I reviewed these Ana & Ravi DVDs before I should have mentioned something about that. My satisfaction would have been lower if I had paid full price.

Except for Yoga Beauty Body. I really like that one.

3) As promised - Why I moved

As some have guessed, the move was related to a certain wellness site and my decision to sever ties with them. There were several things about the site that made me uncomfortable (including them indicating that I was a “patient expert” - huh?? I'm an IT consultant!!) as well as some shady practices that have been documented on other sites. I was able to put this all behind me by having them remove my profile & old posts and by me shut down my old blog completely.

That’s all I have to say about that.

On a positive note, my blogger domain name now matches my blog title and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Group" Run

My running group meets Tue & Thu evenings and Sat morning. Late last night, Coach sent an email saying he couldn't be there, and gave us the instruction to run 30mins.

Then someone else emailed they wouldn't be there. Then another one.

By the time we were supposed to meet up, it turned out to be just me and one other. No worries, we didn't need the others. Ha! We were committed to run.

But neither of us had a watch. I decided to bring my cell phone and use it to keep time. That didn't work out so well. We ended up going long and ran for 50mins instead. Oops.

But you know what? It felt great!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Highlights from the Weekend

* Finished my first ever knitting project - a hat - and I wore it running on Saturday. Yay me! I'll try to get a decent photo, the one I have really didn't turn out too well.

* My easy run Saturday turned out to be at a ~10:30 pace. That's really good for me for an easy run. Might be because I had a running companion which made the run more enjoyable.

* Got about 10-12 inches done on daughter's scarf (2nd knitting project) yesterday.

* I've learned to enjoy the Ultimate Stretch Yoga DVD (my least favorite). It seems I just need to be in the right mood for that one.

* I had another Chiropractor appt on Friday and I must say that I feel fantastic.

* My abs are sore today in a good way.

* I paid attention to about two minutes of the Superbowl - the last minute of the first half, and the last minute of the game. Turns out those were some of the best moments to watch!

* My blog migration went smoothly.

* Son went to a high school dance on Saturday night (his second). I survived.

* My Dance the Chakras Yoga DVD arrived; looking forward to testing it out tomorrow

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jan Tally

The Numbers
- ran 29.6 miles
- 10 yoga sessions
- 13 strength sessions at the gym (upper/lower/core all together)
- 1 race (5K) and got bling!

- By design, Jan was another low volume run month.
- I'm happy with my overall fitness routine and happy to be running with the group again.
- My knee continues to do well and I'm feeling good. I think that's awesome.

- Keep on keepin' on with the routine and slowly begin increasing run mileage.
- Decide if I'm doing a spring triathlon or not. If so, I need to add in swimming and cycling soon.
- 5K Sweetheart Run with Husband in two weeks. :-)

P.S. Thanks for following me over here. Again, you'll have to follow this blog specifically if you want to keep reading. Sorry for the inconvenience.