Archive for the ‘races’ Category

New Activities. I like to try new things. I’m always up to test something new out. Recently, one of my old coworkers and friends, Erin joined the federal employee gym. This made me happy because before that I was kind of “eh” about going to a gym class… but it’s nice having someone to go with. In the past week, I’ve attended two gym classes. We also try to run two days a week… I couple that with my outside running and what not and I’m pretty happy with the exercise I’m getting. When we move to Del Ray, Andrew and I are going to check out some local gyms; one of which is LA Fitness. I don’t care too much for big gyms and crowds, but I do like the fact that LA Fitness is less than a mile away from the apartment and has a pool. I really want to start swimming again and train towards a spring triathlon for next year. I know, two gyms!?! That’s crazy and expensive! Well, really the LA Fitness gym is the expensive one. I consider the federal employee gym to be part of work benefits. The dues are automatically sucked from my account before I even see my money. On top of that, I only pay $12 a month. So, you figure, two group classes a week for $12, pretty good deal! I also plan on going to do my own weight training once I get a handle on moving and the new job. I love it- I feel so good after working out!

Strength-n-Motion. This strength training class challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like squats, presses, lifts, and curls. This class is also known as weight training set to music. What this really means: You perform said squats, lifts, curls, and lunges with a barbell that has at least 20lbs on it. You work nonstop and when your arms hurt like never before, you put the barbell down and proceed to do push ups. Then you go back to barbell exercises and then back to push ups. Oh and you inter-mix some wall sits with that as well as crunches…and finally, crunches while you hold a barbell over your head. ouch. soreness will ensue. You will sweat a lot. But you will feel fantastic!

Power Sculpt. Sculpt your whole body using light weights, barbells, balls and bands, to work all the major muscles through resistance training. What this really means: We used about 3 different size dumb bells of light weights (1lb, 2lb, 3lb). You basically switch in and out depending on how much you can handle. This was a sort of yoga-pilates-resistance training work out. There were times when you could feel yourself working muscles you didn’t even know existed, there were times when you just wanted to stop and there were times when you felt like oh I can do this, it’s just stretching. Any way you look at it, it was a good workout and definitely of good use for toning.

So, those are my details on the two new classes. Tomorrow we’re on for a run in the morning before work, although I really want to go to this Zumba class that is offered at 12:30. I just added it to my calendar– not sure if I’ll feel up to doing a run and the class, but I’d really like to try it out. It’s all the rage, you know!

I finally caved and signed up for the Race for the Cure 5K on June 4th… that’s the Saturday after we get back from California. I figured, by signing up and paying the registration fee ($45?!?!), it would help motivate me to get up early in Groveland and run in the mornings! I also found an 8K on Father’s Day that I may sign up for (only $20)… amazing how much of my money goes to running… if I run the 8K, then I Just need to find a 10K, 15K, and half marathon to complete this year and I’ll have hit my goals for this year. I’d like to get up to the half marathon comfortably and stick around that length of race… if I could keep doing some long runs of 8-10 miles once I complete the half as my norm, that’d be fantastic. I could amp up the biking and swimming and the triathlon would be attainable in no time! Easier to think about then implement, but we’ll see how it goes!

  There it is! The first 5K Since December of 2010… and the 2nd race post-ankle surgery. Words cannot begin to explain how amazing it feels to FINALLY feel great running again. My ankle has been a little swollen here and there but other than that no problems with my left foot. On the other hand, there have been several evenings where I’ve slept with 4 or 5 ice packs to try to relax my knees, my tail bone, and my back. But regardless of the pills and the pain, I DON’T CARE! To be in a race and be able to run hills for 3.1 miles at an 11:20/min pace is indescribable. I forgot (albeit, momentarily) how great it feels to run.

Andrew so graciously got up early on Sunday (after being up early on Saturday too!) and drove me to the race location (in DC). He brought along Franklin and they weren’t allowed in the cemetery but he got up early and drove me there anyway! I checked in and hung around with the boys until it drew close to start time. We parted ways and I thought, ugh, how am I going to do this. I walked through the gates and into a mess of people- none of whom I knew. I started thinking why am I doing this? Maybe this isn’t for me anymore… maybe I need to find something else, some other line of fitness. That’s when it happened. The man on the speaker started talking about the history of the cemetery and the race. I stretched and looked up at the absolutely gorgeous weather (sunny and 60s). I looked around and heard people laughing and smiling and stretching and I felt the bodies press up against me as everyone crowded the start line. Right there. That instant. Knowing that about 1,000 people had traveled by foot, bike, car, and metro to a cemetery in Southeast DC at 8:00AM on a Sunday morning… JUST TO RUN a 3.1 mile route with a bunch of complete strangers. That right there is why I run. That is why I have struggled through ankle surgery and weight gain and now trying to make it through weight loss. Because of the feeling I get surrounded by countless people I’ve never met and may never see again… just to go for a run. We are a special breed, we runners. We’d put up with anything- sleet, rain, snow (I’ve been there), sun, clouds, crowds, over-flowing portapotties, rotten bananas, cold pretzels, water, gatorade, gels…not to mention aches, pains, sprains, fractures, sweat, tears, and screams just for the thrill of crossing a finish line.

One of the greatest things about running is that even though there is competition going on, everyone’s on the same team. After you cross the finish line, you shake hands, give hugs, talk about what you did differently that cut a second or two off your time… and the greatest part? After the race, the people who were faster than you, they stick around, they walk down the path you’re still struggling to make your way up and they cheer for you. They clap, the yell, they motivate– even if they beat your pace by 6 minutes/mile, they are your equal. They get it and they get that you get it. And for the amount of time it takes to complete the race, everything in the world is right. There is nothing that could bring you down. Not one thing.

And that my friends, is the runner’s high.

Well, needless to say, I’ve been slacking at blogging lately. My last post was what? 2 weeks ago? About a raw diet that I never actually tried? I went to the store and bought the ingredients (veggies, fruits, etc) and then after talking with Andrew, decided it wasn’t the best time to try a new thing… especially when things are going so well and there’s just so much else going on…

So, where are we two weeks later? Well, I’m down about 9lbs. since joining myfitnessplan.com. I love it. I love just looking at portions and calories and having a nice big salad for lunch so that I can “indulge” on dinner… I know, I know. I’m not supposed to be saving all of my calories for dinner, but as long as I switch it up, it’s ok right? And as long as it’s working? I’ve been eating a homemade salad every day that I’m at work for lunch— I was using romaine because I like the crunch and the way it cuts up (dumb I know), but I recently switched back to Spinach- better flavor and better nutrients. My salads consist of some mix of: spinach, celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, mushrooms, leeks, scallions, pepper, etc. This week I bought a bag of radishes— I never used to be a big fan, but WOW, how much my opinion of them has changed! Phenomenal little buggers that pack a punch!

Anyway, we also found some ranch dressing made with yogurt that has about half the calories of regular ranch but tastes just as good…that combined with some low fat garlic croutons and I’m set for life. I love it. I never thought I’d look forward to my salad every day, but I do!

So this past week I stayed the same weight- didn’t gain any, didn’t lose any and I’ll take it.. .even though I was frustrated about it. I did splurge a lot over my birthday weekend- we went to an Italian Restaurant on Friday, then on Saturday we were at my parents for GINORMOUS burgers and roasted potatoes… and of course, chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  Sunday we were on the road again after eating Easter Dinner and then snacking on I don’t even remember- probably Chicken Nuggets because we were too tired to cook. Anyway, despite splurging, I worked out a lot (at least I thought I did), but I guess not enough to balance out!

So, I’m back on it this week even though I have splurged a couple times. Despite the splurging, I got up to 3.1 miles on Sunday! We walk about 4 miles on Saturday too- so the weekend was balanced with decent mileage. I also walked about 2.5 miles on Monday while at work (took a break with a coworker to enjoy the weather) and then today, I ran about 2.5 and walked about 2.5… I forgot socks, so running was vicious.

I even signed up for a 5K on Sunday!!! I’m not going for any time, I just want to complete it and feel confident about running again- I’m definitely getting there, I just need to cross train and make sure that I’m not pushing it too far too fast.

Well, I will blog again soon but it’s 9:30 and I haven’t eaten dinner yet… more soon, I promise!

Well, it’s been over a week since the 5K. It was so much fun! The weather was terrible- it rained and was cold, but really it was an enjoyable running climate– not too hot! We were dressed to the nines in our Christmas Tree costumes— they were fashioned out of green table clothes, snowflake ornaments, strings of multi-colored twinkling battery operated lights, and gigantic gold bows on our heads. Picture to right…  I was lucky enough to get a group of friends to also compete in the 5K… it was the first race (all running) post-ankle surgery and what not.

In addition, Mariah, Andrew’s soon to be Sister-in-law has rheumatoid arthritits so it this 5K was especially important. Mariah and Austin and a bunch of their friends walked in the Denver 5K on the same day. Her sister and some of her friend walked in the 5k in Seattle… so, covering three different cities and raising more than $4000 for Arthritis, we were out in full force!

There were a lot of people dressed up but I think we had the most original costumes… we were runners up for the costume award— they gave it to a little girl, but as we were walking away, the guy who was MC-ing said “you know we had to give to the kid, right?” so we were really happy and excited… actually, we didn’t even know that we would be called up and have to stand in front of everyone.

After the race we went out to a fabulous brunch in Baltimore, before heading back home. Completely the race definitely jazzed me up for more running in the future. I plan on running a race a month in 2011 and I’ve already checked out a few that I like; Feb (Love the Run You’re With) and the 1/2 marathon in Ocean City, MD. I think Andrew’s still really excited about it too, so that’s awesome!

We took a nice long break from exercising to catch up and what not and then went out for a power-walk last night- it’s getting tougher with the holidays coming up and our trip to the Dominican Republic, but we’re going to try to go on with training through it! We’ll be taking running stuff to the DR with us, although we’ll probably get enough exercise hiking and exploring as it is! I can’t believe next week at this time I will finishing up work and packing my bags! Bring on the Dominican Republic!!!!!