Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A sicky with weak hips.

I felt like I had found a sort of groove for about 2 weeks. I was staying true to my resolution to move, whether it was running, walking or biking. I'd bike in the gym during my lunch break, then come home and try to lift some weights or walk or run. After my last run my shins killed me for about two days. When I mentioned it to the girls at work I was grilled about my running: what speed, how far, what surface was I running on, what incline (since I tread). I'd only done 2 miles at 6 mph and had thought (at the time) that everything felt great. One of the mother hens told me I needed to do some exercises to strengthen my legs and I needed to slow down until I get back into the swing of things. If I start out too fast too soon I could do some damage. So she told me that I needed to start by going 4.5 mph and only do a mile or so. "Are you kidding me? That's not even running." But I listened to her and that night I ran about a mile and a half and felt like I could have run all night. It was awesome. Unfortunately, that was the last time I ran. Family came into town and I got sick and everything physical is on the back burner for now. Boo.

In addition to my weak legs, my hips are really weak. WTF. How did this happen? I'm a young, relatively healthy chica that did several sports in high school and whatnot. Yes, I know that high school was like 10 years ago, but still. I guess now that I've put it that way it isn't difficult to understand why almost 10 years of sedentary behavior might've zapped my strength.

So I work in a clinic that specializes in joint replacements and a coworker and I started doing the hip circuit that some of the patients do and I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that I could barely eke out a few reps of each of the exercises. It certainly gave me new respect for the patients who range from their 40's to their 60's or 70's. We had plans to do the exercises at lunch on certain days but that has gone to crap since we've had lunch meetings and other stuff going on and since I haven't been at work since Monday. Like I said, my other exercising ceased last week when family came into town. We had a wonderful time but the snow outside (we got about 4 inches, which is crazy for The Boro) put a damper on the activities we had planned: hiking and walking on some trails near the house. I'm going to jump back into things full force as soon as I'm feeling better...which I hope is very soon. I don't think I have EVER missed more than one day of work at a time for being sick and now I'm at two and counting. If I don't feel up to going to work tomorrow I'm going to bite the bullet and go to a walk in clinic. If you know me well, you know that I have a stubborn, almost childlike distaste for doctors. I'd rather extinguish a cigarette on my face than go to the doctor. I just hate it.

This afternoon I sent an inquiry to a local gym about their spinning classes. I've always wanted to try it and a friend of mine mentioned she's started doing it again and she's really enjoying it. I'm hoping I am able to try a few classes for free. The gym is pretty close to the house and the group class/spinning schedule offers many different classes that I'd be able to attend either before or after work. I'm kind of excited about it. :) Happy Hump Day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back in the saddle

So I ran two miles tonight - yay! It's the longest I've run in quite awhile. Sad but true. I hopped on the treadmill after work. This afternoon I thought about running in the neighborhood but it was storming like a mother when I got home. The thunder was booming so loudly I heard it over my ipod a few times. The run felt pretty darn good. I think I did the 2 in just over 21 minutes. My legs were screaming a bit afterward with quite a bit of shin pain but after popping some ibuprofen and stretching I feel fit as a fiddle (what the hell does that mean, anyway?!).

I think my body might be trying to trick me back into running with how easily the miles and pace came tonight. I felt so good I could practically hear it saying, "Do you see how easy this is? Come on, you were made for this. Lets get together again tomorrow, hmmmmm?" I hope that feeling sticks around for awhile. I'd be ok with that.

So the end of my drive to work is on a beautiful road that's got a gentle roll and lots of huge trees and beautiful old houses. I see runners every day and it always make me a bit jealous that I can't run along that road in the early morning before work. :( Anyway, today I saw one of the regulars, Old Man Graybeard, who must run every single weekday b/c I can't remember the last time I didn't see him on the way in. What was so wonderful about seeing him today was that it was raining and he was the only runner out. As soon as I saw him I just started grinning and I wanted to roll down my window, pump my fist and say "You go, Old Man Graybeard! You rock!" I have no idea why it made me so happy but it did! I wished so badly that I could call into work, get some running clothes and just run around in the rain. It's one of my favorite things to do and I don't get to do it nearly as often as I would like. Maybe I should make my next personal day coincide with a nice rainy day. Now that's a thought. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day two

So I worked out again today (if you can call my walk yesterday a workout). Yay. My goal is to simply MOVE everyday, whether it be walking, running, ellipticizing, yoga, whatever. As long as I'm off my bum and moving around for at least 20 minutes, I'll be happy. I rode the recumbent bike at work for 15 mins during my lunch break and then came home and got straight on the treadmill. I was on for about 45 minutes and did a mile and a half of running and 1.76 miles of walking with an incline. I only planned on being on for about 20 minutes which turned into 30. Then some old school Michael Jackson came on my ipod and propelled me for another 15 minutes. I know a lot of people hate the treadmill (and I certainly agree that the scenery doesn't quite compare to running outside) but I feel like I often stay on longer than planned because I try to make either the time or distance a somewhat "round" number. I doubt I'd do that on an out and back run or just a walk around my neighborhood. Score 1 for the 'mill.

I'm debating whether I should sign up for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in April. It's wicked expensive: $105 (this is more than I paid for the Marine Corps MARATHON) and is only about 3 months away. I have read a lot of great things about the rock n roll marathon series, which this race belongs to, but am worried about signing up for another race after I crapped out on Chicago. That was a very different situation and wasn't 40 minutes away but I'm still feeling gun-shy. I guess I will give it a few more days. It would also help if anyone else wanted to run with me. Kim and her husband Jeff are sitting it out because it's so pricey and because she's in school and will have limited time to train. Hmmm. I will just mull it over for a few more days anyway. I feel like such a geezer but I'm whooped. Time for bed. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deja vu

Here I am beginning again. My last "beginning" fell flat on its face and went absolutely nowhere. I signed up for Chicago last year and was super psyched about it but the plans fell apart. Many exciting things happened that contributed to the collapse of my Chicago '09 challenge. I got married (yay) husband and I bought our first home (yay)...ok so I guess that's it. By "many" I meant two big things. Anyway, too much life got in the way and Chicago became a no-go. I was sad about it. I still am sad about it because I keep getting emails from the Chicago Marathon peeps and Nike. Hell, I even got an email containing a link to print out my finisher's certificate. That was a good one.

Fast forward to 2010 and here I am contemplating my goal(s) for the year. I refuse to make resolutions. I feel like the word is cursed...I can't think of a single damn resolution I've ever kept. Maybe it's just easier to blame the word than my lack of discipline. :) Oh well. I digress. So for over a year I've done far too much sitting on my arse and far too little running, walking or anything in the physical realm. I hate it. Tonight I walked on my treadmill for about an hour. It felt wonderful. I really need to update my ipod...the songs that got me going 2 years ago have lost their fizz. EnVogue's "Don't let go" came on and rocked my world though. It was a lovely surprise that invoked my most heartfelt jam out session of the night - which also turned out to be a bit embarrassing when Dave poked his head in the garage to find out 1. whether cats were fighting somewhere outside our house or 2. if I had fallen off the tread and was screaming for someone to help me. Ouch.

I would have run but I did something this morning to completely jack up the right side of my neck. It hurts so bad when I turn my head that I have to instead move my entire torso to the side if I want to look at something to my right. So I'm hoping that gets worked out asap so that I can get my act together. Dave and I rearranged the garage so that the tread is now unobstructed. Until this afternoon, if his car was in the garage I couldn't use it. So the good news is that I can use it anytime I want. The bad news is that obviously I no longer have an excuse for not using it. Damn. I guess I'll have to get more creative. Mwahahahahahahaaa.

In terms of eating "right", I think my body has finally vowed not to let me eat what I want when I want. The concept of sort of feeling what you're eating has clicked with me. Yesterday was one of those days. It started out alright: toast with pb and jelly, milk, coffee, and yogurt. Then I went to a movie with Kim where we shared popcorn and drank water (maybe I'm finally outgrowing my soda cravings - yay). This was followed by an impromptu trip to a rinky dink bar called The Wagon Wheel where we each had a bottle of beer. Sidenote: I must tell you how much I love spending time with Kim. Time with her always yields something spontaneous and memorable. While we were driving to my house I made the comment that I really want to go into that bar sometime - simply because it looks like a total crap-hole-in-the-wall dive. I love places like that. So she responds with, "Right now?!" Me: "What, no..." We exchanged meaningful looks and after about 20 seconds she said "Ok, we'll do paper, rock, scissors for it. If you win, we go. If I win, I just take you home". Paper, rock, scissors, throw. We both threw paper. The obvious choice next would be scissors...if you're an amateur. Pffftttt. So I threw rock, which clearly smashed the hell out of her scissors and she promptly made a u-turn and headed to the bar. It was good stuff. So after that we decided to go to the store for beer to drink while watching the remainder of the Saints/Cardinals game. We also got chips. So that was my dinner: Coors and BBQ lays with the occasional mini peanut butter cup thrown in when things got too salty. Needless to say, I soon felt like horsecrap since I'd had nothing containing any nutritional value since the early morning. My stomach ached something awful so I decided to eat an apple in a pathetic attempt to make peace with my poor bloated body. Today I was much better. I'm too old for that shit. I need to get my act together. Anyway, it's time for bed. If anyone's out there, thanks for reading. If not, that's cool too. It feels good to kind of verbally vomit (pardon the term), as one of my favorite former coworkers used to say. I've missed this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The beginning...again

Starting over kinda sucks. After running 26.2 it’s a real pisser to huff my way through a few lousy miles. I did 3 miles tonight, which translates to 1 mile of running, .75 mile walk, followed by another mile of running and then a .25 mile walk. During the last .25 of the second “run” I started to feel like my body was literally going to fall apart. It’s incredible how much my feelings can vary during a run. I started out pretty strong, trotting along, and then Dave got home. For some reason, every time he infringes on my “running space”, I immediately get distracted and have the almost irrepressible urge to STOP running. All of a sudden I notice I’m tired/sore/in need of water. It is quite irritating (the urge to stop, not Dave, he's awesome). I guess it might be b/c when no one else is there I let myself get into the zone. I stare straight ahead and am totally immersed in what I’m doing. Then he walks in and BOOM. I want to stop and talk to him or start cooking dinner or get online or whatever the hell else. His presence sucks the force right out of my body and my concentration goes out the window. I’m able to get my focus back but the phenomenon leads me to believe that I’m just a loner when it comes to running. During my last marathon I trained almost entirely alone (and on a treadmill). You’d think that having another person there to talk to would be a welcome distraction but that isn’t the case with me. I have to get into my own head and work things out. For awhile I have been convinced that I have adult-onset A.D.D. Seriously. I'm like a small child, it's ridiculous. I could provide at least 5 examples off the top of my head but it's late and Dave is yelling at me to come to bed. The A.D.D. theory may explain why I do well inside on a treadmill. There are a helluva lot fewer distractions (and things to make me feel self-conscious) in a room staring out the window than there are out on the road. Oy. Enough psychoanalyzing, back to the recap. There were a few times during the run that my step felt light and springy and I felt like I was a carefree 8 year old running around the neighborhood. I love that. I hope to have the feeling more often.

It’s tough to beat the feeling that comes over me after I’m done running. I feel strong, calm and pleasantly exhausted. Maybe if I write this down and read it repeatedly it will be enough to get my ass on the road (or treadmill) tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chicago '09

I just signed up for Chicago. Eeeeeee! So I've decided that my challenge this year, unoriginal as it may be, is to run another marathon, but to do it faster and in much better shape. I haven't decided on a firm time yet, but I'd like to do it under 5 hours, which would be a 37+ minute improvement from the MCM. My good friend Ana's birthday is the day of the race and a bunch of us are going to Chicago to celebrate her birthday and a few of us will be running Sunday. I hope she doesn't feel like her thunder is being stolen with the race going on Sunday.

Oh sweet Jesus, I'm nervous but I can't wait to see CHICAGO! The closest I've been is when connecting flights have landed at O'Hare. I better get some sleep so that I can get my training on tomorrow. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where did the time go?

Somehow, four and a half months have flown by since my last post. More disturbingly, in about 10 hours I will officially be 27. Yeesh. The birthday challenge thing has been on my mind for months, or really ever since I successfully completed last year's. I have no idea what to do. A few things have come to mind but they're so boring that I'm ashamed to mention them. Beyond that, the ideas I've come up with aren't challenging enough to warrant an entire year dedicated to them. Furthermore, the ideas aren't related to a physical challenge. The physicality of the marathon challenge served (for the most part) to 1. make me proud to divulge my challenge to anyone who was interested enough to listen (or read) 2. get my ass moving, which is no small feat because unfortunately I am, in nature, an extremely lazy person (thanks Mom and Dad...just kidding) 3. carry me through the most incredible experience of my life to my proudest moment. The marathon was BY FAR the coolest thing I have ever done. The entire run went frighteningly well and part of me wants to pull a George Costanza and just quit while I'm ahead "Alright, I'm out. You've been great, thanks." But of course another part of me wants to do it all over again; maybe choose one in an exotic location or convince a few friends to run with me. As much as I wanted to do the Shamrock Run in VA Beach (it's next weekend), that isn't happening. I pretty much stopped running altogether. Ok, not "pretty much". I did. I just stopped. It sucks but oh well. A couple of weeks ago I joined the gym at work with a coworker and we've been going about 3x week. I'd like to get into a consistent routine and get healthy and fit and drop a few lbs before the wedding in May. I am hesitant to say "I want to lose weight for the wedding" because I want to institute a lifestyle change, not a temporary one designed to make me look good for a few days and a weekend of pictures.

So back to the challenge. It seems that a lot of people transition from marathons to triathlons but those don't appeal to me at this point. Maybe one day but not right now. I feel like whatever I choose to do it's got to be very physical and very tough. Unfortunately, I set the bar kinda high with the marathon challenge. How do I top that? Maybe I'm just not thinking hard enough. Maybe the 6 pack of Coronas from last night are impeding my thought process. A few people I've talked to about the challenge have tried to let me off easy this year: "Why don't you make the wedding your challenge?" Well, probably because that isn't a challenge, but a natural progression of a wonderful relationship over 4 years in the making. No bigs. I got that shit in the bag. Seriously though, does anyone have any ideas? Part of the problem is choosing something that isn't going to break the bank. It wasn't too difficult to buy running shoes, socks and sports bras. I also feel like the challenge must have a clear end point or win/lose decision. My 2005 "piano lesson" challenge left me able to tap out a few intros on the keyboard but I never got the feeling that I actually accomplished anything. Perhaps it was the nature of the challenge. It isn't feasible to think that I was going to master the friggin piano in less than a year, especially when I was not apt to put in the practice. I need some sort of finish line to cross or some other indicator that yes, I have achieved what I set out to do. It must be measurable. So there we go. It's got to be cheap and measurable. Hmm. Not quite sure what I can do with that. If anyone has ideas please send them my way. Until then maybe I'll just make this a fitness log (yawn). Must keep thinking...
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford