Thursday, June 28, 2007

Icy Hot = My Hero?

Well today was another morning without a run. Sadness. But last night I took a trip to CVS for some ibuprofen and some Icy Hot. (Icy Hot came highly recommended from a friend of mine who plays baseball and has to use it after most of his games). But after hearing all about the girl who died for ODing on Icy Hot and various other things, I decided I didn't want to mix the ibuprofen with the Icy Hot. I'm sure it would have been fine, but really I'm a little paranoid sometimes.

So anyway, after icing the calf down and having no luck really, I decided it was time for some Icy Hot. The box says the patches work for up to 8 hours...and I didn't put it on til 9:30 so I figured I'd sleep with it on and it'd be fine. I woke up at 6ish this morning, pulled off the Icy Hot and was surprised at how much my leg didn't hurt. I mean it's still sore, but definitely not as bad as before. I'm still walking gingerly on it, but things are feeling better.

I have to teach kickboxing at the gym tonight, which will be interesting indeed. Basically it's going to consist of me standing there doing the punches and then just talking them through the kicks. I don't have high hopes for the success of the class. I tried to find a sub but no luck.

Not being able to work out is driving me up a wallllllllllll.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ruh Roh

I canceled today's run and I'm trying to get someone to sub for my cardio-boxing class tomorrow evening because I think I pulled my calf muscle on Monday. It's been really acting up lately, and I couldn't take the kickboxing class last night because it hurt so much.

It looks like I'm going to have to reschedule my seven miler that I had planned for Friday also because I really don't think I'll be able to handle it.

It's super frustrating because my training was going so well. There were literally no glitches and now I have to put it on hold to deal with this. I mean I guess the extra hour of sleep I got this morning was nice, but I would have rather been up running than sleeping in for an extra hour.

I mean what can you really do for a pulled muscle besides let it rest up. Maybe if I have time I'll swing by CVS or something and pick up some Bengay or IcyHot or something.

All I know is this better be healed up by Saturday. It's my last day of softball and I will not be sidelined with an injury. (And yes I would be thickheaded enough to play even if it wasn't totally better yet....soooo really I'm hoping it heals.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Too Good to Be True

Time: I don't even know
Distance: See above

I was so frustrated with my run this morning. Or I guess more exactly, I'm frustrated with my inability to run. When I woke up my legs were tired, but hey that's nothing new. It was a crazy weekend (which I will get to in a minute) so I figured there would be tiredness.

I started out, ran for about 15 minutes and ouccchhhh pain!!! I stopped and stretched my calves which were insanely tight and probably causing the shin splint in my left leg. Stretching usually helps so I started off slow figuring I'd be able to complete the 40 minutes the training plan called for just at a slower pace. Well after about three more minutes of running I had to stop and walk. And it figures I would be at the complete opposite end of campus from my apartment and I had like a 20 minute walk back. Yea it sucked. Not the best way to start off a grey Monday morning.

But really, I had to hit a rough patch at some point, my training was going a little too smoothly.

Anyway enough negativity for one post. Now on to filling you all in the super fun details of my weekend.

Let's start with Friday: My boss at the gym told me about this all women's gym awhile back that offers cardio-strip tease/cardio-pole dancing aerobics classes. My friends and I thought we'd try it out for fun last semester and we had an awesome time. (I think I wrote about it before) So we took my two friends who are staying down here for the summer and we all loved it and laughed and had a great time looking absolutely ridiculous.

Then my roommate's boyfriend and some of her friends from Penn State came to visit for the night, so we threw a little party at my place. It was a good time. I got two hours of sleep, which I learned on Saturday morning, certainly isn't sufficient for playing softball.

So moving on to Saturday: Due to lack of sleep, my softball performance was less than stellar. We lost both games, but whatever we have a good time and that's all that matters in this league. After that game about five of us went out to grab lunch, which was so awesome because I was hanging out with work people as friends not as bosses and the little intern. So that was fun, we went to a deli and probably ended up hanging out for two hours talking about all kinds of random stuff.

I came home grabbed a quick shower and nap before heading out to dinner with my cousin and her family and boyfriend for her birthday. It was the first time I'd met her boyfriend and he was a really nice guy and it was first time in a while I'd seen her and her family. After dinner, we checked out her brother's new apartment which was really nice and then I headed home where I proceeded to pass out kind of early because of my two hours of sleep.

Sunday morning was a trip to the farmer's market to pick up some fruits and veggies and then back to the apartment to hang out out of the heat. We all took a trip to the grocery store in the evening to get stuff to make smoothies and then it was just a fun evening of chilling and watching a movie.

All in all it was a super stellar weekend, and I'm hoping this week flies by so that next weekend will rock just as much!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Rocks

Time: 55:06
Distance: 5 miles

Today's run was only supposed to be three miles, but it was so gorgeous outside and I was feeling so good that I stretched it into five. And if you notice that time, I was thisclose to averaging 11 minute miles. Not that I'm disappointed in my time or anything like that. I'm super excited that I'm running at a faster pace. It rocks. So long 12-minute miles; hello faster times for me!

And I wanted to squeeze another quick strength training session in because I've decided it's really important and it's something I don't do enough of. It was still really basic stuff, lunges, squats crunches, push-ups, but I think the fact that I'm strength training, even if it's only twice a week is making a difference.

If nothing else, I have one of those scales that measures body fat percentage. I know they aren't super accurate or anything, but I just like having an idea of where I fall on the spectrum out of pure curiousity. And I thought that I'd check the body fat percentage today, and it had dropped a full percentage point from the last time I checked, which I think was sometime last week. So that might be something I start keeping a closer eye on. I'm a numbers person and I love having different numbers to think about, times, distances, and now body fat percentages. Cool stuff.

I'm super excited for softball tomorrow, as always. It's just such a great time, and unfortunately there are only two more weeks left in the season. That makes me sad. I'm going to miss hanging out with all the cool people I met at my internship and then became closer with through softball.

Anyway, I hope everyone has awesome weekends!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good Run, Strange Bump

Time: 31:56 (or maybe it was 58)
Distance: 3.06 miles

I was surprised by how not tired I was this morning when I popped out of bed to go running, but the Metro must make me sleepy or something because I am seriously crashing now. I wish I liked coffee, I could sure use it on a day like today or yesterday.

The run this morning went well. The weather was gorgeous. Temps in the low 60's with a gentle breeze and plenty of sunshine. I don't have anything super special to report about the run. My left calf was a little tighter than usual when I got back so I stretched it a little more, but other than that everything seems to be going well.

One random thought: If you remember from a couple of posts back, when I got hit in the shin with a softball and got that huge bruise that looked like a second knee. Well most of the bruising has gone away by now. There's still a little bit left though. And there's definitely still a bump. Should I be worried about that? It's still a little bit tender to the touch, but it doesn't hurt to run or anything. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mid-week Blues

Time: 40 minutes
Distance: 3.8 miles

Quick note: The Metro was fixed by the time I left my internship yesterday! So I made it to work on time to teach my classes!

I've got the mid-week blues and I got 'em bad. I woke up this morning at 6:20 to give myself some extra time to get moving. I sluggishly threw on my running clothes and was all ready to head outside when I realized I had forgotten to charge my iPod. That meant on this grey, raining Wed. morning I had to run without my tunes. For those of you who are frequent readers, you know how much I love my music and how I pretty much can't run without it. So that kind of sucked.

The weather wasn't helping me out much either, motivation-wise. It was raining on and off for the entire run. And it was humid because it wasn't raining enough to cool me down, just enough to make the air sticky. Great conditions to be running in. (Although it worked out that my iPod wasn't charged because mine is super-sensitive to moisture.)

I did the run, it was fine. Nothing special. Now I'm exhausted. I almost fell asleep on the Metro, which would have been bad because I definitely would have missed my stop. It's going to be a challenge making it through the day today. I just want to get back home so I can take a nap.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

AHHH Public Transportation

Ok, I'll be the first to say that I don't mind taking the Metro to work in the morning. I can sit back and read my book and get to work in about 30 minutes. It's not such a bad deal.

Except when things go wrong. And when things go wrong on the Metro, they really go wrong.

Like this morning for example. My Metro station is the second to the last one on one of the lines. And of course there was a power outage at a station closer to the center on the same line. The Metro runs on electricity so clearly there was no service through that station, which meant I couldn't take the Metro to work.

So I had to get on a shuttle bus for a half hour to another station on different line and then ride that line for another 15 minutes before I finally got to work. Now granted it didn't add that much time to my commute, but it was just a headache. And it made me late for work. Because of course the shuttle wasn't magically at the Metro station when I found out it was broken.

But really I'm at work now so it's fine. It's the getting home part I'm worried about because I have to be at the gym to teach my classes tonight by 4:45, which doesn't leave me a ton of wiggle room. And I don't know how the shuttles are running or what exactly is going on with any of that. So I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping the problem is resolved this afternoon. It happened at 7 this morning, I get to the Metro station at nine and when I got to work at 10:15 the Metro website said it was still having problems.

Sorry about the rant, I just needed to get it all out because it's making me frustrated and stressed out that I might be late for work tonight. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Boot Camp, Kickboxing and Abs tonight. (If I make it back in time!!!)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Holy Humidity, Batman

Time: 35 minutes
Distance: 3.4 miles

Ahhh, I hate humidity. It is the worst thing in the entire world. Especially when it is already 72 degrees (without the humidity) at 6:30 in the morning. I get up early to run to avoided some of the heat. I don't know what the deal was today, but I was not happy. It was such uncomfortable weather to run in.

Okay, enough bitching and moaning about the weather, but in all seriousness, the heat and humidity did make my run feel a lot more strenuous today. The training guide called for 35 minutes, which isn't a bad amount of time at all. But, oh boy, but 20 minutes in I was ready to call it quits. My legs were tired (they had been even before I left) and I was sweating like crazy and huffing and puffing like I was horribly at out shape.

By the time I got to 26 minutes, I was toying with the idea of slowing down and walking. But right at that point I had crested the last hill on my route and I knew the rest was either flat or downhill the rest of the way. So I felt like stopping to walk at that point would have kind of been pointless. So needless to say I hoofed it the last nine minutes.

And as soon as I got back to my apartment I hit the water fountain on the first floor like it was my job. One of my friends happened to be walking in the building at the same time I got back and she was like, "Are you okay?" I guess I was breathing pretty heavily and looking not the best (as in drenched in sweat....who would have thought?) To which I replied," Oh, I'm fine just need some water and to cool down and stretch out."

Well, I can't really put into words the look she gave me then. It was something along the lines of "You are crazy" coupled with "Concern because you might die."

(Another reason I run in the morning, explaining it to my friends just takes too much effort.)

Anyway, it was a solid run even though the weather sucked. Tomorrow I've got strength training and kickboxing so the weather can do whatever it pleases. But I just hope we get some serious thunderstorm action so that Wed. morning this humidity drops off.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Six Mile Sweetness

Time: 1:09:31
Distance: 6.1 miles

Yesterday's rest day was probably one of the best training decisions I've made in a while. When I woke up this morning, my legs were feeling fresh and not at all sluggish. I threw on my running clothes, looked out the window to make sure it wasn't raining (it was overcast and nice and cool for the first half of the run, the sun came out later and warmed things up).

As always I took the first mile slow, just to warm up the legs and let them know that we had a solid six miles to crank out today. They didn't seem to be complaining, so I settled into a comfortable pace for the rest of the ride.

Mile one felt great, mile two felt better and by mile three I was still feeling really strong, which surprised me because a lot of time that is where I start to fatigue. I was even running strong on the hills, which usually wipe me out. But today I powered up them and sure it was challenging, but it didn't zap me of all my energy and I still felt strong enough to keep going.

I cruised through miles four and five and right when I finished mile five I glanced down at my watch just to see how I was doing time-wise with one more mile left. To my complete and total surprise I was somewhere around 58:30. That's an entire minute and a half faster than I usually run five miles. I was so pumped.

As I started mile six, I could feel my legs were getting a little bit tired, but nothing too bad. So I kept the same pace I was going at and finished really strong. I finsihed so much faster than I expected that I had to double check the route on Gmaps when I got back to make sure I did actually run an entire six miles and didn't cheat somewhere and forget to take a turn or something.

But I hadn't. I had run 6.1 miles and I did it at a much faster pace than I expected to be able to handle. I'm so used to doing my long runs at 12 minute miles, but nothing hurt today and I didn't feel like I was taxing myself at all. In fact at some points I remember thinking, "Geeez I'm not breathing that hard, maybe I'm going slower than I think, maybe I'm not working that hard."

But according to the map and my watch, I went the right distance in a faster time!

Oh and when I got back home, I threw in a quick strength training session for fun. (Only like 20 minutes: squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, etc.)

I've got two make up softball games tomorrow. They're pretty important to our playoff chances, as in, if we don't we, our playoff chances are shot. I'm looking forward to it. I've really come to love softball and I'm going to be really sad when it's over.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. And happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Unplanned Rest Day

Well, the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning, but I was not getting up with. Instead I re-set it for 7:30 and went back to sleep. Needless to say, today's run didn't happen.

There are a few reasons for my utter exhaustion this morning. First, I've been up kind of late the past few nights/been woken up by phone calls after I've already gone to bed. So the lack of sleep has definitely put a damper on my energy. In fact, when I got home from work yesterday I was watching TV and just passed out for about an hour. I had no idea how tired I had been.

Another reason I skipped today's run is that I have six miles scheduled for tomorrow. (Normally it would be on Saturday, but I've been moving my long runs to Friday until the softball season ends.) My legs were super tired yesterday, as I mentioned in that post, and they weren't feeling much better by this morning. I didn't want to go for a run today and then have my legs be so sluggish that I couldn't get through tomorrow's run. In the end sacrificing today's short run was a better choice than tomorrow's long run suffering.

Sitting at the computer now, my eyes are still kind of glassy and I'm definitely still sleepy. The extra hour this morning didn't really do too much for me. I'm sure it will be another day for napping after work and probably getting a good night's sleep. My friends are meeting some of their friends in D.C. tonight to go to the bars, but alas I'm not 21 yet so I won't be going with them, which in the end is probably for the best. I can get to bed early-ish and be able to have a good run tomorrow.

Now if only the weather tomorrow morning will be like it is today: Cool and slightly overcast...high of 71.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dropping Times

Time: 31:09
Distance: 3 miles

Whoo that is so close to almost a 10 minute mile! I love it! I was really surprised when I mapped my route out on Gmaps though and saw that it was 3.00 miles. I mean I felt like I was running faster than I usually run, but I didn't feel like I was going quite that fast. (Okay, it's fast for me, anyway.)

And to be able to go that fast after killing my legs in kickboxing last night....well I am super proud of myself. My legs are feeling it now though. They were not very keen on my walk to the Metro Bus stop this morning and were even less happy about the three block walk from the Metro station to work. (Because really I could take the Metro one more stop and be at my office, but getting off one stop earlier and walking the three blocks saves me from having to change lines).

But the legs have a long day of sitting in a desk chair ahead of them to rest up before I have to walk the three blocks back to the Metro station to go home.

In relation to my quicker running times, one of my goals had been to run my up-coming half marathon in two and half hours. And in order to do that, I knew I was going to need to drop some time. I just hadn't expected it to happen so naturally. I didn't go out this morning thinking, okay let's do a little bit of speed today. I went out thinking, okay let's get a nice run in keeping a steady pace.

As far as training goes, this week has really rocked and I wish all weeks could be like this. I'm just worried that with so much good luck I'm bound to hit a snare somewhere (most likely coming as a result of softball) I was going to post a picture of my last injury, but I didn't want to five days later, if that gives you any indication of how ugly it was and still is.

Anyway, off to a day spent harassing people so they will send me samples of powerbars and gu and sports beans, etc.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monday run day Tuesday fun day

Monday's run:
Time: 35
Distance: 3.3 miles

I was really happy with Monday's run. First and foremost, nothing hurt, which of late has been extra good because I'm thinking maybe I got past whatever was bothering me before. And secondly, my run just kicked butt. I went so much faster than my normal pace, and yes, while it was slightly more challenging to keep that pace up, it wasn't killing me, not even on the one hill that is the most not fun thing to run up ever.

So overall I was just really pleased with myself that I was able to run that hard and keep a pretty even pace throughout the entire run.

This morning I did a quick strength training workout. Lots of squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips etc. Everything was pretty basic. And tonight I'm teaching my classes, boot camp, kickboxing and abs and low back.

I craftily scheduled myself to work on cross-training days so I wouldn't have to worry about burning myself out with running and kickboxing on the same day.

Anyway, now it's time for me to go get ready for work.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Short and Long runs

Thursday: Time: 25:00 Distance: 2ish
Friday: Time 1:00:00 Distance: 5

I ended up bumping my long run this week to Friday because I was supposed to have softball on Saturday. Unfortunately, softball got rained out (as in Friday night we had a 12 minute thunderstorm and apparently by Saturday morning the fields were still too messy to play on)

So yesterday, I took a really easy day and did a whole lot of nothing. Oh, that's a lie. I got a manicure and pedicure with two of my friends from home who are spending the summer in College Park too.

Thursday's short run wasn't anything special. My legs felt really sluggish though and I was glad it was a short run day. I didn't even really stick to a specific route either. I just kind of ran around all the random paths that cut through campus, so I don't have a very good estimate of how long distance-wise I went. It was a good change of pace though, to not follow a set route.

Friday's long run went much better than I thought it would. I was expecting my legs to still be sluggish from Thursday. Also it would have been my third day in a row running without a cross-training day mixed in. But surprisingly, the run went really well. I started off slow, and did my first mile about 30-45 seconds longer than usual just to get my legs going and not burn them out too fast.

From there though it was pretty smooth sailing. The hills were kind of a bitch, especially becuase it was so ridiculously hot and humid outside. The run zapped me of so much energy that I ended up going to be at like 10:30 Friday night because I was so exhausted.

Today's another rest day. And then back to training and running on Monday. Hope you're all having great weekends!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Before we get to the real part of this post, I have to add a quick plea for some help. For a story I'm working on for my internship, I'm going to get to test sports drinks vs, Gus vs sports beans vs powerbars (I use the brand names loosely). Basically what I get to do is get samples of them all and then take them running to see which is easiest to carry, which is easiest to consume on the move and which keeps me going longest. (Yea I have the best job ever)

But what I was hopping to get from you guys is an idea of what things would be good to test. What kinds of things do you use? My plan is to get some Jelly Belly Sports Beans and then GU and I think maybe PowerBar makes a gu too? Also I'm going to see if I can get regular PowerBars and maybe a Clif Bar. And then I have no idea what kind of sports drinks.

So let me know what you use. I will see if I can hunt it down and then I will let you know the results. I'm looking for everything under the sun. The more things I can try out the better the story will be! So any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks bunches in advance!

And now for the real post:

Time: 40:00
Distance: 3.47

Something clicked during this morning's run. I'm not sure what exactly it was, but things just felt right. My legs didn't feel tired. I didn't have any shin splints, ankle problems, hip pain, etc.etc. with all the issues I've been having. And I was just able to keep the most consistent pace ever. It was nice and steady, not super slow, but definitely not fast.

I didn't feel like I could have run forever, but I felt like I could have gone further. It was a good place to be.

Truthfully, I was surprised it went so well because I kicked my own butt in my kickboxing class last night. I'm not sure how the rest of the class felt about it, but I was pretty exhausted by the end. And then to wake up at 6:30 to go running, well I just didn't have the highest expectations ever.

But I surprised myself and now I'm in a splendid mood. I even managed to get into work 10 minutes early this morning (okay mainly because the monitor on my computer at home broke and I wanted to take some time to check my email and write up this post)

I'm still trying to play catch up on all of your blogs, but I'm getting there....although this broken monitor thing may slow me down a little bit.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I'm Back!

EDIT: As promised, here are Mays totals:
Time: 7 hours 19 minutes and 24 seconds
Distance: 35.7 miles

So I've been away for a pretty long time and I have some serious updating to do. I'll try to keep it brief though.

Two weeks ago was the week I was at the beach. And it was amazingly fun and awesome. We had gorgeous weather. It was sunny every day so we had plenty of beach time and plenty of chill hang out time.

I was able to get in three runs down at the beach, which isn't bad considering I fell asleep on the beach one day accidentally and woke up with sunburn all day the back of my legs and it hurt to bend my knees. Because of the sunburn I seriously questions how many runs I'd be able to get in.

But I got in three and here's the stats:
Sunday: 3 miles in a little over 34 minutes (I had the exact times written down but seem to have lost the paper)
Tuesday: 3 miles in about 36 minutes (had some seriously calf tightness going on and had to stop and stretch half way through)
Wed: 3 miles 43 minutes (again had calf tightness. Stopped and stretched around mile one. Ended up having to walk most of mile two and all of mile three)

The week after the beach I was back home in PA. I only ran once. But I kickboxed twice and did strength training three times.

Stats for the run:
Wed: 4 miles 49:22 I learned from this run that if you aren't running regularly on hills they will kill you. I also learned Maryland is very flat. PA is very not. I ran the first mile quicker than mile normal pace and was feeling really good until I hit mile two which is straight uphill the whole time. I ran most of it, but towards the end of mile two I started to walk. But for the rest of the way I had to alternate running with walking. Miles two, three and four all had hills. (The ones in two and three were huge....miles fours wasn't too bad)

And now I am back in College Park, where the ground is flat and where my schedule has seriously calmed down without class to worry about. I'm interning four days a week at a wire-service in DC. I'm teaching Boot Camp, Kickboxing and Abs class on night a week at the gym. And in the rest of my time I'm half-marathon training.

I got in a good run yesterday morning. Boy was it humid out though. It had rained all day Sunday and Monday morning there were still lingering showers and the humidity was ridiculous. But the run went well, faster than I expected.

Monday: 3 miles-ish (I have to look up the exact distance on gmaps) in 35:51.

Today was a short strength training segment this morning and then teaching all my classes at the gym tonight.

I will have May tallies for time and distance posted soon and I will work on getting updated on everyone else's blogs too.

But for now, I'm getting ready for work and then heading out.