Monday, March 31, 2008

After some rest...

I needed a lot of rest lately for sore muscles and joints. So I took off Friday and Saturday. That was a missed long run and a miss day of cross-training.

I think in the end it's going to be worth it though because this mornings run nothing hurt. My knee didn't bother me at all.

My legs felt a little heavy from having so much time off, but other than that it was okay. I kept it at a 5.3 mph pace for 40 minutes

Not great, but not bad either.

Because I skipped my long run this weekend, I'm making a few adjustments to the training schedule. I'm doing last week's 9 miler this weekend and will eliminate the 4 miler that I was originally scheduled to do this weekend.

In other news, today's opening day and the Phillies are currently losing to the Nationals...that's just depressing. I'm hoping they can come back and pull out the win in their home opener.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wow I suck at updating

Lately I have been really bad at updating and I blame that on how insane this week has been. Work has just been absolutely nuts. I've been chasing down this story all week and I finally got it today, but it has literally taken up about all of my time and I've not gotten nearly as far as I wanted on other things I'm working on for this week. So that mean tomorrow will probably be uber stressful.

My knee has still only been feeling so so. Wed. I could only do 10 minutes on the treadmill before I had to switch it up to the elliptical. I was able to finish the scheduled 30 minutes on there, but it was frustrating.

Wed. night I had my first soccer practice. I'm playing on a team with a couple of the girls from work. It was a good workout. I know because I was sore this morning. But it was a really fun time.

This morning I did my lifting. I mostly used the machines today because I can lift heavier weight on the machines than with the free weights. Plus I just like to mix it up. I can definitely feel it in my upper back because I worked that a little bit harder than normal. Hurts so good haha.

After lifting I hopped on the treadmill for my run, but ohhh man my legs were dead from soccer. It was a scheduled 30 minutes, but I had to stop at 20 because my legs were so sore and I didn't want to hurt myself. Also my knee didn't really bother me this morning on the run. So that was good news.

Cycling tomorrow morning. I am pumped.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend at Home

Sorry it's been a while. I've been more than a little consumed with the basketball and I was at home over the weekend for Easter.

But here's a quick rundown of what I've been up to.

Thursday was a weights day and a short, recovery run. Both went pretty well.

Friday was a killer spin day. I loved it.

Saturday was my long run of 8 miles. Now I was at home for this back on my old training stomping ground so I was very familiar with the 8 mile course I had planned to do. I figured that'd give me an edge and make the run a little bit easier. But no luck. The run was hard from the get go. My legs felt like lead for the first mile and I kept trying to convince myself it would get better after that. But mile two was no better, nor really was mile three.

By the time I hit mile four, I had seemed to hit a little bit of a stride. It didn't feel easy, but it felt better than it had. The following four miles were much of the same.

Maybe it was because the weather was pretty cold and it took me a while to warm up, or maybe it was because I probably could have benefited from some sports beans around mile 6, but didn't have any with me, but the run was nothing to write home about.

I could find two positives: I was able to run the whole thing and I finished in 1:29:59, which is a little bit more than an 11-minute mile average.

Sunday was a rest day, and today was supposed to be a 40-minute recovery run, but I didn't do it this morning. My knee had been bothering me a little bit on Sunday and I'm still really sore from Saturday so I didn't to push it. Depending how I feel, I may get out for something short after work, but we'll see.

Also as far as the food log goes, I gave myself a break over the weekend for some sweets. I mean, seriously, it was Easter. So no food logs for the days I already missed, but I'll get back on track with that today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness Info

Ok so I figure there's enough people who would be interested in the tournament pool to start the ESPN group.

Here's the info if you want to join. Please pass it on to any other blogger friends you have who might be interested. Remember entries have to be in Thursday by noon I think.

Go to ESPN.com. Click on the College BB tab and select 2008 Tournament. Under the main picture on the screen there will be a link that says play the tournament challenge.

In order to do so you will have to create an ESPN account (it's free.)

Then you can set up your bracket and join the group.

Group Name: Blogger Pool
Password: Runner

Once you set up your bracket you are good to go.

I'm not sure if ESPN has tie breakers, but in case they don't if you decide to play just leave a comment with final score of the championship game and I'll use that as the tie breaker.

For the record my final score is Tennessee 79 UCLA 75.



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In recent workout news, I got a solid 40 minute run in on Monday on the thrillmill. Nothing too fascinating to report on it. 40 minutes on the treadmill is long and tedious, but the run for the most part felt good.

This morning was a lifting day so I did upper body on the free weights and then did some core work with the stability ball.

Does anyone else find they are always extra hungry on lifting days? I was starving today by 11 a.m. I ate the same breakfast I usually eat. I ate my mid-morning apple, but by 11:40 I had to eat the sandwich I packed for lunch because my stomach was growling so loudly. And then at normal lunch time I had to go to the grocery store salad bar for some chicken noodle soup and tuna salad.

Anyway I've missed OFN for a few days so let's see if I can remember everything. On Monday I slipped on sweets. A girl from work offered me two St. Paddy's Day cookies and I ate them at lunch without even thinking. I completely forgot.

OFN:
3/16/08:
Breakfast: Cheerios and skim with half a grapefruit
Lunch: Tuna Sandwich and grapes
Dinner: Chicken with steamed broccoli and red peppers
Snack: Bowl of Reese's Puffs with skim

3/17/08:
Breakfast: Cheerios and skim with half a grapefruit
Snack: Tiny, organic apple
Lunch: Panera Tuna Sandwich and baguette and two St. Paddy's cookies
Dinner: Turkey sandwich (I had packed lunch but ended up eating out), grapes, pasta salad
Snack: Two spoonfuls of peanut butter (yea I'm weird)

3/18/08:
Breakfast: Cheerios with skim and half a grapefruit
Snack: Tiny, organic apple
Lunch round one: Turkey sandwich
Lunch round two: Chicken noodle soup and tuna salad

Monday, March 17, 2008

NCAA Pool?

Don't have time for a full post now. Just wanted to see if anyone might be interested in a Blogger's NCAA pool. No buy-in, just for fun and bragging rights.

If anyone is interested let me know and I'll start a group on ESPN.com and post the group name and password and directions on how to fill everything out on here.

So yea I'll check back later today and if enough people are interested I'll get it up and running tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Most Fantastic 7 Ever

Sorry I'm not getting around to blogging about yesterday's long run until this afternoon. As soon as I got home yesterday I jumped in the shower, grabbed some food and was out the door to watch the St. Patrick's Day parade downtown. After that it was off to eat lunch with friends and watch many, many basketball games.

The night wrapped up at one of the more chill bars in town with a final stop at Denny's for some late night breakfast. It was definitely a fun day.

But I think the best part was my seven mile long run in the morning. Everything about it was perfect. The temperature was in the high 40's or low 50's with alternating sunny and cloudy moments.

I had mapped out a course before hand and was having a hard time finding an area that I could run avoiding hugely busy roads. What I settled on worked out pretty well. It was a little bit through neighborhoods, with an out and back into a part of town I've never been to. That road was a little narrow sometime and occasionally I had to run in the grass when a car went by, but it wasn't really an issue and it's a route I'll have to keep in mind for future runs.

I cruised the whole time. I started out telling myself I just wanted to take it nice and slow. Finishing strong was more important to me than any time. When I finished the course I mapped out my time was 1:18:32ish. I didn't stop my watch though and I kept running because I thought there was no way that could possibly be my time, so I figured I hadn't gone as far as I was supposed to on the out an back. So I added an extra loop and ended up back home with a time of 1:23:02.

When I re-mapped with the extra loop the entire course was 7.5 miles. And I had run 7.2 in the 1:18:32ish.

I was so excited! That's an average of 11 minute miles! Oh and I didn't have to stop to walk at all either. Seriously what could have been better about this run?

Today's a rest day, which will most likely be spent catching college hoops finals and then Selection Sunday coverage.

Catch you all tomorrow.

OFN:
Dinner Friday: Went to a Chinese buffet as a going away party. Had a little bit of lots of different things, including, crab legs, lo mien, pasta salad and garlic bread.

Yesterday:
Pre-run: Cliff bar
Breakfast: Cheerios with skim and half a grapefruit
Lunch: Chicken Caesar wrap and fries
Dinner/late night breakfast at Dennys: Cheese omelette, wheat toast and the potato thingies.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cycling and Nutrition Notes


As has been the usual the past few weeks, cycling this morning was fantastic. I'm pretty much obsessed with the instructor and her music and the rest of the people in the class. I never realized at 5:45 a.m. people could be so upbeat about getting their butts kicked by our instructor.

But it's a fun group. They laugh and sing along with the music, and it makes for a really good time. We did a lot of sprints today, with some serious heavy tension work mixed in. Definitely a solid workout.

And peeps if you noticed the little counter in the sidebar, then you will have realized that my half marathon is only a little more than a month away. And if you've been reading for a while, you know what the means: It's time to take a serious look at my nutrition with only a month of training left to make sure I'm getting the biggest bang for my buck when it comes to the amount of energy provided by the calories I eat.

So that means a few things.

First, buh-bye alcohol until after the race. Frankly this one shouldn't be too tough. I'm not a big drinker anyway.

Second, so long sweets. Now this one is always the one I have the most trouble with. I have a bit of a sweet tooth. But let's be honest here. I've got to be eating foods that will provide me with energy so I can start storing up the good glycogen in the muscles and sweets do nothing but provide a sugar high for a while.

Lastly, to keep myself accountable I'm going to start posting everything I eat in a day on here. That way I can fear all your ribbing if I slip up haha. I shall call it the OFN: Obligatory Food Note. (I think I'll probably post everything one day after so that way I can put the complete list in at once and not have to update every time I eat something.)

But in the spirit of starting this off right, I'll log what I've had for breakfast and what I packed for lunch.

OFN (3/14/08):
Breakfast: Bowl of Cheerios with skim milk and half a grapefruit
Midmorning snack: Apple
Lunch: Baby Carrots, Grapes, and SmartOnes Microwavable meal (they're made by Weight Watchers so I don't feel too bad eating them because they have to be remotely healthy. Plus they make super easy lunches and because it's a Friday in Lent and I'm Catholic I can't have my usual turkey sandwich)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weights and recovery run

Thank you all for your input on whether to lift or run first. After I asked the question, I remembered interviewing someone for a story I was working on that said lifting first can be good because it's easier to maintain proper form because you aren't as fatigued and you can use extra glycogen stores so that way when you do the cardio portion you burn more fat.

Interesting in theory. I like the idea of having better form and I didn't want to be super sweaty on the weight machines so I decided to lift first and run second.

Weights went well. Upper body only. I did a little bit on the machines and then switched to the free weights because I like them better because I have more control over what I'm doing.

The run was shit. My legs felt like lead. I was tired and dragging for the whole 30 minutes and I was only at 5.5 mph. Ew. It was not the most satisfying run in the entire world. But whatever.

Tomorrow is cycling class! Dare I say...whooo hoo?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Combo Run

Because I skipped Monday's run because I was so tired, I tried to make up for it a little bit today. Monday's run was supposed to be a 40 minutes easy run and today's run was supposed to be a 30 minute run with some tempo work built in.

So here's what I did this morning:

I took the length from Monday's run and did some tempo work in the middle of it. So I started with my standard warm up of 5 minutes at 5.0 mph and then the next 5 at 5.5 mph. For the next 20 minutes I held it steady at 6.0 mph which is a 10 minute mile. Then for the last 10 minutes I held at 5.5 mph.

The last few minutes of the tempo part were challenging and I had to jump on the sides of the treadmill to get some water around the 32 minute mark. (If I try to drink while running on the treadmill I either spill all over myself or lose my footing.)

But all in all a solid performance. I may get to the gym a little bit earlier tomorrow so I can get my run in and do some lifting. What's the proper order for that by the way? Run then lift seems logical to me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feeling like a badass and weekend details

Lifting makes me feel like a badass.

This morning I hit some of the machines (a first for me -- a lover of the free weights) and was feeling pretty good about not looking too dumb.

I even gave this one dude a glare when he looked at me with my light weights like I didn't know what I was doing.

Back off buddy, I'm not a seasoned pro like you.

But I may have gone a little bit too heavy with the weights, as I'm crazy sore in the shoulders and triceps. I just wanted to prove to the guy with biceps bigger than my thighs that I was a badass too.

My one not-at-all-badass moment happened when I couldn't figure out the bicep machine. I think my elbows were sitting at the wrong spot and I couldn't figure out how to adjust the pads to make it so that I could actually bend them at all. After awkwardly glancing around to make sure no one had witnessed this debacle, I quickly abandoned the machine for another one and hit the free weights at the end for some bicep work.

*********

And now by request from almost everyone, the reason I was out until 7 a.m. Friday into Saturday. (Disclaimer: All other people in the following will be referred to as Friend 1, 2, 3, etc. to protect their identities. People from work used to read this after all.)

It all started out simply enough when Friend 1 and I went to the "Arrested Development marathon and booze fest" on Friday night hosted by another co-worker. Friend 1 brought a bottle of wine. We had a few glasses, we did a shot of Jack Daniels, we watched the show with everyone else. In general good times.

At about 1ish, we decided to bounce. Friend 1 and I then called Friend 2 and decided we should all hang out at Friend 2's apartment. (Don't worry folks, it was within walking distance.)

So basically that's what we did for the rest of the night. We listened to music, hung out and talked until 6:30 a.m. when Friend 1 and I walked back to Friend 1's apartment where my car was parked.

Nothing very thrilling...apologies if anyone was horribly let down by this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rough Weekend

I skipped my run this weekend because I was out until 7 a.m. Saturday. That didn't leave me with much energy to get up and run. Plus it was pouring for a large part of the day.

It was only a 3-miler because it was a recovery weekend, so at least it wasn't a big important mileage run.

I was out late again on Saturday and with the time change it really kicked my butt. Come this morning I was no in mood to get to the gym early. I was thinking about maybe doing my run when I got home from work, but now my throat is all scratchy, so maybe I will nix that plan too and just go home and catch up on some sleep.

This weekend sucked for my training, but it was great because I finally felt at home in the new city. I had places to go and people to go with, which made me really happy about life in general. So when it comes down to it, I didn't mind my training taking a little hit in exchange for feeling at home.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wed. and Thurs. Runs

The last two days I've gotten in solid runs that continue to boost my confidence about this half marathon I have coming up.

Wednesday I had scheduled a 40 minute challenging run. I decided that I wanted to try some speed work on the treadmill. I took it easy though because I remembered how poorly things turned out last Monday when I tried to do some speed.

My plan for the run was this: Warm up 5 minutes at 5.o mph. Increase to 5.5 mph for the next five minutes. From there crank the speed up to 6.5 mph for a quarter mile interval and then pull it back down to 5.5 for a half mile of recovery. Repeat until the last 30 minutes of the run were up.

I decided to do half mile recovery because I wanted to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard and I didn't want to risk any shin splints or anything. Looking back on it thought I probably could have just done a quarter mile recovery in between each speed set. That will most likely be my plan for next time.

This morning's run was a scheduled 30 minute easy run. But let's be honest, on the treadmill I need to play with either speed or incline to keep myself from getting horribly bored.

So here's what I did: I started out the first 5 minutes at 5.0 mph, and again increased to 5.5 mph for the next five minutes. From there I added .1 mph every minute for the next 10 minutes. My speed topped out at 6.5 mph for one minute. For the last ten minutes I decreased the speed .1 mph, ending on a nice easy 5.5 mph.

I'm not sure what kind of run you could even call that. It wasn't exactly the "easy" run I was supposed to do today, but it wasn't super challenging either.

Tomorrow's another cross-training day and I think I'm going to try to hit the 5:45 a.m. spinning class again.

Catch ya' later!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pumping Iron

I did it! I finally got over my fear of the weight room (sorta!) and lifted this morning. Upper body only because I wanted to give the legs a rest, they were feeling a little drained.

I hit the free weights for bis, tris, shoulders, chest and back. I'm not too sore, but I think I will be a little bit more tomorrow.

For real that's all I've got for today. Catch ya' later!

Monday, March 03, 2008

I've been tagged!

Peeps, I was tagged and completely forgot about it until right now. Thanks to Teacherwoman and Molly for the tag.

Ok so here we go:

The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you. (See above for mine)

Post the rules on your blog.

Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

Seven random things about me:
1. When people from my new job ask me where I'm from, I accidentally say Maryland all the time even though I only went to school there and am actually from Allentown.

2. I absolutely hate when people that I'm supposed to interview for stories don't call me back. It stresses me out. (P.S. I'm a journalist)

3. The lady that I rent a room from has two dogs and a cat. I have never had pets before this unless you count a few goldfish and a hamster.

4. I've never broken a bone/had surgery, which is a good thing because I have serious needle-phobia.

5. I love to dance to really bad hip hop music at the bar, even though I look ridiculous doing it.

6. The beach is my favorite place in the entire world. One day I hope to own a beach house somewhere.

7. I'm really environmentally conscious, but I'm not sure I'd call myself a tree hugger.

So there are my seven random facts. And now I tag:

Tart Reform
Renee
Joe
Scott
Jahowie
CollegeGirl
Neese

In other news, got in 35 minutes at 5.5 mph on the treadmill this morning. Nothing really exciting to comment on. Can't wait until we move the clocks up so we get some longer days and some outside runs.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Six Miles on the Trail

As I mentioned in my previous post, today's long run was scheduled to be a 10K (or 6.2 miles). I was debating whether I just wanted to run the three mile loops through my neighborhood twice or if I wanted to try out this trail down in the city that everyone keeps telling me about.

I decided to test out the trail, and it very well might have been my first and last time on it. At least by myself and because I don't know a single person here who runs as slow as me I don't really have a running buddy I could go with.

The trail itself was fine. Parts were concrete, parts were gravel, but peeps it was shady as hell. It follows the railroad tracks and a river and you go past all these seedy run down houses and buildings with their windows broken and stuff. As I was running I was just picturing all the places some psycho killer could leave my poor, mutilated body and it would probably never be found.

So needless to say as I was running I revamped my plan. Originally the plan was to run three miles and out three back for a total of six. I changed that to two out, two back for a total of four. Then I figured I'd try to see if the trail went in the other direction and do one mile out and one back to get a total of six, but oopsies it didn't. So I picked up an extra .3 trying to find the trail going in the other direction before I headed back and just did the first mile out and back to get my last two.

So that total was 6.3 miles in 1:10:13, a time I'm happy with.

I also had to park my car .23 miles away from the start of the trail (damn parking meters that I refused to pay) so I jogged from my car to the start of the trail as warm up, but I didn't have my watch on or anything so I don't have a time for that.

But still that means my total today was something close to 6.5 miles.

My knees are a little sore, and my hips feel tight, but otherwise I feel fine. I was pumped that I was able to run the whole thing because in other years during training I sometimes had to add in walk breaks as I started ramping up the mileage. Not this time though!

Tomorrow's a rest day! Yippie!

Hope you all have a rockin' weekend. Catch you back here Monday!