Friday, January 30, 2009

Get the Stink Out Challenge

I'm the kind of person who puts off washing my running clothes for as long as possible. In part it's because I'm lazy, in part because I have to lug my laundry to the BF's to use his washer/dryer because I'm too cheap to pay for my laundry and in part because I have my favorite/most comfortable running outfit and I want to wear it all the time and if my tights are hanging out to dry, I can't wear them.

So needless to say, when Penguin Sport Wash sent me their detergent to test, I waited until I really couldn't stand the stench of my Under Armour or the salt that was starting to get caked to it (True life how nasty is that?) before I washed it.

In my normal laundry habits, I usually use whatever the boys have in their house detergent wise. That could be Tide, Oxyclean, generic drug store stuff, whatever. It all seems to work fine and I've never noticed any negatives, but I was excited to try the new stuff.

So I dumped my Under Armour in the wash along with all my other clothes (everything in one load on cold...I told you...lazy at laundry) dumped in the Sport Wash, which had no scent. I sniffed really hard to see if I could smell anything but couldn't -- a good sign.

When the load finished the first thing I did was smell my Under Armour, which before going in the wash reeked. Seriously, it was gross. But when it came out I smelled nothing. No lingering B.O., no funky detergent scent, just a lot of nothing.

So this stuff definitely works, but it is pricier than my normal detergent (yes, sometimes I buy the boys stuff so I have it to use). When I strike it rich or win millions in the lottery and it fits better in my budget, I'd definitely consider using it again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Thursday morning chuckle

My mom sent me these this morning. The first two are kind of sad commentaries on lazy Americans. The last one makes me laugh a little bit because sometimes that's how I feel about running in the mornings.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming to you from a better mood

So after the other day's major rant of a post, I'm coming to you with a more positive one. I won't even bitch and moan about how I almost slipped backwards down the stairs at my apartment complex this morning because they didn't ice the sidewalks when they knew we were getting at least an inch of ice overnight. (OK sorry, I had to, because seriously, aren't they worried about getting sued if a resident slips and falls???)

Anyway, despite the yucky weather, I'm in a pretty good mood.

Here's some of the reasons:
1. I just ate a delicious strawberry granola bar for breakfast...yummm.
2. My mom didn't get picked for jury duty yesterday and both she and my dad escaped the first round of layoffs at their company. Fingers crossed they make it through the rest of them.
3. My roommate and I saw Bride Wars this weekend and loved it.
4. Even though I wasn't feeling up to running yesterday, I was able to get my Sexy Six Pack Challenge workout in. (I repeated Week 3 Day One because I wanted to start fresh after being sick.)
5. Things are going really well with the BF.
6. It's Wednesday, but feels like Tuesday because I had Monday off.

Nothing super exciting to report today. The BF has a volleyball game tonight, so if the roads aren't too treacherous I'm going to go watch. (From what I've seen, the roads were way better than the sidewalks this morning.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another weekend sick

Ugh I spent this weekend sick again, which means I missed my 17 miler and a few days in the Sexy Six Pack Challenge. I'm so frustrated. I know it's nothing I can control, but it just sucks especially because that marathon is creeping closer and closer and the more my training sucks the more likely it is I'll have to drop to the half. AHHH!

Saturday morning even though I wasn't feeling great I got all dressed to go run because I was at least going to try to get something in. Yea well I made it to the end of the street and was thinking, hmmm this doesn't feel good.

But I kept going and right when it was time to loop around the block I started feeling like hell, so I went back home, got back into bed and slept until like 2:30 p.m.

Sunday wasn't much better.

I had a doc. appointment today and got some medicine so hopefully I'll be in the clear soon.

Also got a shot. Almost passed out again. And damn my hip still hurts.

I wish I had something cheery to write about to balance out all the negativity but I'm sorry, I don't. Crossing my fingers that the medicine helps and tomorrow will be a much better day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sexy six pack challenge

RunToFinish is hosting another awesome challenge for this month, so you know I jumped on board.

All I had to do was select a core-strengthening program that I would work on all month and then report on the results. Sounded easy enough to me and it was the kick in the pants I needed to step up the core work I had so badly been neglecting.

Here's the details:
I picked the 200 sit up challenge because it required no equipment, no DVD and I could literally do it any time, any place. Flexibility is part of the reason why I love running so much, so the 200 sit ups sounded like they would be the perfect fit for me.

The Sexy Six Pack Challenge kicked off on Monday so I that's when I tackled the initial test from 200 sit ups. Basically the idea is you do as many crunches as you can until you can't crunch no mo'.

I didn't have high expectations, I was hoping to eek out the 40 I needed to not fall into the "poor" classification. But boooo-yah I kicked some booty and busted out 80 crunches. Whooop!

For having not done ab work in ohhh, at least six months, I was pretty pleased. I used to teach a core strength class at the gym I worked at and I was known to make strong guys tremble in fear, but that was more than a year ago. I guess the good posture from many years of ballet and yoga really stuck with me and helps keep my core strong.

Anyway, because I did so many on the initial test I got to jump ahead to Week 3 of the plan. Week 3 Day 1 was Wednesday. I was able to finish all five sets (21, 27, 21, 21, max of at least 30. I did 35) and I could really feel the burn.

I plan to do Day 2 tonight when I get home from work. If I can do all 200 successfully, I might consider trying the 100 push up challenge.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Decked out in Under Armour

I can't remember if I mentioned it before or not, but the BF got me some Under Armour for Christmas because he knows how much I love it. Unfortunately the jacket he got me was a little too snug to fit another layer underneath. When we went to exchange it, the store didn't have anymore in stock so the BF got his money back and promised me we'd go pick out something else.

That's what led to our fateful trip to the Under Armour outlet in Baltimore this past weekend. Poor BF didn't know what he was in for releasing me into a store full of Under Armour at prices that I could almost afford!

My eyes probably glazed over from looking at all the stuff and thinking about how much I "needed" to have. Seriously, I was like a kid in a candy store (minus the temper tantrum). About 20 minutes later, I had a huge stack of things to take into the fitting room, and this is when I noticed BF looking a little bored. "Antsy" is what he called it later.

So I tried to hurry along, settling finally on...

a pair of running shorts

a compression top (for $10!!!!) Mine is a dark red.

and a fleece to replace the Christmas gift that didn't fit. Mine is blue like the shirt in the pic. above.

I was in UA heaven! The only thing I can use in this weather is the fleece, but I'm super excited to rock the shorts and the top when it gets warmer.

Now I think the only running gear I own that isn't Under Armour are my shoes and my socks. UA is releasing their running shoes at the end of the month. I was reading all about them on their Web site and they have a stability pair. I'm really tempted to try them out, but I love my Mizunos and I'm not sure I want to shell out $120 for a pair of shoes just to try them out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forgetting my knee tape is very, very bad

I knocked out 16.6 miles on Saturday and they rocked until mile 15ish and then it just felt like my legs were going to snap off my body. But I could ignore the pain in my hips and groin muscle a little bit because the pain in my knee was beyond ridiculous.

It's kind of my own fault. In my haste to the flee the city and get away form the Inauguration insanity, I left my tape in a different bag. Normally I tape my knee on runs over 8 miles just as a precaution, but I figured I'd be OK for one run and even if it did hurt I could ice it and such when I finished.

But OUCH did I struggle through that last mile and a half. I had to stop walking twice and squat down to alleviate some of the pressure from my hips, but I knew I was really close to home and if I just kept going, even if it was slow, I'd get home, get some ice and elevate my legs.

Despite the struggle I finished the 16.6 in 3:04:34, which is only a smidge over an 11 minute mile average. Not too shabby. That is easily the longest distance I've run since I trained for my last marathon two years ago.

When I got home, I iced, stretched, put my legs up and had some chicken and pasta. About 30 minutes later, I felt about 95 percent better. My knee was still sore and my calves were tight, but I felt fine otherwise.

I rested Sunday and then Monday went out for four miles to work some of the last kinks of out my calves. Ran the first two miles and change, switched to run walk for mile three and by mile four was only walking. My knee was nagging me and my calves were super tight. Again more stretching and icing.

I was supposed to run 8 today, but decided I just needed to rest. I'm heading back to D.C. on Wednesday night so I'll have my tape and can get some more runs in after that.


In other news, I'm enjoying my super long weekend. I spent today watching the Inauguration and catching up on last week's Biggest Loser episode (NBC took forever to post it online).

I plan to spend the rest of the day snuggled up on the sofa reading. Tomorrow I'm working from home (and by home I mean Crofton where I am hiding out from the crazies in D.C.) and then it's back to D.C. for the rest of the work week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I've been tagged

Teacherwoman tagged me a few days ago and I'm finally getting around to it now. I feel like it's a good way to kick off my nice long weekend (gotta love being a govt employee and having MLK Day and the Inauguration off!)

4 favorite memories of 2008:
1. My Terps winning the NCAA soccer championship
2. Starting my first job and then taking another job in D.C.
3. Running the Lehigh Valley half marathon and PRing
4. And now for a sappy one...meeting the BF

4 favorite movies of 2008:
1. I don't think
2. I even watched
3. 4 more movies
4. in 2008

4 favorite foods of 2008:
1. Whole wheat pasta
2. Amy's chicken parm recipe
3. Tailgate food (duh)
4. Strawberries and raspberries

4 favorite places in 2008:
1. The Bahamas
2. Home in Allentown
3. Washington D.C.
4. Crofton, Md.

4 events of 2008:
1. Running a half marathon in my hometown
2. Going to my first work conference in Baltimore
3. Terps ACC championship win in North Carolina
4. Brendan and Jenn's wedding

4 Things I liked in 2008:
1. Discovering an awesome spin class at my old gym in York
2. Convincing a bunch of friends to run a 5K with me in October
3. Tailgating for Terps soccer and football
4. Training for my half marathon

4 reasons I'm looking forward to 2009:
1. Running even more races
2. Trips to the beach
3. Spending time with friends and family
4. Soccer and football season to roll around

4 people I tag:
1. It seems like lots of people have done this already, so if you haven't been tagged and want to do it than consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is the Inauguration over yet?

Between bomb scares and random services outages the Metro has been working like crap this week, which makes my commute to and from work a real joy. I blame it on the sheer panic that has engulfed the city as a result of next week's Inauguration.

With estimates of millions and millions of people coming to town (some already starting to trickle in) to see Obama sworn in, people are freaking out. I'm waiting for the street corner preachers to show up and tell me the world is ending. D.C. has officially been declared in a state of emergency. The Metro is running some crazy schedule opening at like 4 a.m. on Tuesday and staying open til 2 a.m. Wednesday. My best friend's friend was able to rent out his D.C. townhouse for the week for $10,000!

Oh and my co-worker just got in with some pictures she snapped of the preparations on her walk to the office. Roads are already closed. Giant pictures of Obama and Biden are flying and ugly scaffolding on construction sites is being covered in some form of red, white and blue because god-forbid tourists see parts of the seeing under construction.

Seriously, I just want things to go back to the normal chaos of D.C. Not D.C. on Inauguration steroids.

Personally, I'm getting the hell out of Dodge. As a federal employee I have a nice four-day weekend coming up with MLK day and the Inauguration being federal holidays.

I'm planning to stay with the BF so I'm far, far away from the madness. I will be able to get my runs in easily without having to worry about dodging crazy people camping out on the National Mall or being stopped by 1 million tourists asking for directions. (Really is there anything more frustrating then having to explain how to get to XYZ just when you're hitting your stride?)

I just keep telling myself I've got to make it through two more days and then I can escape the madness.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Serious arm sensitivity

My forearms looks like I've been beaten with sticks. Think black and blue and purple and spotty. It's gross.

Friday night I played volleyball with the BF and a mere hour and 15 minutes later my arms looked ugly. I have bruises on both arms from my wrist to my elbow. On my right side the bruising is so bad it spread to my thumb. And a million little blood vessels burst in my arms too, so they are all purple and spotty.

I also jammed a finger on my right hand that is hugely swollen and my right wrist is only beginning to return to its normal size today.

BF and I tried to take some pictures, but they didn't come out very well. So, my apologies that you can't look at my grotesque arms.

Apparently my super pale skin in combination with not playing volleyball since middle school, led to serious arm sensitivity.

Good thing you don't need your arms to run.

No running news to report. I had a planned 15-miler (which was probably too long for having not run in double digits in four weeks) that I was going to try. I was all dressed to go and the iPod wasn't charged. I can't run without my tunes. Not for 15 miles. So I plugged it in and figured I'd go later. Then of course it started raining. A very cold rain. I'm not that badass and was nowhere near a treadmill.


In weekend news: the Eagles beat the Giants! Whoooo!!! I saw a fun band play in Annapolis and DD'd for the BF and some of his friends, which is always an experience in itself.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Who puts on makeup before they work out?!

My roommate from college sent me this because as she said, "here, you like fitness."

Some intern from Teen Vogue "worked out" with the girl who plays Little J in Gossip Girl.

This might be my favorite quote: "My thing about going to the gym is that I leave my bracelets on, and I put on my makeup the way I would do it in real life..."

Go read and go laugh. The pics are hilarious. Looks like she really broke a sweat.


The Biggest Loser last night was pretty good. That Laura chick annoyed the crap out of me though. Glad she's gone for now. I also pretty much loved Jerry and Estella. They are so cute, and come on who wasn't pulling for them to win the weigh in.


Ran 7 miles on the dreadmill yesterday....ew for the dreadmill. But 7 miles is the farthest I've run since I caught Black Death, so whooo.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Plans for 2009

Happy New Year!

I know it's a few days late, but I was busy putting together my goals for the year and my tentative race schedule. I'm sure you were all in such suspense waiting for them.

I'm not a big resolution maker, but the one resolution I'm making this year is to be more diligent about tracking my mileage. I've never had a good way to do it. Sometimes I remember to post an ORN at the bottom of blog entries, but sometimes I don't. I almost never tally at the end of the month. So my resolution is to be better at it. What's your best method for tracking your mileage? Do any of you actually use those training logs you can get at the book store or do you have some Web based thingy? Do tell.

As far as my race calendar goes, I want 2009 to be a year of middle to short distance races, focusing on having fun and improving my times. I want to diversify and try different distances. I've never actually raced a 10K or a 15K.

The only long race I'm doing is my marathon in March, which is kind of a left over from 2008 anyway. And to be quite honest, after missing almost 2.5 weeks of running because I've been sick, I may have to drop to the half anyway if I can't kick this thing and get back to training. I mean I'm hoping I don't have to do that. I'd love to run the full 26.2, so it's just something I'm going to be evaluating for the next few weeks.

And now for the calendar:
Valentine's Day 5K -- Feb. 14
St. Paddy's Day 8K -- March 15**
National Marathon -- March 21
Scope It Out 5K -- March 29**
Cherry Pit 10 Miler -- April 5
Annapolis Half Marathon -- May 31
Baltimore 10 Miler -- June (no set date)
Dawson’s Father’s Day 10K -- June 21*
Dog Days 8K -- August 2*
Virginia Beach Half Marathon -- September 6***
Metric Marathon -- October 4*
Under Armour Running Festival (still deciding the 5K or half marathon, this will be a decision made much closer to the event) -- October 10
Komen Race for the Cure 5K -- October near the end of the month
Down’s Park 5 Mile -- November 7*
Celtic Solstice Five Mile -- December
Anniversary Run 15K -- December 13*

* = These races are still very much up in the air and could be swapped for races that sound like more fun or work better in my schedule. Races with stars could be skipped if a big sporting event will conflict (this mainly pertains to fall races).

** = Would really love to do both of these races, just not sure how realistic it would be to race three weekends in a row, with one of them being a marathon. Perhaps could use one as part of taper and one as a recovery run if I run them just for fun.

*** = My mom and I did this race two years ago and wanted to do it again this year but both of us were nursing injuries. If she wanted to do this race again, I would.

So there you have it. My plan for 2009. I really just want my running to be fun. I've felt these past few weeks that I've been really having to force myself to get out and run (although that could be because I'm sick)and I hate that feeling. I want to run for fun and run races that don't require insane amounts of time for training.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Testing my sickness boundaries

I have been a bad little blogger, but I really have nothing to post about because I've been so sick.

I had started feeling better last week and I was so sick of feeling lazy so I decided to try an easy two miler just to see how it felt. My legs felt great. My lungs, not so much. Turns out a nasty cold will seriously diminish one's lung capacity and apparently my inability to shoot an effective snot rocket ended up causing me to gasp for air for much of the run.

Then of course I got more sick than I had been. So it was back to no running.

Today I was fed up with it again and wanted to earn a few more points for HBBC so I went out for a four miler. This time my legs were feeling pretty heavy around mile 2.5. I stopped and walked for a few minutes and then went with a R4/W1 for the rest of the time.

Again, same chest problems as before. It was really hard to breath so I got several side stitches and had to hock a few loogies so i wouldn't choke (sorry that's probably TMI) Suffice it to say, I did not look pretty on my run today.

I still managed to do OK in the HBBC. I snuck some cardio in here and there, mostly in the form of walking to and from work and on most of my errands and playing Wii with my cousin. Those things didn't really seem to bother my disease. I'll have to tally up my points tomorrow to make sure I'm not missing anything. I'm sure I didn't do great because I was sick, but I was happy that I managed to work in some activity or stretching where I could.