Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
This weekend my little bro is also going to be in town for a big lacrosse tournament at Maryland. My brother plays for Temple and I don't get to see him play a ton so I'm really looking forward to seeing him Saturday.
In other quick news:
* Last night was my last Thursday night yoga class. Starting next week I will be teaching on Wednesdays instead.
* I got in a quick lifting session last night after yoga. I focused a lot on my legs with some of the exercises I learned in PT. Trying to keep that knee strong!
* XC2 suggested I get a big old calendar and figure out which races I really want to do (and are affordable) so I can have a better focus. It's a great idea and I'm going to try to look into that this weekend.
* Also going on that calendar will be more schedule strength training workouts.
* Tentatively my plan for now will be run for fun with no real training goals until the beginning of June, then kick it up a notch for RnR Va. Beach.
* Another other bloggers thinking about doing RnR Va. Beach?
Ok that's it for me. Hope you all have a great weekend and thanks so much for your support on yesterday's post!
(Photo note: That's my "little" brother playing lax. He's actually much bigger than I am, but because he's younger I can still call him little.)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
This entire week I have been one big stress case. I can pinpoint a few of the things that are really bothering me and I'm trying to deal with them as best I can. Some are completely out of my control, but the thing that's really driving me nuts is the dealing with the MVA to get a Maryland license and to change the registration of my car.
I must have read the stupid MVA site five times and I'm still confused about the excise tax. It seems like the application says one thing and the Web site describing the application says another. Gahhh!!
Deep breaths, deep breaths.
Thank goodness I'm teaching yoga tonight. It will be just the stress reliever I need.
It will also be the first time I've done any form of exercise since the race on Saturday. I wanted to run yesterday, but just ran out of time dealing with work stuff and life stuff.
As far as what's next, I'm scratching the Annapolis half marathon from my race calendar. It's way too expensive. I am however probably going to register for the Baltimore 10 Miler soon and maybe a new half marathon in Arlington, Va. in May.
We'll see though. Part of me wants to stop "training" and just get back to running, and lifting and yoga and then get back into training for the Rock n Roll half in Virginia Beach.
I don't know. I'm kind of all over the place lately, which probably came across a lot in this post.
Sorry for the scatter-brainedness, hopefully yoga will fix some of that tonight.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday afternoon when I got off work I hopped on the metro and headed over to the race expo. I picked up my chip and bib and walked around to check out the different vendors.
I was happy to see the people from Elite Racing were there and offering a free registration into any of the Rock N' Roll events. I entered the contest, although I'm sure I won't win. But I did pick up the Virginia Beach race flyer to bring home to show the BF. I've been telling him how much fun that race is and I'm thisclose to having him convinced to do it! (Score one for me hah!)
I also stopped by the Active Release Therapy booth and let them work out a few last minute kinks in my legs. While I was waiting in line I was talking to this guy's wife and found out he's planning to do the IronMan in Kentucky. Craziness!
Saw Bart Yasso signing books, bought a Bondi Band because I've heard good things about them, bought the BF some running socks and then was just about to leave when I realized I'd forgotten to walk down one row. I figured I'd swing through right quick and see if there was anything interesting.
Boy am I glad I did because I got to meet Gracie from gracie's gear!!! I was thoroughly kicking myself for forgetting my camera at this point. Check out FoodsThatFit, she was smart enough to remember her camera and snapped a cute picture of the two of them! Gracie and I got to chatting about bloggers and her gear and Gracie was awesome enough to give me one of her bras to test out and review! I am so excited and I can't wait until my legs are ready to go so I can get out there and try it! Keep an eye out for that post coming in the next week or so.
When I got home BF and I headed to Italian Market for some carb-loading. I got penne in a light marinara with a side salad. It was delicious and carb-eriffic. We hit up Rita's Italian Ice for dessert because it was Free Rita's Day! I ate about three bites of my mango ice before I dropped it on the front steps and it spilled everywhere.
We had to make a pit stop at CVS to pick up some safety pins because my race packet didn't have any in it. Glad I didn't discover that on race morning.
When we got home, we went through race morning logistics one more time to ease my paranoia and nerves, I laid out my race outfit and then hit the hay.
Check back tomorrow for a race day recap!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
With the National Half Marathon being tomorrow, I think it's time I spelled out my goals.
First and foremost, my number one goal is to run this race safely. I've only been running for about two and a half weeks consistently now while getting over this knee thing. So I know I need to run slowly and carefully, paying attention to me knee and walking as much as necessary.
My second goal is to not have a time goal*. Unfortunately however, I found my watch and I think I'm going to run with it, but my goal is to not look at it. I want to run with it so I can post my watch time on the blog instead of waiting for my official time to post. While I'm not going for a PR, I still want to know where I finished.
Lastly and most importantly, I want to have fun. My college roommates are coming to support me and have told me they are making signs. The BF is also going to be there so I'll have a nice little support team. They're going to try to make it to one point on the course and also be at the finish line, but it's an early race and I know they might only make it to the finish. Having people there though is just such a motivating factor, so I'm really really excited for that.
I'm hitting the expo after work today, but forgot to bring my camera so I won't have pictures from that. I'm so angry at myself for forgetting it. I'll have it at the race tomorrow though.
* While I'm not reallllly having time goals, here's how I hope to fair.
2:15 -- My knee gives me no problems, I feel like I'm running on air and I hit mile splits faster than I ever have in a race of this distance. (This is my fat-chance finishing time)
2:16-2:40 -- My knee doesn't really give me too much trouble and I mix walking and running throughout the course and finishing feeling strong.
2:41-3:00 -- My knee doesn't cooperate and I have to walk a lot and I finish feeling like I've been hit by a bus.
I leave you with this photo of me and my college roommates with the signs they made me for Baltimore.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I focused a lot on hip opening and hamstring stretching and strengthening in the class because not only did I need to work on that, but those tend to be tight areas in a lot of people.
After teaching, I thought I'd hop on the dreadmill since I was already at the gym and see if I could do a few easy miles. I was hoping for two or three, but unfortunately my legs had different plans. They were thinking they wanted a rest day and threw fits after a quarter mile.
I stopped and stretched and hopped back on for another half mile, but the legs were still having none of it. Since I was hungry anyway, I figured I'd just stop. There was no use pushing it and burning out my legs with the half marathon coming up this weekend.
My plan for the rest of the week leading up to the race is as follows:
Wednesday: Run of no more than six miles
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The quick and dirty stats:
Finishing time: 48:46
904 out of 2,372 women
143 out of 252 in the 20-24 age group
For just getting back from a knee injury and not having run consistently in two months I'm not horribly disappointed by those numbers. Sure, I would have loved to run faster, but that was not the point of this morning's race. I was using this race as a tune up for next week's half marathon -- I tested out my morning nutrition (Bagel with PB and water), my running outfit (should the weather stay similar) and carrying stuff in my fuel pack. And overall I just wanted to have fun.
Here's how things played out.
BF, our friend and I met up at the metro at 7:45 to get into D.C. in time for her to pick up her race number and timing chip. After waiting 20 minutes in the porta-potty line, we hustled to the start line with about two minutes to spare.
The race director shouted "GO" and we were off. My friend got ahead of me at the start and I never saw her again (even though apparently I passed her somewhere on the course). I went out slow (or so I thought) and maintained a steady pace. Miles one and two flew by.
Mile 1: 9:42
Mile 2: Don't remember but pretty speedy
There were two water stops. One a bit before the 5K and one a bit after. I walked through both and walked a little bit after hitting the 5K because my legs were tired.
My 5K split was 30:30 according to my chip time.
The third mile was truly the hardest part of the race for me. I was struggling, my legs were tired and I walked a bunch.
When I hit mile four, I knew I was close. I pushed hard through the finish thinking the BF and my friend were waiting for me. I broke into a pretty sweet kick at the finish and chicked a couple people. Heard the BF yell "Go Jess" and crossed the finish line feeling strong.
After grabbing water, we waited for our friend to cross the finish line. She did an awesome job in her first race in a while (which she thought when she was initially interested was a 5K not an 8K) finishing in 55:15.
We decided to stick around for the post-race entertainment random prizes (something I seldom do) because they were giving out six Garmins and a four-day cruise to anywhere you want to go. Alas, neither of us won the cool stuff, but I did win a water bottle.
Overall it was a really fun race and I saw some fun costumes. The Joggler was there. OK well I'm not sure if it was really the Joggler, but someone was there running and juggling. One guy ran in a kilt. Some girl ran in a green tutu and tights. It was good times and a race I'd definitely do again.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
For some reason today my shoulders were super sore and even holding down dog for a little bit was quite the workout.
I got some sad news this morning from my boss at the gym. The lady whose class I took over while she was on maternity leave will be returning to teach the first week in April. Major bummer. I really bonded with some of the people in that class. They were sad to hear the news. My boss would like to find another time to fit me in on the schedule, so I'm really hoping we can work something out. Teaching for a few weeks made me remember how much I love it.
Anyway, after today's class I decided to hit the weight room and do a little bit of my leg exercises from PT. I realized that my hamstrings are much weaker than my quads. I could lift maybe 40 pounds with my quads and barely 20 with my hamstrings. I know muscle imbalances are something that could contribute to my knee problems, so I'm going to try to develop a more regular lifting schedule to keep those problem at bay.
Boy my legs are definitely feeling like they got a workout tonight from all the yoga and the lifting.
That's all from me for now. Tomorrow during my lunch break I'm going to pick up my bib and race shirt for Sunday's St. Patty's Day race!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
As a runner, I've always been concerned with my eating. I want to make sure I'm putting the right stuff in so that I can perform my best when I'm running. But when it comes to creativity in the kitchen, I'm seriously lacking. So I've started turning to these foodie blogs for healthy recipes ideas.
Last night I tried the Chick Pea stir fry recipe that I found on Oh She Glows. It was delicious and even the BF liked it and he is a self-proclaimed veggie hater. The only downside was buying all those fresh veggies jacked my grocery bill up a bunch.
In other healthy eating news, I made my own trail mix yesterday to bring to work for breakfast this week. It contains granola with sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, raisins and craisins. Pretty delicious.
I guess the point of this ramble is that I'm making it a goal of mine to try out new healthy food recipes. If I remember, maybe I'll snap some photos from time to time, but if nothing else I'll keep you posted on how my journey into more creative cooking goes.
In other really awesome news, my roommate who works in the TV department at the Washington Post alerted me to a PBS show tonight about marathons. It'll be on at 8 p.m. and is only an hour long.
Here's the description from TV Guide:
Thirteen novices, ranging in age from 22 to 60, train nine months for the Boston Marathon. The group includes a former smoker, a heart-attack survivor and an overweight woman, and receives support from three-time Boston Marathon winner Uta Pippig and Donald Megerle, director of Tufts' annual President's Marathon Challenge. Included: comments from Timothy Noakes, a University of Cape Town sports-medicine expert; and Harvard bioanthropologist Daniel Lieberman.
I'm going to try to catch it even though it conflicts with the Biggest Loser. I can watch the second hour of BL and I'm sure figure out what I missed.
Monday, March 09, 2009
But this weekend, my watch was nowhere to be found. I searched every logical (and not-so-logical) place that it could possibly be, but never found it. So I did my 10-miler* without it.
Turns out that was probably the best idea I've had in a long time when it comes to my running. The whole time I was out there, I just ran by how I felt. If I needed to stop and walk because my legs were getting tired or my form was off, I did. If my knee was starting to pull a little bit, I'd walk until it was under control. I wasn't tied to my run X walk Y time patterns that I tend to fall into when I wear a watch.
I wasn't constantly glancing at my wrist seeing where I was and then attempting to alter my pace accordingly. Instead, I went by how my legs and knee felt. If things felt strong, I pushed it just a bit, but I knew when I needed to back off too. I think it's was the most in touch with my body I've been on a run in a long time.
I felt really strong through the first six miles. I was cruising, taking Gu a little earlier than normal** and overall feeling great. Miles 7 and 8 were tougher, but I didn't feel totally gassed. I walked more in miles 9 and 10, but I still finished strong, with no real soreness. My knee held up remarkably well (I had only taped it, no brace or anything) and my muscles weren't incredibly sore.
I stretched for a good half hour when I got back and then iced both my knees as a precaution. I took Sunday as a rest day even though I probably could have gotten something easy in. Then today I did a short loop, about three miles or so, I haven't mapped it out exactly yet, again without the watch. Things feel great and I'm excited.
I think I'm actually going to run the half marathon in two weeks without a watch. My goals for this race are no longer time oriented. My goals are to run a safe race and have fun. It's more important to me that I finish without my knee acting up than finishing fast. I'll flesh out the goals in a post closer to race time, but I will be doing the race, which is the best news of all.
Oh and side note: I registered for the St. Patty's Day 8K in D.C. for next weekend. A friend of mine wanted me to do it with her and so I figured what the heck. It'll fit fine with my taper and I won't be racing it hard. Plus with over 5,000 runners it sounds like a really fun event.
That's all from me, sorry for the length!
* Route I took actually ended up being 10.4 miles! Boo-yah!
** Took my first one around mile 5 instead of 6 and my second one around mile 8 instead of 10 (well duh I wasn't going to take one at 10 on a 10 mile run)
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Booo-yah I whipped out five miles without too much of a problem. I taped my knee and put on a brace-thingy to help stabilize. Turns out the brace made the tape unstick, but oh well. I had to walk a few times toward the end, but I wasn't having too much pain.
While I waited for BF to pick me up at the gym so we could go make dinner, I did some of my exercises from PT and some ab work. Solid day overall.
Yesterday, my knee was definitely stiff and sore. But I walked around and iced it helping to loosen it up. It felt a little bit better in the afternoon so I taped it up for another 3.3 on the dreadmill.
Unfortunately that run didn't go as well. My legs were tired and my knee didn't hold up as well. I had to start walking a lot earlier. I iced afterward though.
Tonight I'm teaching yoga and then Friday I won't be doing anything really except resting and icing. My goal for Saturday is to try to get something between 8 and 10 miles. If I can do that without too much pain and discomfort, I think I'll be able to at least finish the half marathon in a few weeks. I'm just hoping and praying I won't have to scratch the race.
In bloggy giveaway news, Angela at Oh She Glows is offering a free copy of Jillian's 30 Day Shred. If you're interested, pop over to her blog for the details.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Unfortunately, the snow meant I couldn't get out for a run to test out my knee and there was no way I was walking in the frigid temps to the gym when I got home from work to use the dreadmill. So instead, I decided I would chill out with some yoga.
I busted out my yoga mat, threw my favorite yoga CD into my computer, turned off the lights in my room and went to town. One of the perks of being a yoga instructor is the ability to decide to host an impromptu class, with myself as the only participant. I did a normal hour long classes, working through a bunch of my favorite poses and working on some of my favorite stretches. I felt awesome afterward and was so glad I got some exercise in.
I had a really awesome weekend, hanging out with a bunch of friends I hadn't seen in a while and going to see Confessions of a Shopaholic on Saturday with some of the girls. It was such a cute movie. I highly recommend it if you're in the mood for a good chick flick. We stopped at Borders after the movie where I picked up The Complete Book of Running for Women. I was in the mood for a good running read. I haven't started it yet, but I'll write a review when I get through it.
The MBBC is underway and I'm doing an OK job earning points. I'm not expecting to win, but hoping to use the challenge as a way to motivate myself to get some good cross-training in as I work on getting over my knee issues.