Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's a Walk

I was happy to get back to the gym today, and I had 30 minutes of walking to get done. I still had a little bit of cabin fever from the weekend, though we'd met my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and her roomie at Guglhupf for brunch this morning. It felt so good to get 30 minutes of treadmill walking (1.53 miles) in that, after a visit to the restroom, I returned to the treadmill for what turned out to be 30 more minutes and another 1.62 miles on the treadmill. Okay, now I'm kinda tired! Afterward, I stretched for about 10 minutes, then did 50 ab crunches on the stability ball. (I love that stability ball!!! Seriously!!!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rest Day Became Jillian's 30 Day Shred Video Day

Well, I had the day off from exercise today, a designated rest day, since I did my Saturday run yesterday due to today's forcasted snow that did indeed arrive (starting last night). I must admit, I usually don't take rest days very well, and Brennan doesn't assign them very often (which I'm usually glad of!). Still, I was a litle surprised when I started getting antsy late this afternoon, so I decided to pop open a video my sister gave me for Christmas, Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. Since I've been working out harder thanks to Brennan's planning my workouts, so I thought that a 20 minute workout on the video wouldn't be a big deal! Well, the 20 minute "Day 1" was a bigger deal than I expected!! I worked up a sweat, the jumping jacks were a challenge, and the upper body workout was harder than I expected, eventhough I just used 3 lb. weights that my sister also gave me for Christmas. (Eventhough I've used 5 and 10 pound weights at the gym, 3 pounders were plenty here!) It was a good workout, and I plan to do it again.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Long" Run Today Since Snow's Coming!

With Coach Brennan's OK, I ran/walked my "long" run this morning on the treadmill, since it's supposed to be snowing (at least, maybe the icy stuff too) tomorrow! I was supposed to have a rest day today, but she switched running/rest days on my workout calendar. Instead of running and walking 3.5 miles outside, I did 3 miles on the treadmill. Walk breaks were .5 mile to warm up and three quarter miles dispersed. My first mile was on the flat, the second run was a half mile at 2% incline, and the last run was .25 at 1% incline. I could definitely feel the 2% incline, but it didn't bother me much. All in all, a good run/walk. I finished the 3 miles in 50:02, a 16:40 average pace. Would've liked a faster pace, and looking back, I had a little more in me, but I was being a little cautious running on the incline because of my IT bands (the left was a little fussy this morning). Also, I did do yesterday's workout, so no rest day this time before the extra effort. I'm glad it's in the books, so I can enjoy tomorrow's snow day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Excited about Today's RunWalk!

Today's run/walk on the treadmill is in the books, 3.02 miles in 49:06 minutes, a 16:12 average pace. It's the fastest average pace I've had for 3 miles in, like, forever! I had faster paces last month for shorter distances, but it's nice to be bringing the pace on down as I extend my distance. Minor victories are nice!

I did have a good stretch afterward.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Bike Ride, Plus President's Challenge Complete!

This morning I did a revved up (for me) stationary bike ride, 8.1 miles in 45:03 minutes. Afterward, I still had more gas left in the tank than I expected, so I did some extra strength training reps, and finished with stretching.

When I got back home, I entered my workout on the President's Challenge website, and finally finished the Platinum level! It's taken me over three years to go through Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. I was wondering what would happen after I crossed the Platinum line. No fireworks or songs eminating from the computer. The website just put the excess points toward the Bronze level--again! Yes, it reset the clock without even asking me! Ha! Now that I've reached "the end" of this challenge, I don't know that I'll continue it. It's been pretty fun, but I keep track of my exercise in several other places now. Time to look for other challenges and motivators! Sayonara, President's Challenge! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Run/Walk

This morning I did 2.54 miles in 43:07, part of it at a 1% incline. I felt a little achy while doing this workout, but now I'm feeling fine. I suppose I could've pushed a little bit harder, but I'm still being kinda cautious due to fear of injury. I stretched for about 10 minutes afterward, then did 40 ab crunches on the big blue stability ball. I'm trying to do the ab crunches more frequently now, not just for my abs (which need a lot of work), but for the core strength work as well. Maybe I'll start adding a dumbbell to that workout in time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Elliptical Workout Plus Running Thoughts

Today's assignment was an optional 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. I decided to go for it, but part way into the workout, my legs were feeling pretty cranky. I decided to finish, but I was really glad when it was over! (Now, I'm glad I did finish, but at the time, I was "done!") I ended up with 3.01 miles in 41:01 minutes. I stretched for about 10 minutes afterward, and did 50 ab crunches.

I've been thinking more about yesterday's run, and how much I enjoyed doing it with Janet and Michelle, rather then with the winter splinter of the Galloway group. I enjoyed having company to run with, and didn't feel like the odd man out for doing shorter mileage (alone) than the 10 mile base the group is doing. It has me wondering about how I want to proceed with training for the rest of the off-season. Certainly, I'll continue to follow the coach's plan, but I'm wondering if I need to continue to drive to Raleigh for my runs. Both Michelle and Janet live in Durham, and I'm just outside the Durham city limits. Hmmmmm.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday "Long" Run/Walk

This morning I met Janet (from the Galloway training group) and Michelle (from the gym) at a local running store, so that we could run together on the American Tobacco Trail. It was a cold, but very pretty morning! (It's been raining lately, so it was nice to see the blue sky.)

To be honest, I was happy to see both of them, as I helped coordinate this off-shoot shorter run of some the off-season Raleigh Galloway runners. Most of the rest of them were running an informal 10K race, but I had 3 miles of run/walk scheduled for today. Janet indicated she was interested in running shorter miles, and Michelle emailed me a couple of days ago to see when I was running again. Things seemed to click, the time and location were right, and we had a fun time together!

I did 3 miles in 51:39, a time I was pretty happy with! My average mile pace was about 17:13, faster than last weeks by several seconds. It was nice to see the improvement in this training run, even if by several seconds. I'm looking forward to breaking 17 minutes, and I'm pretty confident that will happen in the next few weeks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Still Here and Workin' the Program!

Wow, it's been 4 days since I've blogged here!??! Well, things have been happening on the exercise and diet front, for sure, and it's been taking some extra focus and energy. Most nights this week, I've been in bed by 9 or 9:15, with lights out soon after. I feel like it's going to pay off, so I'm excited about it all.

I'm still working with the running coach, who added something new to my plan earlier this week: adding incline to my treadmill runs. Wow, I felt THAT later! :)

Also this week, I had my second appointment with a bariatric physician, who has put me on a low carb diet. Yes, you read correctly, me, a runner wannabe, on a low carb diet! I was about to start the program afte Tuesday afternoon's appointment, cutting my carbs pretty drastically, staying away from sugar and flour, among other things. So far, I'm seeing encouraging progress on my home scales, partly because I'm peeing alot, I'm sure! (Sorry for the TMI!) I'm glad I have a mini-support system already, in Michelle from the gym, and Shauna, whom I met at the doctor's office on Tuesday (we were in the same group session and really hit it off!). I'm using to track my weight, and am happy to report that I'm already skinnier than I was on New Year's Day. (Time to dial back the years now!)

One of the things that will be checked each time I return to this doctor is my body mass--fat vs. muscle. That'll be one of the coolest things to follow, I expect, since I'm really working on my running and have added some strength training.

My running coach seems a bit skeptical about my doing a low carb diet, so I made sure to tell the doctor that I'm working on my running. Low carb is NOT the popular endurance athlete diet, but carrying around extra weight doesn't help with running either! Time and experience will tell how I'm able to merge the two.

Meanwhile, I'm the team captain of the Bookworms, a group of library employees I got together to take part in a 12-week health incentive program offered by my employer. There are 11 of us in all, covering two library buildings on two sides of campus. This is the second week, and so far, we're doing well. It's taking a little more time than I imagined, but it's been fun! We each work on one to three goals, with the choices of weight loss, pedometer steps and exercise minutes. I chose to work on all three, of course! This is my first time working with a pedometer, and it's been really interesting and enlightening tracking my daily steps.

Okay, I'm about to start snoring here at the computer. It's probably a combo of a challening week at work, the new diet, and workouts that have been kicking my butt. Back soon!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Treadmill Run

I had today off for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, so I slept in and went to the gym a little later than usual. I had a 2-mile treadmill run/walk scheduled, with a 1% incline during the running portions. That was new. It was a shorter run than I have been doing, which I think was to compensate for the addition of the incline. It felt weird to just do two miles, so I worked on picking up the pace a little bit. I ended up with 2.01 miles in 33:01 minutes, a 16:25 pace. It's a slower average pace than I expected, but faster than any of my training runs last week. I had some faster treadmill runs earlier in the month, but no incline. At times I had the treadmill going faster, but scaled back a little. As it is, I'm pretty sore now. Maybe I'll take a hot bath BEFORE tonight's meeting. (Ah, the luxury of a day off! Love it!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Location Change

I headed to UNC Wellness Center for today's workout, as they're installing new carpet at my regular gym today. While I missed the usual routine, it was nice to get  a change of scenery at such a nice facility. I ended up doing 3.27 miles in 46:01 minutes on the elliptical, nothing spectacular, but a decent cardio workout, nonetheless. My quads are still sore from yesterday's run, so I did a good bit of stretching afterward.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Run Down Six Forks

This morning I took my "long run" down Six Forks Rd. in Raleigh. The running group met at Panera, and while everyone esle did longer, I stuck to my plan and did 3.06 miles of running/walking in 53:05 minutes. It was a very good run/walk, where I upped my pace a bit with minimal (though some IT and PF) discomfort. The weather was a little warmer, which I ejoyed as well. Afterward, the group reconvened at Panera for coffee and breakfast. In honor of my working toward a low carb diet in the coming week, I had a Mediterranean Salad for breakfast, and it was good! (I almost felt smug for getting some veggies in so early!)

Today's mile splits:

Yay for negative splits! The first mile did include a .5 mile warmup, my biggest chunk of walking today.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just the Elliptical

My legs were still sore and tired from yesterday's bike ride, so I was relieved to only have 30 minutes to do on the elliptical machine today. That was the plan, and I did 2.2 miles. Sometimes I'm chomping at the bit for more after a 30 minute workout, but I hopped on off of there today and did some stretching! Tomorrow's a run!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Big Bike Workout

This morning's assignment was 45 minutes on the bike (at the gym), with 30 minutes in "Zone 3." One thing I forgot to ask Brennan is, are the heart rate zones for bike riding the same as for running? Dunno. So I peddled my little heart out for 30 minutes, after warming up for 10 minutes. My tongue was hanging out for the last 5 minutes of the recumbent bike ride. It turned out to be 9 miles in all, in 45:05 minutes, quite fast for me. Seriously. I'm pretty tired and sore this late afternoon, and am looking forward to an early bedtime tonight. (I hope I can make that happen! Zzzzzzzz.....)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Run & Weights

Today I did a run/walk on the treadmill, 3.04 miles in 52 minutes, a 17:06/mile pace. Not stellar, but faster than Monday. Of course, today, I did more running than I did during Monday's run/walk. Getting there, very slowly but surely. I did feel my left IT band a bit during the run/walk this morning, so I iced it for a bit before work.

I also did some stretching and upper body weight training this morning. It had been a while since I'd worked the biceps and shoulders, so I'm a little sore this evening!

Yesterday I went to see a new doctor to work on my weight via diet (no surgery!), and I'm pretty encouraged by yesterday's dialogue. He's an internist who specializes in bariatrics, and so far, I like his style. I'll return next week for one of the classes he teaches about the low carb diet he puts his patients on, and I'll find out the blood results from yesterday's visit to the lab.

One of my concerns about a low carb diet is how it will affect my long runs, both in training and in racing. Of course, I still have a good bit of time (and weight to lose) before I have to worry about running long enough to need additional carbs! My long run this coming Saturday will be 3 miles, after all. I did tell the doctor about my concerns, and he recommended I look at a book called The Men's Health TNT Diet. If you've read this book, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Bike Ride

This morning I did 45 minutes on the recumbent bike, but this time with a plan, thanks to the running coach! I did a 10 minute warmup, followed by 30 minutes at an increased speed, then a 5 minute cool down. I finished with 7.6 miles in 45:02 minutes. Not bad! I followed it with some strength training and lots of stretching.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday, Monday

I did a recovery run/walk on the treadmill this morning, and am still feeling a bit tired and generally achy. It was a slow and not-so-easy 3.08 miles in 55 minutes. My IT bands were okay during the run, but my plantar fasciitis was fussy. I had a good stretch afterward, though.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Post-Race Workout

Today's workout was an optional 30 minute ride on the recumbent bike. Being how I have a hard time taking rest days anyway, I went to the gym for the workout, but not until mid-afternoon. I enjoyed being a slug this morning, and even finished a book as I rested my legs on the couch! :)

So, this afternoon I did 5.63 miles in 36 minutes, then did some stretching and light core work. The bike riding felt slow, but my legs are still pretty tired, surprisingly so for a mere 5k!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Run for the Young 5K

This morning I ran in my first road race of the year, the Run for the Young 5K in Raleigh, NC. It was my first 5K since September, and my first race since the Outer Banks Marathon DNF in November, so I was eager to get back on the road. It was a cold morning, so George came with me and brought coffee for himself (and for me later--yum!).

Parking was easy, and chip pickup was inside Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Raleigh. (I picked up my race packet last evening at the Athlete's Foot in Cameron Village. One of the men at the bib number and t-shirt pickup table commented that I ran lots of races. That gave me something to mull over on the way home, as it's been quite a while since I've run a PR. I really have been afloat for a while in my running, and am so happy to have more direction in my training and running goals now.)

I walked briskly to warm up before the race, at Brennan's suggestion, to warm up, and I enjoyed seeing and visiting with Pauline a little bit. The race started on time, best I could tell! The course took us through parts of downtown Raleigh, including my high school alma mater, which was cool! There was some hillwork in there, but I took it as it came along. My IT bands didn't give me any trouble, but I ran and walked pretty conservatively to test them out. Coach Brennan told me to try alternating running .5 mile, walking .1 mile, then repeating, and to alter that if I needed to for more walking. That run/walk ratio ended up working out well, though, and I was really glad. At the 2.4 mile mark, I started running the scheduled half mile, and when I got to 2.9, I could see the finish line, so I kept on going! Brennan found me on that last stretch, and ran  with me to the end. My last mile was the fastest, which was fun to learn from my Garmin later! Part of the motivation for speeding up was that I was tired of having the police car on my tail for most of the race, and I was ready to shake him/her! After the race I enjoyed chatting with Brennan and Steph.

I finished with a chip time of 49:28, gun time of 50:03, 302 out of 309 finishers, and 20/20 in my age group. After being the last finisher of the Mebane on the Move 10K and the Triple Lakes Marathon back in the fall, I was glad to finish ahead of the back this time! Now, I'd like to start moving up the age group ranks as well.

Afterward, we met some other runners from the Galloway group at Panera for an early lunch, which was a treat! We enjoy the running fellowship a lot! All in all, it was a really fun morning, and it reminded me why I run.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Rest Day, Plus New Pedometer

Well, today is an officially scheduled rest day, heading into tomorrow's 5K. Brennan and I talked last night about my race "strategy" for the Run for the Young, mainly about things like warming up, and the run/walk segments I'll be doing. I'm looking forward to this race, but I'm also looking forward to getting it over with! It's going to be below freezing outside! Brrrr!

Meanwhile, I'm excited about being the team captain of the Bookworms, a group of library employees, in the new Shape Up Duke challenge starting Monday! It's a three month challenge that allows team members track weight loss, exercise minutes, and pedometer steps, and compete against other teams within the university. I'm excited about it!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Light Cardio Day

I had instructions to take it easy at the gym today, so it was 5.07 miles in 31 minutes on the recumbent bike. Truth be know, my quads are sore from yesterday's run, so I was relieved to see a light day on the schedule. I also did some stretching and core exercises afterward. (I'm up to 40 ab crunches on the big ball!)

Tomorrow's a scheduled rest day from exercise, and I'm glad for it, truth be known. Since I'm training with a coach now, I see why most people who are seriously training need some rest days built in to their schedule.While I feel a bit more rested than I did earlier in the week, I'm still feeling kinda tired overall, and my legs definitely need a rest!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wednesday Run

Ahhh, today's run went much better than Monday's! I did 2.77 miles of a run/walk combo in 45:06 minutes on the treadmill. I had a new lavendar-colored running shirt on, which didn't make my legs move faster, but it lifted my spirits, for sure. I've been getting more sleep this week, which has helped a lot, I know.

I stretched for a few minutes afterward. The left IT band was a little tight, so I iced for a while after I got home from the gym.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Weary Workout

I did 2.15 miles in 30:08 minutes on the elliptical machine, stretched for about 10 minutes, then did a shortened version of my lower body strength/core workout. My legs are sore and I'm stil feeling pretty tired. Now, some of that may be the fact that I returned to work yesterday after a two week break, and then had a meeting tonight. I'm often tired after those Monday marathon days that happen a couple of times a month. But, right now, I'm eyeballing the rest day (from exercise) that the coach has scheduled for Friday, and it's not coming fast enough! I suppose I'll get through the next couple of workouts, but I'm really looking forward to that rest day before Saturday's race!

I have been trying to get to bed earlier, and started drinking my 8 glasses of water again yesterday. I'm back to taking a multivitamin as well. Bit by bit.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Monday Run with Tired Legs

I did a treadmill run/walk this morning, 2.52 miles in 43 minutes. Okay, my legs are still quite tired! I soaked in warm water and epsom salts last night and went to bed early. I stretched today after running, and am taking Advil/Tylenol stuff. Brennan keeps telling me I need to ice, but I haven't been good about that yet. Need to start, but I need to head to work now.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

On the Elliptical

Today I had a late workout, because I was pretty tired and sore from yesterday's run. I had 45 minutes to do on either the bike or the elliptical, or both. I opted for the more challenging of the two for me, the elliptical, and did 3.55 miles in that time. In retrospect, I probably should've done an easier bike ride, but there it is. I stretched for about 5-10 minutes afterward, which felt good.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Chilly Shelley Lake Run/Walk

This morning, George and I joined an off-season running group of the Raleigh Galloway group at Shelley Lake in Raleigh this morning. I had my own run/walk plan going on, but it was good to see them ahead of time. Some in that group ran 10 miles, and others ran 6 miles. I was supposed to run/walk 2.5 miles, but ended up going 3.5 miles! It was my first run outside since the Outer Banks Marathon, and it was a nippy 25 degrees, but it felt good to be out there. It took me 67 minutes to finish 3.54 miles, and I was disappointed with my time, but happy about the distance.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Back at the American Tobacco Trail

I went to the American Tobacco Trail for my "30-40 minute walk outside" today, which was on the Coach Brennan plan! I enjoyed it so much I ended up going 44 minutes and 2.23 miles. I was able to pick up the pace as I got warmed up, which felt really good. Tomorrow I'm going to run/walk outside for the first time in ages. Looking forward to that!


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