Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Training

As promised, this is my monthly training post, I decided to do this so I can be accountable for doing my body good.

This month I've focused on cross training, and training Oscar to run with me.  Wanna see how it went down?

Running- 48.5 miles
Biking- 72.8 miles
Rowing- 21,404.3 meters (13.3 miles) <----------  WOW!

I did LOTS of brick workouts, which were so hard at first, but I've grown to love them!!!  My running mileage is low, but higher than November.  I ran with Oscar most of that time, and I've added speed work in the mix as well (although some of the runs with Oscar could be considered speed work!!).  I rowed ALOT this month, way more than I thought!  I have lifted weights at least three times a week too, it's not my favorite part, but it has to be done.

As far as personal life goes, it's been a little crazy in that department too!

- I started a new job, that I LOVE!  (I even have my own desk AND computer!)

- I started the nursing program this month too!  I've met some cool peeps, all 7 of them!

- I've made an effort to be more present.  This is hard sometimes, but I'm working on it!

- We've been forced to think of the near future, and that makes me nervous to say the least.

- It has snowed several days here, which I get super excited about!  Although running in snow is hard!

What's coming up in February?

Well lets see....

- I'll be doing my official weigh in and measurements on February 7th, that will be one month exactly.

- The hubby and I will be celebrating his "being home for 12 months in a row!!!"  WOO HOO!!!!

- I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat better.  That is not going to be easy, but it needs to be done.

- I'll continue to work on cross training, eating well, and being more present.  I'm a work in progress to say the least.

- I'm going to try and get my running and biking mileage up a bit, and rowing too.  I can literally feel myself getting stronger, inside and out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Running Buddy Wednesday

On our run a week ago

Before the 4.5 on Tuesday

After the 4.5
This month I've focused on my cross training, speed, and training Oscar to accompany me on my runs.  He's up to 4.5 miles so far, and I'm sure we could've ran 5 on Tuesday, but we ran out of routes!  All of my routes with him MUST have a sidewalk or trail, and I'm pretty limited on my side of the main road.  In order to get more miles in, we will have to drive across the main road, and I see that in our near future!

I used to prefer running alone, but I've grown pretty close to my new partner.

I would love to find a human to run with too, but I haven't met anyone that shares my love of running!

Who do you run with?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Already disappointments...

At the beginning of the year, I posted goals for 2013.  I can already scratch some off that are not going to happen.

MCM series events are not going to happen.  They are just too pricey for the budget.  How pricey?

Run Amuck $45 - per person, my husband and I do this together, that's $90.

Historic Half $75 - I just cannot justify a half marathon that costs that much.

17.75 - that one sold out in under an hour

MCM - hasn't opened, but I'm already out.  I just don't wanna.

As much as I LOVE the MCM events, how they are run, the support, the everything, I just cannot pay that much for a race.  There are several local races close to home.  There is a half at the end of April over the mountain that's $50, and another trail half in May that's $38.  Now these are small and local, but I think I'm going to give them a go.  I knew this year that there would be a tight budget on races since racing is kind of a "luxury" thing.  I still NEED to race, so I will, I'll just race close to home and sleep in my own bed the night before.

I'm super sad and depressed about the whole thing.  I really wanted to race these events, especially the Historic Half since it's always the week of my birthday.  But you know what?  It's going to be okay.  I'm getting stronger and stronger with all of my cross training, and I'll focus on more of the shorter distances.  I just think long distance are out for this year.  And may be forever.  Who knows.

So this is me, all depressed and sad.  I'll come out of it I'm sure, and it's not making any difference in my day to day, so don't worry too much.  I'll be happy soon.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Too much of a good thing?

I have been battling some swelling in my hands and feet for quite some time.  Months actually.  I notice it most right before bed, then when I get up in the morning.  I can hardly close my hands to make a fist some mornings (not that I need to punch anyone...well not usually).  I will notice the swelling around 7-8pm, but it's not ever too bad.  In the mornings though, I really have the issue, it usually only lasts until I get moving around, then it goes away.

I went to the doctor for some other issues last month, and I mentioned to the doctor about the swelling.  She ordered an echocardiogram to make sure it wasn't my heart.  My ticker is very healthy, actually she said, "you have the heart of an athlete" and that made my day!!!  Oh and the echo was by far the COOLEST test I've ever had done.  The tech that did it was so awesome, she was pointing out all of the chambers, valves, my aorta, seriously cool!!!!  Nurses are weird.

On Thursday night, I had an epiphany.  I thought, what if I'm drinking too much water during the day.  Sounds crazy right?  Well I made a note of all the fluids I drank for that day (the ones I could think of anyway) and it totaled around 140oz for the day.  That's a lot of fluid!  I drink all day long, I drink when I'm bored (thank goodness I'm not a hungry bored person!), I drink when I study, when I get in the car, when I'm at school, when I'm at work, I drink all damn day!!  That's a lot of fluid!  I don't like salt at all, I actually don't eat many things that contain salt, because I just can't stand the taste.  Salt and water go together, and they kinda counter balance themselves.  I know enough about physiology to know it wasn't salt that was making me swell up, it HAD to be water!  (I also know that having low blood pressure can make the body conserve water and sodium so the kidneys will work properly, but I'll spare you those details)

Since I cannot control my low blood pressure, I had test my water theory.

So the next day (Friday) I tried to only drink around 60oz (everything I read said 64oz was what you need) of water total for the day.  I had a hard workout in the morning, but I typically don't drink much, I always put a Nuun tablet in my 16oz water bottle, and usually only drink 80-90% of the bottle.  I paid more attention to my pee on Friday.  If my pee was light yellow and clear, then I knew I was hydrated, if it was completely clear, like water, I'd had too much.

Saturday morning I weighed myself, and I was down 2 pounds from the day before.  Now I wasn't completely not swollen, but I was way better than the previous morning.  And it could've been due to the hard workout the previous day.  So my thinking is I will try to limit myself on the drinking for several days.

I'm not sure how everyone feels about drinking less water, I always thought more was better.  I drink constantly, and it's super hard NOT to drink all day.  I walk by the fridge, and think I needed a drink, but when I asked myself if I was really thirsty, most of the time I'm not.

So far it's been 3 days, and I'm down 3.5 pounds.  It has to be water weight.  I've been more in tune with my body and thirst, and each day it gets a little easier.  I'm still drinking, but I'm trying to keep it around 70oz a day.  (I read several places that you should drink half your body weight in ounces per day).  I'm going to keep this up and see if this is my issue.  Each morning my swelling is a little better, so hopefully I'll be all better and not wake up like a swollen cow each morning!

How do you feel about lowering your water intake?  Have you ever monitored your water intake?  I was surprised by mine, you also might be surprised if you've never done it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordy Wednesday!

I know, I know, you've probably only seen Wordless Wednesday but since I missed Tuesday Tidbits, I need a Wordy Wednesday!

I started official nursing school last night!!  I had a bit of a confidence booster when I could do "dimensional analysis" and basically no one else could.  (I learned quite well in my Chemistry class last semester how to do it!  Chemistry is already paying off!)  Well maybe one person, who I've chosen to be my "partner" for the year.  Yeah, seriously, she's pretty awesome.  I know we've only known each other one night, but you know, sometimes you just know!  So my nervousness has calmed a bit since I've met some really cool peeps that are in my classes.  There are only eight of us, and I'm pretty sure the dude that was in there dropped, since he didn't show up to the second class...his loss.  I'm pretty stoked to get the semester going!  Nurses are weird.

yeah, for real.

I've been doing some SERIOUS cross training.  Like for real.  I've been working my butt off for the past two weeks.  I'm so sore, but I keep on going.  I needed to add some cross training/strength training in my routine.  I have to get stronger and leaner.  I have only about another month before I start training again, so I need to get a good solid routine down that way I can incorporate it into my training this time.  I was a bit worried about my running since it's slowed down a bit, but after talking to the hubby and besty (they are my "go-to" peeps) they both agreed (without knowing they agreed) that I should work out as much as I want this month and at the end of the month take 2-3 days off and run for time to see if I've made any improvements.  That's why they are my peeps.  They are so smart!!!

That's gonna be Pam on the left, me on the right...AKA Kara and Shalane

One reason my running has slowed down is because I have a new running partner.  His name is Oscar. You've met him, he's quite handsome!  He never complains.  He smiles the entire time, and he'll go as long as I'll let him.  He also has four legs.  But he's totally normal.  Because he's a DOG!  Oscar is our beloved boxer.  He LOVES to run!  He's up to 3.5 miles already with negative splits!!!!!  I feel safer with him, although I've never felt like I wasn't safe.  Well there was that one time, that's why I carry mace (need a whole other post about that morning run).  No worries now, my dog will eat 'em (but I still carry the mace, just in case)!

Oscar is one of those dogs who is a one master dog (if that makes sense).  He was is my husbands dog.  But since we've been running buddies lately, he's been a little more "my" dog.  I think because we get to run together, he's my little man now.  This is what I get when I study...

Who can get ANY studying done with that cute face looking at you?!?!

Oh and I got a new job!  I got a part time job at a OB/GYN clinic.  Some would say I'm weird but I've always been super interested in women's health.  So now I'll get the chance!  On Wednesday my husband found the job, emailed me the link and on a whim, I emailed the office manager my resume.  Within a few hours I got an email asking when I could interview.  I went for the interview on Thursday, and they offered me the job on Friday.  They are super awesome.  I loved the rapport I had with the staff.  I knew when I walked out I wanted the job.  It works perfect with my school schedule for the spring and summer, and they are fully aware of my school, and totally supportive.  How cool is that?  I also knew I was in when she told me the turnover there is next to nothing.  The only reason people leave is because they have babies (Ummm, NOT gonna happen to this girl!!) or they get married and move off (already married, with NO plans of moving any time soon).  I know it's a big deal in the real world for low turnovers, and it's HUGE in the nursing world.  In "our" world if you treat us like crap, we'll move on, they are too many jobs out there for us to hang around in a crappy job.

So lots of things going here, lots of changes and lots of cool stuff!  This year is off to a great start!!  (I hope I didn't just jinx myself!!!!)

How do you deal with change, are you accepting or hesitant?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why I used to run

I've been thinking a lot about my goals and such for the year.  I cannot help but be reminded of how far I've come.  I'm not one to let everyone see my "chubby" pic, but I feel like I should throw it out there, maybe it can be motivation for someone else, I know it has been my source of motivation for years (and still is to the day).


The "chubby" pic was taken in July 2006.  My husband was on his first deployment, we were a young military couple, going through a lot of changes.  I worried constantly, and had waaayyyyyyyy too many Oreos, along with anything else I could get my hands on.  I've heard at least a million times that chubby people don't know they are chubby until they see a pic of themselves.  I'm here to tell you, that is oh so true.  I honestly didn't have ANY idea I was that big.  For real.  Yeah, my clothes didn't fit like they used to, I kept having to buy bigger sizes because "the dryer shrunk them".  I went to Six Flags with one of my best friends before returning to Germany to welcome my husband home.  We had our pic taken before we entered the park and didn't get to look at it until we were on our way out.  I would NOT have bought the pics, but she wanted them as a token of our trip before I went back home.  It was a great pic of her though, I mean really, she's beautiful.  On the inside, I didn't want the pic but I reluctantly agreed.  I didn't want to tell her why I didn't want them.  I actually never said a word.

I took the pic back to my mom's, where I was staying while in America, and hid it.  I took it back to Germany and hid it in my panty drawer.  No one could see it.  No one.  It was that day when I returned to Germany I decided to change my life.  Forever.  I went to the PX, bought a scale and tape measure.  I weighed and measured myself.  I cried.  I was so upset with myself for letting it get that far.  I went to the gym, which was free by the way.  I started to run, which was ugly in the beginning!  I lost 10 pounds before my husband returned home at the end August.  He never said anything about my weight.  I'm honestly not even sure he noticed, I think he was just glad to be home and safe again.  He was smaller than me.  I have always been the smaller one.  That motivated me even more to lose more weight.  After I had lost 20 pounds I showed him my "chubby pic" and he was shocked.  It was still shocking to me.  He never said a negative thing about the pic, all I got was a "Wow Babe".

No one told me I was fat.  No one said, "hey you look like you put on a few pounds".  I actually got mad at my mom when she didn't tell me.  I asked her months later why she didn't say anything.  Her response?  She didn't want to upset me because she knew I was going through so much with my husband being in a war zone.  Yep, I was.  It was a hard time for me mentally and obviously physically.

After my weight loss, I decided not to go back to that girl.  That girl was unhappy, sad, and depressed.  Now I'm not saying being overweight can make everyone unhappy, sad, and depressed, but that was the way I personally felt.  I ran to lose most of the weight combined with a strict diet.  It was much easier to control my diet in Germany.  I realized how much better I felt, how my face started to clear up, and how my clothes started to fit better.

I remember once walking to the grocery store in Germany after I had lost the weight.  I walked there, no problem, and on my way back, with my backpack loaded with groceries, I was so out of breath.  The walk was so hard coming home.  I got home, weighed my backpack, it was 15 pounds.  Wow, I thought, I used to carry 20 more pounds than that around with me all the time.  I was shocked at how out of breath and tired I was after I got home carrying that extra weight, after only three blocks.

Not only do I still have this pic of me, I have all of the measurements I took every month from 2006-2007.  I lost so many inches and about 35 pounds within that year.  I still look at that pic, and the papers I wrote all those numbers on.  I even have notes I wrote in my running journal on how I felt.

The pic and notes remind me that even on a "chubby" day now, I'm not even close to where I used to be.  I've come so far.  On the days when I have a bad run, or I don't go as far on the bike because I'm tired, I'll pull that pic out of my panty drawer (yep, I still keep it there!) and I know it's because I probably worked out hard the day before, or I just need a rest day, and that's okay.

My second pic is from Run Amuck, June 2012.  Six years ago, I would've never even fathomed competing in a race of 3.5 miles that was pretty much pure obstacles.  It was a race that again proved I'm pretty freaking awesome, and I'm so very capable of competing in races just like that!

My husband has been on three deployments since that first one.  I've been a runner since, and I've even competed in races while he's been gone.  I don't think that deployments are ever easy, but I can make it a little more tolerable by running.  I can just concentrate on breathing, and in reality, deployments are all about the breathing...for me anyway.

So that's why I used run.

Now I run to be fit and feel good.  I love the feeling I get after a good workout.  Oh, and to have the occasional handful of Oreos...

Why do you run?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

A few things have been going on.  My mind is a bit jumbled, so a Tuesday Tidbit is in order!

- I measured myself on Monday morning.  I've been meaning to do it for a while.  The hubby bought a kit last summer that had a measuring tape and a caliper to measure the percent body fat.  Now I'm no expert, but I followed the directions and wrote them all down (as of now, I will keep my numbers for my eyes only).  I plan to do it the first of every month to see if I see the measurements go down.  I'm determined to get leaner!  The measurements will keep me accountable.

It looks way scarier than it is.  Well maybe not the numbers you get...that was kinda scary for me...

- Killer (rowing machine) and I have been getting reacquainted again.  We are not the best of friends.  Matter of fact, he's not my friend at all.  I know he'll give me what I want if I work for it (and trust me, he's gonna make me work for it!!), so I've decided he's gonna be my frenemy.  What you don't know what frenemy is?  Wiki says this about frenemy:

"Frenemy" (alternately spelled "frienemy") is a portmanteau of "friend" and "enemy" that can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or someone who's both a friend and a rival.

- I've also added some weights to the routine as well.  I did squats Sunday.  You know the muscles that hurt the next day when you do squats?  The ones you use to get on and off the toilet.  You kinda get close and just drop the bootie and hope for the best.  Yep, that's where I'm at.

- I'm in L-O-V-E with Trader Joe's.  I mean for real.  Like crazy love.  We finally got one in my city, and I had to see what all the hype was about.  I only bought a few things to try out.  Needless to say, I went again today.  It wasn't at all what I thought it would be.  It was way better.  I'm lovin' the Roasted Garlic Hummus!!  OMG!!  Best. Thing. EVER!!  Wanna know the best part?  NO ONE in my house likes Hummus!!  YAY!!  Mine.  All mine!!!  I'm actually treating myself to some at this moment!

Seriously tasty!  
These are a fav as well, for the whole family, the box didn't last one day.  Good thing I hid the other one!!  

- I did my first ever brick workout today.  Umm, yeah, thought I might die.  Bike, run, row, in that order.  No stopping between.  Then I did some squats and lifted a little for the arms.  I wonder if I'll be able to move any part of my body tomorrow.

- I put up a shoe rack in our closet today.  We've had it for about a month, maybe longer.  I couldn't take seeing it on the floor of the closet any more and shoes everywhere!!!!  It wasn't that hard to put up, I did it all by myself, and I'm thinking of adding more to the closet this week.  My husband is a shoe freak.  I believe he may have more shoes than me, but that's not saying much.  I'm not a shoe person really.  I'm more of a jean, t-shirt, running shoe type girl.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A little inspiration...

Your journey has molded you for the greater good,
and it was exactly what it needed to be.
Don’t think that you’ve lost time. 
It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. 
And now is right on time.

-Asha Tyson

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goals for 2013!!

Not resolutions, goals.  I don't believe in resolutions, those are things meant to be broken.  When you google resolution and goal this is what you get:

Resolution: A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Goal:  The result or achievement toward which effort is directed.

Yeah, I like goal way better...

Anyway, now that your English lesson is over for today, I will resume my "goals" for 2013.

Goals for Running/Exercise related:

- I will run 4 MCM series races this year:
17.75K - (all finishers get guaranteed MCM admission)
Historic Half - I've always wanted to do this race, it's super close to my birthday.
Run Amuck - I ran this last year with the hubby.  It was the most difficult 3.5 miles of my life.  It was
also the best 3.5 miles of my life.  I was so dirty and muddy, but I loved every single minute.
MCM - Yes, I will attempt to do 26.2 again this year (possibly, the jury is still out on this one).  I'm a
glutton for punishment.  But is it really punishment if you actually enjoy it?  Nah, I didn't think so.

- I will do more biking this year.  I did okay on this last year when I got White Lightning (mid June).  I did have to let up a bit on the bike due to marathon training, but I've been on her a lot lately, and we've gotten reacquainted again.  She still loves me and totally understands my absence.

-  I will get on Killer (rowing machine) at least twice a week.  I know what he can do for me, and if I want those freaking bad ass arms, he's gonna be my ticket.  (Along with weights as well, I know)

- PR in all distances this year.  I did this last year (to my surprise) and I plan on making this year no exception.

- Run 4 the Wounded 5K in under 26:00.  Now that's not a hard goal one might say, but this is a trail race, so if I can get a sub 26:00, I'll be happy.  I was super disappointed last year when I ran a 28:xx.

- Sprint triathlon.  Possibly.  MCM series is doing one for the first time this year.  I don't have to register until May, and the race is in August.  It's a pool swim, so I'm way more comfortable with that than open water.  To be honest, open water scares the hell out of me.  I'm not sure if triathlon is in the cards this year if I do the marathon mostly because July, August, and September are huge mileage months during training.  I want to do one so bad.  Swimming will be my biggest challenge.

- Be wiser training.  Eat well, rest well, and enjoy the training.  Realize nothing is sweeter than crossing the finish line knowing you gave it everything you got.

- Continue to eat a balanced diet.  I cut out all red meat from my diet in July 2011.  I did the vegetarian thing for a while, but realized it really wasn't for me.  I do love chicken.  I cannot deny.  I don't eat any other types of meat though, just chicken.

- Be accountable.  I'm going to post my monthly mileage and cross training at the end of each month.  If  I do that, then maybe I'll be more motivated to do it all.

Goals for personal self:

- Still work on living like the Honey Badger.  She's pretty bad ass, and well, I want to be more like her.  I did a good job last year living like her, but I need to be MORE like her.

- Strive to be a great wife, awesome mom, and good student.  I'll be starting official nursing classes in a few weeks, and if it's anything like last time I was in nursing school, I may very well lose my mind.  I'm hoping this time around being a nurse for over 10 years will help me.  (I'm sure I've also picked up some bad habits in the "real nursing world", but I can correct those)

- Realize that most people never change, and you cannot make everyone love you.  I've shed many tears trying desperately to get people to like me.  I'm not gonna shed any more tears.  If you don't like me, that's fine.  You're missing out, because I'm pretty freaking awesome.

- Be more present and have more patience.

So those are my goals.  Not too scary I don't think.  I think with hard work and determination I can get it done.

Does anyone have any advice on the marathon training if I do the sprint triathlon (400M swim, 9 mile bike, 5K run)?  Is it a good idea or should I just wait until next year?  I'm still up in the air about it, I don't want to focus on one race and not do so well in the other.  The sprint triathlon will be mid August and MCM is late October.  Advice is more than welcome!!!