Monday, December 26, 2011

Best run in a while

I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas! We spent ours at my parent's - ate lots of food and relaxed. Got some sweet stuff - P got me a keirig for the office. Rock!

Today I went running. I've been taking it easy with the food tracking and the obsessive gym-img. Just needed a rest you know?

Today I planned 4 miles, but ended up doing 5! In just under 60 min. Yup. 12 min/mile average. The 5th mile was 11:00. Seriously! I got this new app for my phone that analyzed my pace and picked songs from my library. Loved it! Nice to have variety from my usual lust and I think it kept me pumped.

More family stuff tomorrow! I love this time of year!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finally! Winter!

And of course, that would be my first long-run of the training season...

We have had very unseasonably warm weather here in NC.  It's been AWESOME.  But today, my first run of the training season, was a chilly one.  27 degrees!  Where did that come from??!!

Alisha and I are officially training for our 2nd half-marathon.  March 18th in Wrightsville Beach.  I'm pretty pumped about it.  Should be a bigger race, and much more scenic than lovely jacksonville was.  Also, not quite so many marines.  Probably a few more penguins like us.

Also, it's the day after St. Patrick's Day.  This is good because we can hang with our friends for the holiday (we'll go to bed early and bunk at our friend's house who is running the race too) and then alll of our buddies can haul their hungover butts to the finish line to cheer us on, lead of course, by U-S Husband and Alisha's beau, Rob. 

But, given that it's (eep) exactly 3 months away, we've got some training to do.  We go up from the 4-miler we did today by half a mile each week.  We're hoping to take a yoga class on the days after the long run to limber up. Two 3-4 mile runs a week, some strength training, and spin class on Sundays will round it out.  It will probably be intense, but I feel good about the cross and strength training element which we more or less left out before.

Our goal is to finish stronger than the last one, but hopefully in under 3 hours.  Seems totally do-able - especially because we've done it before.

Any whoo...

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!  I'm spending most of my time eating sweet treats... ugh.  (also YUM!)  I'm participating in a running blog gift swap again this year - While I'm a bit late, I picked out some AWESOME stuff for my buddy.  Fun!

So, dear readers, what races are you gearing up for in 2012?  Anything new and exciting for you?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

What I did on my Utah Vacation

Hi!  Long time no see!  I promise to be better about this whole blogging thing, but I have a great excuse this week - I was on vacation in Salt Lake City!

My inlaws moved there a couple of years ago.  Although it's sad that we don't get to see them as often as we'd like, we do have some pretty bangin visits.

This week we:
The Jurassic Park theme wouldn't get out of my head...
Went to the amazing new Natural History Museum.  Do you know how many dinosaurs used to be in Utah?  Like, Gazillions.

 Went on a 6-mile hike around the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  We learned at the natural history museum that the valley in Salt Lake used to be, well, a lake, so the "shoreline" was about halfway up the mountains.  Pretty cool.

 Drank a lot of Polygamy Porter.  Not only does it have a fab. label, it's also quite delicious.

Why have just one?

Saw The Muppet Movie.

Went snow tubing!  We giggled for 2 hours.

Ran in 15 degree weather!  3.1 miles with my patient father-in-law.  We had a great time!  The altitude and the cold took me the rest of the day to recover from though.   The good news is that my new jacket is perfect for winter running (and long johns work pretty well under running pants.  :-) )

Skied on perfect Utah powder.  The mountain was all ours save a few snow boarders (who, thankfully, stayed out of our way)

Erin, Preston, Me, and Rosa.  We dominated up at Brighton!



Read. (I finished 5 books - that is my favorite thing about vacation - having time to finish books in one day.  One of life's little luxuries!)

 Went downtown to Temple Square to see the lights.  The Mormons go all out - it is always beautiful!

From the top of the Joseph Smith Building.

Hung out with my amazing family - I'm so blessed to become a part of the Willcox clan!

Leaving was bittersweet, but it's good to be home.

Oh, and PS, even though I thought I indulged all weekend, I must have done something right - I lost almost a full pound this week!  (and I didn't track AT ALL - which I recommend everyone take the chance to do at least one week this holiday season).

I leave you with a picture taken out of the downstairs window of my inlaw's house... 

See why it's so relaxing to spend a week there?

We are seriously blessed.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My first run back

Ok, I've done a little on the treadmill, but this was my first "real" run back. 

And it was highly unpleasant, but oh so wonderful.

I made a couple of critical mistakes.
1.  I ran in the middle of the afternoon.  Which is never a good time for me.  Just after lunch, too.  And I had milk at lunch (yay acid reflux!  yuck!)
2.  I was under-hydrated.
3.  It was 80 degrees.  My face was SO red!!  I looked like a clown.
4.  I ran my hill course.  It's one of my favorites, but it's a tough route on a regular day.
5.  I went WAY too fast.  I finished 2 miles in about 24.5 minutes... oops.  It's like I forgot how to run slowly.  Gonna have to work on that.

But, the good news is, my leg feels fine.  I'm going to give it 2 days of no running and then try a 3-miler with Alisha on Saturday.  Flat course, greenway, should be good.  Also, it will be a lot cooler which is always welcome.

So, despite the side stitches (wow - been a while since I had those!) and the red face, I still had a great time, and I'm very happy to be running again! 


Yo yo!

Hey gang!  I'm back!  Things have been wild so I havent been too inspired to blog.  Also, this injury thing kinda got me down - hard to write a running blog when you can't run!

That said, I'm back to it.  So, I sort of spaced and missed my check up to get cleared to run.  (Doh) but, never fear, the interwebz are  here!  Let's face it, I knew what he was going to tell me...

"Well, it looks fine on the xray, and it's not hurting you, so just take it easy getting back into it."

And, let's also face this, that 10 minute appointment just wasn't worth $250.

So.  I ran a couple of laps at the YMCA to test it out.  1/4 mile.  Nothing serious.

Then, a mile of mostly walking on the treadmill.

Then, 2 miles - 2/1 intervals.

It still feels great.  No pain!  Not even after the fact after (more facing it) putting a lot of pressure on the spot - just to be sure!

So, things are looking good.  I'm going to try an easy 3-miler with Alisha on Saturday.  I'm about to bust to run the thanksgiving race in charleston again this year - it is one of my favorite 5ks of the year - I will not miss it!!

Still loving spin class, weight-lifting, and the new ellipticals at the YMCA.  Alisha put together our half training program for the spring, and it's very heavy on cross training - yoga after long runs (I thought that was a genius idea!) spin class for maximum cardio, and weight lifting to make us infinitely stronger.  It's intense, but diverse.  Excited!

Enough about me - let me tell you that you have to go to my friend Regan's blog... she just finished her 2nd half-marathon - and PRd it by 29 minutes!  She's pretty damned inspirational.  Way to go, R!!

Happy Fall!

PS, my thanks to North Carolina for the AMAZING fall weather.  It has been glorious!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A couple of random things...

That wouldn't have happened before.

Today I talked myself out of the gym.  I was totally resolved to skip it and take a nap.

But I went and did 60 minutes on the elliptical.  My fitness pal tells me it was about 600 calories.  And since I had it set on level 10 hills, I believe them.  So tonight I'm having thai food.  yum.

Also, the other night we went to the theater.  (Rock of Ages - super-fun!) I decided to get a brownie.  They're usually pretty tasty.  Well, I took a bite and it was only, well, meh.  A little dry, nothing special.

So I bailed on it.  I abandoned a perfectly good brownie.

And finally, I forgot my coffee before the gym last week, so I was going to hit starbucks for a latte.  Looked up the calories... so not worth it.  So, I went to Panera for a good cup of hazelnut with a tiny bit of half and half.  Delish.  I bought Halloween cookies - 3 of them.  One for each of the people in my suite in the office... but not one for me. 

Here's to making small decisions.  They matter.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spin class - a report

Well, add that to the list of "things I never thought I'd do a year ago"...

I started spin class in my new bike skort, which is super-cute, so that made it all the more fun.

I met Alisha and Rob at the Y, and we jumped right in.  We started out pretty fast, and then, the instructor said, "Oh yeah, this class is hills."

*gulp*  I shot a nasty glance at the architect of this plan - Alisha.  (Sorry, A!)

The theme was movies, and it was pretty intense.  The idea was to stay with the cadence of the songs while increasing the resistance and coming out of the saddle as instructed.  There were more than a couple of times that I wished I had started at the bottom of the hill a little easier!  I was glad I didn't have to back off though.  A few times I did have to slow it down a smidge.

I can say that spin class was definitely a challenge.  My heart rate was super-high, and I think that's a good thing.  I sweated like crazy.  My butt is sore. 

According to My Fitness Pal, I earned 763 calories.  Not bad.   I'll definitely do spin again, but probably not every week.  It was a nice change up from what I'm used to!  And thank god I got all those calories - we visited my grandmother and she insisted I eat a dove ice cream bar... 250 calories later... eep.

This hurt leg thing isn't so bad!


Two weeks down...

Two to go.  Thankfully, my stress fracture doesn't hurt much anymore, so I think the rest is working.  In the mean time, I've been rocking the bicycle, elliptical, and upper body/abs weight lifting.  Fun?  Ok, maybe not, but it'll do.  It's gorgeous outside and I keep thinking how nice it would be to head out for a run.

Today I'm trying spin class - I'll report back later.  I'm super-scared.

Also, I cancelled weight watchers today.  It isn't working.  I'm going to try My Fitness Pal for a while and see if it works.  Since I'm in the habit of tracking already, I'm hoping it'll just be a slight change, but will make me more aware of what kind of balance I'm eating. They have these great pie charts that show the breakdown of carbs/fat/protein.  It also shows other nutrients - something WW kind of ignores. 

The good news is, if this doesn't work, I can rejoin WW without the joining fee.  I feel a little strange abandoning it, but I'm realizing that WW isn't really made for people that are as active as I am.  I just don't think the activity points balance out and I think I'm eating a lot more calories than I should.

Of course, I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This is feeling less scary already.

I'm thankful for friends and the encouraging words I've gotten in the last 24 hours.  I feel like folks get it - it's not really about the injury.  It's trying to make sure I stay with my healthy habits since the one thing I've been able to stick with is off the table.

Since I'll be experimenting with alternatives to running, I'll share them here.  It's really a good thing... if zombies strike, I'll be able to swim, bike, and elliptical away from them in addition to running.  :-)

Also, when I'm cleared, I'm going to be really careful about getting back into it.  I hope you all won't have to do that in your running lives, but we'll all know how to reintroduce running into our routines.  Guess that makes me the guinea pig!

So, runners, if you couldn't run, (or walk, for that matter) what would you do?  Anything I have to try during my hiatus?  I want to try yoga (great suggestion, Jodi!  I'm in!) and maybe some pool aerobics at the Y.  Why? Because I can.  And switching up a routine is a good thing - even when it's forced.

Many thanks, all!


Monday, October 10, 2011



So. I've had some shin pain. Very localized.  I just thought I was being a wimp, but it's been going on for kind of a while.  Like, 3 months while.

Yesterday it hurt a whole lot.  So today I went to the orthopedist.


I cried all the way home.  It felt like getting punched in the gut.  Here I am, 25 lbs lighter mostly because of running and weight training, both of which are completely off limits for 4-6 weeks.

My awesome husband pointed out that I can still bike and swim, which I needed to work on anyways for a possible run at a tri.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

10k PR!

So, I have like, definitely not been running distance for a while.  4 miles, MAX.  Until last weekend, I hadn't run 6 miles since the half.

So I was a little nervous heading into today's 10k.

It was the Wake Med Scrub Run - the shirts were actually scrubs! (it's the little things in life.)

Poor Alisha wasn't feeling well, but she rallied, and off we went.  The weather was perfect - a nice 60 degrees but sunny.  The course was OK - it was 2 big loops with the second one adding a bit on the end.  I find these a little more cumbersome, just because you know what's coming (and thereby, which hills to dread.) 

Because we were in downtown Raleigh, it was a smidge hilly for my taste.  Nothing too steep, but there were some very long steady inclines. 

But, ya'll, we killed it.  Sure, we were close to the end, but we made it back before the kids did their fun run, and even got a race 10k PR!  We finished in right at one hour 20 minutes... a good 90 seconds off of the bridge run in April for which we trained A LOT.

I'm feeling pretty good about our weight lifting plan - I think it is actually improving our running.  Frankly, we would have done even better if the finish line wasn't uphill... WHY do they do that?  It's just cruel.

Anywhoo, time to kick the back door open and watch some football (pumpkin ale, you say?  Don't mind if I do!).

I LOVE October!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The problem with weight-lifting

is that you GAIN weight. Like, kind of a lot. 3 weeks ago Alisha and I started a kick but intense weight training program provided by an olympic runner. Seriously. She ran. In the olympics. And now she's helping us lift weight to become better runners. Super cool.

And it's working. I know because:

  • I am SORE after each workout. They tell me that's the muscles repairing themselves.
  • I retain a lot of water - also apparently due to the muscles rebuilding.
  • I've gained about 4 pounds. Now, this is annoying. I know that muscles weighs more than fat and you have to build it up to increase your metabolism, but it still sucks to put that into the weight tracker. Preston has to remind me of this just about every day. But since I'm eating well and working out more, I'm 99% sure the gain is not from some fast food binge.
  • Running up hills is easier. Alisha and I ran 6 miles on Sunday - many of those miles were straight up a mountain. And, believe it or not, my legs were stronger. Boo. Ya.
Anyone else had some weight gain when they started weight training? I did some with the new rules of weight lifting, but what we're doing now is way more intense, so I'm really banking that the increase in effort will lead to greater results (and eventually some weight loss.)


Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm still here!

Hey, all! It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Charlotte last weekend for a fun weekend with some family, then the 2011 Conference & Public Policy Forum for NC's Nonprofit Sector last week (my work's big event) and Knoxville for the weekend for some quality friend time. Quite the whirlwind, but all of it a lot of fun.

In Knoxville on Sunday, Alisha and I ran 6 miles - a very HILLY 6 miles. I haven't run anything more than about 4 since the half, so this was definitely pushing it. (we have a 10k next weekend - eep.) I was pretty impressed with how good I felt. I think the weightlifting we've been immersed in has helped. My muscles definitely felt stronger going up those big 'ol mountains. Bonus, we got to run up to this really cool dairy barn - twice.

Time to give a major shout out to the ladies of NCRC Beginner Women's Running Program. Ya'll I'm sorry I missed the race on Saturday, but I hear that you KILLED IT. I have some tips for you for keeping it up.

1- Find a friend or partner. If you're responsible for their fitness and running, you'll be less apt to bail.
2- Set a schedule. Write it in your calendar. Set your phone alarm. Treat it like a meeting or something you can't skip. Because you can't.
3- That said, when you do need to skip, don't beat yourself up about it. Jump right back in. Go take a walk if you can't run. Just getting out there and moving will keep the momentum going.
4- Get ready for colder weather. You don't need lots of stuff - but get a long sleeve shirt and some long pants. I also recommend smartwool socks. Running in the fall and winter is a BLAST. Once you get out there, you'll have a great time. It's just the getting out of bed and out into 30 degree weather thing that can be a barrier.
5- Sign up for races. Lots of them. There are tons of them. I did one a month through June (summer is hard - fewer races, and wicked hot). I tried different races for different causes in different places. On deck for me - the Scrub 10k and Turkey Day Race in Charleston. Explore new places! Make a weekend of it!
6- Celebrate. You are awesome for getting started. In comparison, keeping it going is a breeze. Enjoy!