Friday, February 24, 2012


Sheesh. I can't believe it's been nearly two months since posted anything. Bad blogger! Bad! I have no excuse for my absence other than sheer laziness and the lack of anything noteworthy to talk about. I have been doing a few things, but nothing that seemed worth mentioning at the time.

I'll try to hit the highlights...forgive me if I've already mentioned any of these. I'm forgetful in my old age. ;)
  • I bought myself a Garmin 305 for my birthday. I got a sweet deal from a friend who sold me her NIB model (that sat in her house unopened for a year) for a cool $50. I love it! I do tend to get numbers-obsessed, yes, but so far I haven't felt as though the constant knowledge of my pace/time/etc. is becoming a burden. It's certainly coming in handy on long runs, as it reduces some of the need to have to plan a route. And yes, I love seeing my splits and all that other run-nerd stuff.
  • I survived 5 weeks of grueling small-group workout sessions with the best trainer in town. One session had us completing at least 7 different styles of burpees (did you even KNOW there were multiple styles?), for a total of about 130 in one hour. Each hour (once a week) left me feeling exhausted in that "oh my gosh, I just worked my ass off and I LOVE IT" way. I had to bow out of the current session due to financial and time constraints, but I really miss the group of ladies in the class, the trainer and the killer workout. I just haven't been able to achieve that same level of intensity on my own. I hope I can join back up again once my spring races are over.
  • K and I are in Week 5 of our half marathon training program and everything seems to be going well. We haven't been able to connect at all on weekdays to do any short runs or cross-training together, but we've been keeping up our weekend long runs and those are fantastic. We're scheduled for 8 miles this weekend and I'm already looking forward to it! 
  • Speaking of K, one of the reasons we haven't been able to connect much is because she is full-on CrossFit lady now. I'm working up the nerve to check out their intro class, which meets Tuesday evenings at 7:30. I admit that I had some misconceptions about CF and was leery of their methods and whether or not the style would be a good fit for me. But K loves it and I know she and I share similar thoughts about fitness, so I figure might as well give it a shot. I hope we can work out a time/day when we can be both there at the same time so someone can hold my hand. I'm scared!
  • So, I, uh, might have registered for a sprint triathlon. Yeah, I know. I totally remember saying this. What can I say? I'm a sucker for local, women-only races! Originally K was going to join me but the race filled before she could register. I admit to panicking when I found out she wasn't able to get in (she's on the waiting list), as I still feel like I need a race buddy. But I'm trying to tell myself that it's time to race on my own two feet and that I don't always need to have someone next to me all the time. Yes, I still have my crappy bike, and yes, I still plan to use it in the race unless I find a better one on the cheap. Luckily the race isn't until the end of July so I have plenty of time to train and build up my confidence. Or panic. 
In a few nutshells, that's what I've been up to the past few weeks. A lot of great workouts, a lot more on the horizon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another year older. (The jury's still out on "wiser.")

Today's my birthday--the big three-seven. I still think of myself as being in my 20s, odd since I'm actually closer now to 40 than I am to 20. Age itself doesn't really bother me--I've never cared if people knew how old I was. And I'm sure the day will come when I feel as old as I am, today is not that day. I'm not sure what 37 is supposed to feel like, but I feel the same as I did when I was 36 and I didn't have any complaints then. ;)

I've always cursed my early-January birthday. Everyone is broke from Christmas shopping or you get the Christmas/Birthday combo gift; people are partied out from NYE, so no one usually feels like a big whoopin' party; you're starting back to work or school on or around your birthday; and more often than not, there's a foot of snow on the ground.

But this year I made a connection that I'd missed the previous 36 times I've celebrated this day: I'm not just starting a new calendar year this week, I'm starting a new year of MY LIFE. It's as if I get a super-double reset button or something. Talk about a fresh start!

I know--it's a small thing, and I'm probably just getting sentimental in my old age. Ahem. Perhaps I'm only looking to get more mileage out of the few 2012 goals I set, since I'm feeling less-than-inspired this go 'round. But my goals DO seem to have more meaning when I now say "these are the things I want to do in 2012, the 37th year of my life."

In any event, I kicked off my 37th year by running 3.7 miles before work this morning. Yes, I deliberately picked 3.7 miles--I thought 3.7 on my 37th had a nice ring to it. During the run I thought about how good it felt to have a clean slate and a fresh perspective on the year, both 2012 and 37.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Goals

I'm a day late posting my goals, mostly because I've been dreading this post. It's not that I don't like setting goals, but I just feel so...unfocused and sightless when it comes to 2012. To be honest, 2011 was a pretty kick-ass year for me (from a fitness goal standpoint), and I feel like it's going to be hard to top. I know I can do more this year, I just don't know the particulars at this moment. Making the decision to take a break from triathlon (unless the bike and/or money fairy pays me a visit) puts a huge hole in my goal setting. It would certainly make things easier if I could add tri or two to my list of goals for the year, but alas...

I've decided to approach this year's goals two ways: I have my two BIG goals, which will probably suck up more training time than I realize, but I also plan to focus on monthly goals that can be tailored to suit my current mood or immediate needs. They may not be fitness related either--I'll just have to see where 2012 takes me. And yes, there are definitely some areas of my life I know I should focus on that I'm most likely deliberately ignoring. I'm just being honest here. Maybe I'll have the courage to face those problems head on someday, but today I can't get my mind there.

Enough rambling, let's get to the good stuff.

2012 BIG goals:

  1. Complete the Heartland 39.3 Half Marathon Series. I'd really like to PR one of these, but I mostly want to finish the series so I can get the extra medal. I'll do whatever it takes to stay injury-free and upright, but if it's possible to PR AND stay injury-free, that would be ideal.
  2. Run my first full marathon. There. I said it. I want to run a full. I've been tossing it around in my head for a while now, but haven't OWNED it until just now. You know? Part of me felt like I needed to apologize for wanting to do it--as strange as that sounds--as if I had to disclaimer it by saying, "Oh, I probably won't, but I think maybe I might want to." But I want to do it, so I'm going to. I may hate it and I may never do another one again, but I know I have to do one in my lifetime. I know training is going to be hard--not only physically, but from a scheduling standpoint. Blocking out multiple hours a day a few days a week for "short" runs and half a day on weekends for long runs will be beyond difficult, but I'm not the first person/working mother to have to carve out the time so I know it can be done.
January mini-goals:
  1. Sugar intake monitoring/reduction: I have a chronic health condition that I can't seem to manage, and I think it's exacerbated by too much sugar in my diet. I don't drink soda or juice, but I know I consume too much sugar in my regular foods (condiments, sauces, yogurts, milk) and I know I eat too many sugary snacks. So, for Weeks 1-2 of January my goal is to simply track my sugar intake by logging the amounts in the everyday foods I eat. Right now, I'm using a regular calorie tracker, but I may switch to old-fashioned paper and pencil if I notice myself going off the deep end and into the crazy-anxious person I tend to become when I track calories. 
  2. During Weeks 2-4, I'll shift my focus to tweaking my diet to reduce sugar intake, if necessary. With the amount of running I plan to do I know I can't really go low-carb/Paleo (nor do I have any interest in either approach), but I'm certain I can make better choices and find some better alternatives for the foods I'm eating now. My hope is that by reducing the amount of added sugar in my diet (by including  more whole grains and vegetables) and limiting it to a reasonable amount, my condition will improve and I won't have to make any changes beyond that. The "reasonable amount" mentioned above will be determined by the results of Week 1's tracking attempts. If I stay within the 40ish grams that's recommended and I don't see any improvement in my condition, then I'll have to figure out what my threshold is. I really hope I can find a limit that allows me to eat enough carbs to properly fuel my running efforts without triggering my health condition. 
So there you have it. I hope to add more fitness goals as the year progresses and as I find new things that pique my interest. I want 2012 to be the best year yet! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Last week I posted this on my Facebook page:
"The more I hear about my friends signing up for next year's triathlons, the more I realize my multi-sport days are over. It's kind of a relief, in a way, to finally accept that I'm just not into it. However, I will be the best spectathlete out there, cheering for my pals from the sidelines. :)"
I meant it at the time, and I think I still do now.

My main problem is that I want to WANT to do tri. It's not so much the act of triathlon that I crave, it's the sense of accomplishment, the challenge, and yes, to be honest, the kudos that make me want to "tri" again. And triathlon, more than anything else, seems to deliver the sense of pride, and yes, the kudos, that I crave.

I was (am?) seriously tempted to register for the Kansas City Triathlon 5150 distance while it's only $50--a downright STEAL for a tri of any distance. Unfortunately, my bike situation sucks, and I know that riding the required 40k on my current hybrid would be hell, and since don't really have the financial means to invest in a different bike there's Strike 1. The race is May 20, which means odds are good that the lake will still be freezing cold and I don't own a wetsuit. (Again, lack of financial means=no wetsuit for me.) That's Strike 2, if you're counting. Strike 3? I absolutely, 100% plan to participate in the Heartland 39.3 half-marathon series this spring which means halfs April 14, April 22 and May 12. I imagine I'll be happy if I can simply walk after finishing that many races in 4 weeks, let alone completing a tri at the end of it all. (And let's not even get started on how I'd manage to fit tri training in with half-marathon training...)

3 strikes, I'm afraid. Definitely out.

But I am still sad--again not so much because I can't tri but because I have to say "no." I have to draw the line financially and physically and from a time standpoint. And I do admit to being jealous that K will be able to do all of it. It always sucks to feel left behind and left out, but I guess that's life. Right?

However, I did promise K some kick-ass spectathleting, so I'd better warm up my cowbell now!

And speaking of temptation... I managed to survive Thanksgiving relatively unscathed. Yes, I ate and ate and ate, but I didn't feel guilty. I kept up with my workouts as best I could and didn't sweat it when I couldn't. I even earned my turkey with a T-Day 5k. The weather was awesome and the crowd was amazing. I didn't PR and I missed another sub-30 by 5 seconds, but I can live with it. I had fun anyway! And my sweet kiddo ran her first 1k. It wasn't without tears and she definitely wanted to give up more than once, but she FINISHED and we all know that's the important thing.

Here we are, finishing strong!

And now, to check in on my goals from nearly two weeks ago:

  1. Run 10 miles--Missed it again. I haven't managed to hit 10 yet!
  2. Try a new piece of gym equipment--Yes! Thanks to small-group training, I was able to try out the Bosu and the Paramount cable cross thingymabobby. 
  3. Compile Thanksgiving shopping list and finish all shopping-- Duh. Easy-peasy. ;)

New goals!

  1. Run 8 miles--10/week isn't working for me, so I thought I'd try a smaller number. 
  2. Attend Sunday yoga--I haven't been to yoga in a long time and I miss it! 
  3. Plan meals from our freezer stockpile--We have a small chest freezer FULL of food and it needs to get eaten!

Do you have goals this week?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Goals and stats

It's a new week and that brings a new set of goals! But first, let's check in on last week, shall we?

  1. Run 10 miles total: I ran 8. Not quite the amount I wanted, but better than in previous weeks
  2. Read three chapters of Jillian Michaels' "Unlimited": I did NOT do this. I read the intro and the first chapter and decided it wasn't the book for me. Took it back to the library. I don't feel too bad about missing this goal. Meh.
  3. Plan Thanksgiving menu: DONE! (At least I got one thing done, too bad it's the least fitness-y of the bunch!)

My goals for this week, Nov 13-19 (and I'm adjusting my "week" so that it runs Sun-Sat to match my 500 in 2011 challenge week):

  1. Run 10 miles
  2. Try a new piece of gym equipment (pull-up machine? Bosu ball?)
  3. Compile Thanksgiving shopping list and finish all shopping
What's on your list this week?

To switch subjects....

If you're interested in other people's body stats, the next bit should interest you. Kristina hooked me up with the body composition machine thing at the gym since I never got my post-bootcamp comp profile. (Which is just as well since I missed more bootcamps than I attended.) Here are my numbers:

Weight: 172.2 (clothed, no shoes)
BMI: 24
BMR: 1558kcal
Fat %: 34%
Fat Mass: 58.6lb

Desirable range:
Fat %: 21-33%
Fat mass: 30.2-56.1lb

Target body fat (my goal, which was just randomly selected): 28%
Predicted weight: 157.8lb (hahahahahaha, in my dreams)
Predicted fat mass: 44.2lb
Fat to lose: 14.4lb :P

And it also gives the fat % for each limb

Right leg: 36.9%
Left leg: 36.7%
Right arm: 28.5%
Left arm: 30.4%
Trunk: 33.1%

I don't know that any of this is useful beyond general curiosity, but there it is anyway. I hope I can get another assessment someday so I can see if anything changes/improves! If I do, I'll be sure to post the stats here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Goals: Nov. 7-13

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I'm a ship without a rudder if I don't have a goal or event to work towards. I tend to float aimlessly, skipping workouts, finding excuses, generally undoing all the hard work I've put in the months prior. And with the winter race doldrums nearly upon us, there are fewer and fewer events to set my sights on. I do have several big events in the early spring, but they're still too far out to keep my focus intense. Add in some holiday time-off and all that general wackiness looming ever closer, and I'm setting myself up for a couple of tough months if I don't stay busy.

Therefore, I've opted to focus on the short-term and set my sights on some smaller, weekly goals. I hope that having fewer items to accomplish in a shorter time-frame will keep me focused and entertained in the short-term, and that will make the transition to the BIG goals a bit easier, when the time comes.

And with that, my goals for this week are:

  1. Run 10 miles total
  2. Read three chapters of Jillian Michaels' "Unlimited"
  3. Plan Thanksgiving menu

If you're interested in the "Why" behind the "What," keep reading. If not, well then, stop here and have a great day! ;)

1. Why 10 miles? At the beginning of the year, I committed myself to a "500 miles in 2011" challenge. As of this week, I'm sitting on 433 miles, which means I need to get around 67 more before the end of the year in order to complete the challenge. At one point in the year, I'd have thought I'd be done with the mileage well before now, but since I've finished training for the half-marathon, my running miles have dropped off to where I'm averaging about 3-5 a week. Yikes. Time to kick it in gear before I run out of year! (Ha! I rhyme!)

2. I'm a JM fan (or at least a fan of her workout DVDs), but I'm not a big fan of self-help books. Okay, okay, I've never read any self-help books because I always think of them as mostly cheesy and filled with Stuart Smalley-esque platitudes about how, gosh darnit, you should just like yourself! But I do know I could use a little help breaking out of my rut in areas of my life beyond fitness/health, so I thought what the heck. My hope is that JM is a little less "woo woo" cheeseball and more practical information We'll see if it's worth the time.

3. For the first time in at least 10 years, we don't have to travel for Thanksgiving! Hip, hip, hooray!! However, staying home means I'm now I'm responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the hubster and the kiddo, my parents and possibly the in-laws. It won't be a large gathering, but it'll still require all the traditional fixins, which in turn require a fair amount of planning. And because we're staying put this year, I'm finally able to do something I've wanted to do for a couple of years now: run a Thanksgiving Day 5k! I'm excited, but that does mean a bit more strategy on my part so that dinner is ready at a reasonable hour later that day. It'll all work out, but I'd rather plan now so I can play later.

So that's what's on tap for this week. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I didn't see that one coming

I had a race Saturday morning. Just a small, local 5k put on by my gym to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Since the course goes through my neighborhood, and I ran the same race last year, I was definitely familiar with the route. The course features rolling hills throughout with one big hill thrown in just for fun.

My hope was a PR, so I knew I'd have to finish under 31:14. It was doable, but my time to beat was set on a super flat course and I wasn't sure how much Saturday's hilly course would affect my time. Granted, on my practice run earlier in the week I ran the 5K course in about the same time as my "time to beat," but still...I never count my chickens.

Saturday morning was brisk but sunny--perfect running weather. I found K and we settled in with the crowd. We both decided to use our iPods that day, and I really relied on mine to keep me in the zone and on pace. (Thank you Soundgarden and The Naked and Famous!) After a few short announcements, we were off!

The run itself was pretty much what I expected. I kept myself at somewhere between uncomfortable and "you're asking for trouble, young lady!" whenever I could, opened it up on the downhills, paced myself on the uphills and mostly tried to remind myself that no matter how uncomfortable it was, I only had to go a half-hour, max. Soon enough, I was hitting the halfway point, which meant just a few shorter hills left. I kept one guy in my sights during the second half of the race, trying my best to not let him get too far ahead, and we even leapfrogged a bit on some of the hills earlier on. But I was finally able to pass him for good on one of the last downhills, and I tried to put the hammer down since I knew the end was near. Unfortunately the race ends on a slight uphill, so I saved just enough gas to get me where the final 100yd flat stretch begins. As I rounded the corner onto the final stretch, I saw the official time clock: 29:20!

I was still under 30 minutes with less than 100yds to go! What the hell?? A sub-30? Oh, crap--DON'T BLOW IT. I didn't think I could waste :40 seconds in the short distance I had left to cover, but I didn't want to take any chances so I sprinted with everything my legs could give and finished.


My very first sub-30 5k, and on a super hilly course! I was--and still am--THRILLED. It also came as a total surprise since I haven't been working on short distances and haven't been doing any speedwork at all. But perhaps all the long-distance/half-marathon training I did this fall is paying off here as well? It stands to reason that if you can sustain an 11 min/mile pace for 2.5 hours, you should be able to sustain a 10 min/mile pace for 30 minutes. I don't know. Makes sense to me, I guess. Or rather, it's as good an explanation as any at this point.

Whatever the cause, it seems like the perfect way to end what has been an amazing racing year for me. Thank you for being so epic, 2011 Racing Season!