The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Confession

I have a confession to make – I have chickened out of the triathlon that I had scheduled for Sunday! That’s the short version of the story, too bad that’s not all you get. The long version has many points and details and I considered drawing you a diagram or even doing a power point presentation to help explain away my fear of this triathlon but I figured I might lose a few followers and well let’s just be honest here, if I lose any followers that means my family is tired of listening to me and that’s just not cool! So you are simply stuck with my rambling (referred to by some as ‘mumbo jumbo’) justifications and here they are:
First off, my passion at the moment is running. It’s where I started this journey and where my heart is currently at. Don’t get me wrong, I have really learned to love swimming and I am slowing growing to the cycle thing, but at the moment, with all of the half marathons I have already committed myself too, that NEEDS to be my focus.
Secondly, I am three weeks removed from my first half marathon and as we have already discussed I spent two of those weeks not running. I do know that there is not much running involved in a sprint triathlon, however when I finally kicked it into gear, I needed to focus on my next half marathon…
Which is point three, my next half marathon, which I will be joining a pace group for to help improve my time is 5 days after this triathlon. And seeing as I am not an elite athlete that is just way too much for my body to handle.
Lastly, my brain just could not handle the overload of emotions that were involved in trying to pull this thing off.  As we are all aware, I stress out and overwhelm myself about every 5 minutes so you can only imagine the craziness that was in my brain over this. I will spare you most of the details but here is a bit of the nitty-gritty: Basically I just could not imagine trying to cram all of my swimming and biking into a three week training period. I don’t like to do things if I can’t do it to my full ability and so I knew this would frustrate me. Although this was a sprint triathlon and a great way to start since it’s in a pool – I could not justify letting my lack of training affect someone else’s race (maybe that’s just a good excuse but I would think some serious tri athletes out there would appreciate that). I also found out that you have to have a membership to the USAT, which I do not have, and even though you can purchase a day pass, that really freaked me out (again probably just another excuse seeing as most triathlons require a membership).  And on top of all that I haven’t had a chance to get used to my bike and ride it anywhere other than my neighborhood, it’s been way too windy around here (and it just might still freak me out a bit!). So there you have it. Once I made the decision to simply switch my entry to the run only portion my mind was at ease, for at least 5 minutes that is.
I have crossed my first training bridge in making important training decisions. The old me would be more stressed out over this decision to not complete the whole event because I would have felt like I failed at something or felt like I was letting myself down. But this new me feels perfectly ok with my decisions. I will do a triathlon, I know that for a fact, but now is just not the time for it. I need to focus on what drives me and motivates me at the moment, which happens to be running and live for that right now. The lesson for me, and it has been my lesson for the past 7 months, is to just slow down and take my time. I don’t have to do everything I want to do in life by yesterday. I told my dad recently that oddly enough I feel like now, at 25, I have more time ahead of me to do and enjoy the things I want out of this life than I did when I was 21. Yes, I’m four years older, but I’m also four years wiser and stronger. The other lesson for me is that it’s good to have goals, but they must be realistic to your strengths and abilities for that moment. So yes, a goal for my life is to complete a triathlon, but right now the more realistic goal is to improve my time from my first half marathon to this next one, that can be done!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Since last week I bragged on my little sister, today I must brag on middle sister!

This lovely lady also recently graduated from Texas Tech and is now gainfully employed at a TV station in Lubbock. (No, unfortunately they don’t put her on TV) I am so proud of her and even though I love my job, can’t help but be slightly jealous of hers. She has a determined heart and a passion that you just don’t want to mess with. Watching her intense love for the important people in her life has given me a new appreciation for all the people that I love and care about in my life. She’s the best bargin hunter/finder I have ever met and has the greatest knack for turning “Goodwill finds” into lasting decorations – it’s quite a talent!

apparently this picture is only available in "goodwill" quality as well.

My Garmin finally came!!!!
don't mind the awkwardness

After doing all of my training so far by logging miles with my phone I decided I guess I was serious enough to invest in one of these bad boys. I was tired of carrying my phone with me and even though it seemed accurate it was just too hard to manage my pace and distance on it. I did some research and spent some time comparing the different models. I never really considered anything other than a Garmin because well let’s face it, Skinny Runner uses a Garmin so I HAD to have one too! This comparison function on their website is a great tool and helped me pick out mine. From there I knew exactly what I wanted and found it on Amazon for a much better deal. My mom was gracious enough to purchase this new piece of my heart for a birthday/congratulations gift. Aren’t Moms the best? I immediately tore open the package when it came last week and quickly was able to figure out most of the settings.

I did have to read the user’s guide for a few things but it was so amazingly easy to customize and create a screen with exactly what I wanted to see during my runs on it. I have used it twice now and I am completely utterly one hundred thousand percent in love! It’s my favorite color and lucky for me I LOVE big watches!  I cannot wait to use if for my next half marathon – I have become obsessed with pacing!

you and me are going to have a nice long and loving relationship!


And the last thing I’m loving today would be this book,
 it is simply amazing! It’s easy to read and I cannot put it down. My mom got each of my sisters and I a copy and one for herself so that we can all read it together. Totally amazing book! And I agree with the cover: “This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird…If you read only one book…let this be it.” –NPR.org. Seriously, go read it!

Tonight’s workout:
Elliptical 60 min
Yoga 60 min

P.S. Shout out to Taylor - she taugh me how to link things! So you will be seeing a lot of this, just a fair warning!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

High On Something

There is this phenomenon known as, the runner’s high; the thought is that while running (or engaging in physical activity) the body will increase its production of endorphins, which is a chemical in the brain associated with feelings of content and well-being, and will therefore cause happy and invincible feelings. While the effects of a “runner’s high” may be different for different people, the idea is all the same - pleasure in the pain. Want to know my two-cents? Whoever said that was most definitely high on something, but not from running!! During our run last night Lisa and I discussed this lovely little phenomenon and here’s what we came up with; for both of us running really provides no pleasure. From start to finish I really just hate running, and Lisa agrees. Now don’t get me wrong, I obviously love it somewhere, but my pleasure seems to come in the before and after. I am most definitely the most gung-ho runner, I always show up annoyingly happy and excited about any run we have planned. Long run of 12 miles at 5:30am? Sure let’s do this thing! You say we have 40 hills to run tonight? Heck yes, let’s get on those things! What, you want me to sprint for 3 miles? Sure thing let’s go! And I most definitely find pleasure in the end results (I mean really now, who doesn’t enjoy feeling accomplished?). It’s just the process that I actually can’t seem to find any pleasure in, and I’m not really sure why.  Lisa says that for her she can’t seem to get her breathing down and if she just felt like she could breathe she would be fine. But I don’t have trouble with the breathing; I can maintain a steady breath and not feel winded all the time. And it’s not like its necessarily painful, because let’s face it, if it were painful, I most definitely would not do it! So it’s a mystery to me, this “runner’s high”; I wish I could say I’ve experienced it and that it’s what keeps me going during my runs, but alas there is no such thing for me. Even though I feel great AFTER a run or workout, to me that’s normal. If your body is working correctly, then yes you have indeed raised your endorphin levels and so therefore, yes, you should feel better and find more enjoyment throughout your day. And for every person that level of exercise varies, meaning what might increase one person’s endorphins to a certain level might not be enough for someone else. So maybe I’m not running hard enough? No telling! All I know is runners are definitely high on something!

To recap last night’s workout: we did a hill workout. We started with a 2.5 mile run on a few rolling hills. We ran at a fast pace for us of 11:40. Then we went to the monster hill (*reminder, take picture next time!) and did 4 sprints up the hill. Oh my goodness I totally forgot just how much I love doing hill workouts! I guess this would be my equivalent to a runner’s high – my joy in sprinting up hills! From there we ran the short distance back to our cars and went to the gym. Since I had wanted to do 4 miles I got on the treadmill and busted out the last 1.5 miles (I did this at a little over an 11:00 min pace – good fast miles last night, I love that!).  From there we did 30 min on the bike and then stretched really well, we don’t need any more pulled muscles around here!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yes, This Is Still A Runner's Blog

I realize that I have not been talking about running very much lately, maybe that’s because I haven’t run in two weeks! (Dear running gods, please forgive me for neglecting our relationship, it was never my intention to disown you for such a lengthy period of time. I promise I will work harder at maintain a better relationship from this point forward. Very sincerely, The Unlikely Runner).
I did not realize it had been two whole weeks since my last run until I was updating my daily mile tracker. I was in fact still working out and going to the gym, I just wasn’t actually logging any miles out on the pavement. In reality, it was not bad to rest my legs. And even though I have another Half Marathon in 10 days, I think that by not putting as many miles on my legs and focusing on cross-training will be a good thing. We will see though, I’m still new at this!
That being said, I set out with Lisa (poor Michelle pulled a muscle!) on Saturday morning with the plan to do 6 miles. We also met at a later time than usual because I want to adapt my body to the warmer temperatures that we have been having (I never thought I would ever want to move out of Texas, but I am seriously not looking forward to this summer of training ahead of me). That was all well and good until about 8 steps into our run we hit a wall of humidity and actually started running backwards from the gusts of wind we were facing (I speak the truth, this all really did happen!).  So yet again, another long(ish) run became a bust! We did 3.3 miles. Sad day. Not however, to be outdone by the wind, I went to the gym and knocked out 2.2 more miles to make the daily total at 5.5 miles for the day (so maybe not a total waste). 
So back to my ramblings from last week on having a training log…. I think I have come up with a decent plan of attack for now, and also knowing that as I go along I may need to be flexible (that word barely has a place in a Type-A’s vocabulary so it’s lucky to make the appearance now) and re-work the plan or make changes. But for now this is how it will work:
-          I will set up a 6 week plan (which will closely resemble what we used, or should have used for the turkey trot class and the half marathon training). It will factor in any upcoming races I have scheduled.
-          Each week I will make a weekly, more detailed plan based off of the 6 week plan and put it all into a binder or notebook. This will not only include the mileage and types of run (hills, tempo runs, speed) but also include cross-training workouts with times and weight-lifting/core workouts.
-          Each day I will record foods (I will NOT count calories, carbohydrates, sugar, etc. That is not my intention here. My only intention is to track the foods I eat so I can know better what makes me feel the best throughout the day and gives me the best fuel for training) and the details of each workout along with how I feel.
-          At the end of each week I will go over what I was supposed to do, and what I actually did (let’s be honest here, we are all human) and see where I need to improve the next week.
Why am I doing this you ask?
My answer to that would be, have you even read my about me section? Do you know what a type-A personality does to a person? Do you not know my hypersensitivity to plans and lists and goal-orientation? If you ask why then you probably answered no to those questions.
But in all seriousness (I do have a very serious side, albeit largely sarcastic) here is what I am hoping to accomplish by doing this training log:
-          I want to follow a proper training plan. Training plans are designed for a reason and should be followed as best as possible
-          I want to stay injury free
-          I want to improve
-          I want to learn more about myself and what I am truly capable of accomplishing
So there you have it, type-A to the extreme! Each Monday I will post the weekly plan I have set up. I don’t always post every day, although I would like to, so the days I do post, I will include the daily workout, otherwise you can follow on daily mile. I will also, each Monday, try to give a recap of the past week’s attempt at the plan. I will be starting my log this Sunday, conveniently for me it’s May 1st (seriously, I did not plan that, ok well maybe I did only slightly, but I am doing a little happy dance that I get to start on a Sunday that happens to be the 1st of the month. I really don’t need to explain it any more for you, do I?).  Send me your encouragement, ideas to help me make this project better or any advice you may have, I’d love to hear from you!
“Now to Him who is able to do, immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power, that is at work within us to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things I Love Thursday!

Grapefruit! Right now I am totally loving grapefruit – I think I have eaten at least one a day for the past two weeks. Did you know that you can peel a grapefruit like an orange and eat is that way?! Growing up, I would always slice it in half, put sugar on top and then scoop out the insides. But that’s way too intense for a work day snack, so peel and it is how it goes and honestly, I think it tastes better that way, you still get all the juice!
I’m also loving my proud display of my PINK 13.1 sticker at my desk- heck yes I’m going to show it off.

I’m loving the fact that tomorrow I have the day off and get to eat lunch with some friends.

I am also loving my beautiful sisters – they are the most important people in the world to me and I am so proud to be their big sister. They might be my younger sisters, but in many ways they have taught me many lessons and inspired me to be a better person, I cannot imagine my life without them.





This gorgeous girl

is graduating from Texas Tech in 3 weeks and I cannot be more proud of her (she’s the only one who will actually be graduating on time. It’s probably because she watched her two older sisters make mistakes and she took notes – smart girl!) I so admire her desire to try new things and her heart and spirit for adventure. She spent 5 months on the other side of the world last year and Rachel and I were blessed to go and visit her. To this day our time spent in Australia and New Zealand are some of the greatest memories I will ever have with my sisters.


Lastly, I’m loving this new development on my winter calendar:

Walt Disney World 2012!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The ramblings in my brain....

Warrior Dash update-

Sorry that this is a little late in coming – it’s been a busy week! So the warrior dash is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Who knew I could enjoy the mud? I know, this comes as just as much of a shock to me as it does to you. I have this strong aversion to dirt of any kind, in particular, sand (that is in places other than the beach), and most definitely mud. But on Sunday, I sucked it up and dove right in. Ok, maybe I didn’t DIVE in, it’s still not my favorite thing in the world, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The obstacles were fun and not too challenging. And if Lisa tries to tell you she beat me through all of them, it’s a lie! I let her beat me on a couple of them, and some of them she beat me just because she started before me, but really we all know who won that challenge. I also got to cross something off my “pail list”, a smaller, lesser known version of the infamous “bucket list” (I have both by the way and usually the pail list gets made up as I go along…); and that was climbing over rusty old cars. I pretended like I was escaping from the bad guys in an action movie and just flew over them, it was great fun. *Side note: we were all smart enough to think to bring a water-proof camera so that we could take pictures during the event, yet none of us were smart enough to go out and actually BUY a water-proof camera, so you will just have to enjoy the before and afters and imagine all the in-betweens.  So to put it in a nut shell, “When can I do this again??” It was so much fun, and the atmosphere is so enjoyable. People were wearing costumes and everyone was having a great time.




On other thoughts, I’ve been enjoying some much loved Texas Ranger’s baseball. I think I will set a personal record for 4 games in one week (I’ve already been to two and have two more this weekend!) I would seriously live at the ballpark all summer long if I could. I mean what’s not to enjoy about “America’s game”? To me, Summer = baseball, and I <3 both!!!


Lastly, I signed up for my final two runs this year, the Rock ‘n Roll Half in L.A. and then a 10k in July at none other than the Ballpark in Arlington. So as I’m sitting here thinking of all that’s ahead of me, my head is swimming with training thoughts and ideas and how to pace myself over the summer, how to add cross-training and make sure I’m doing proper workouts, ugh my head is a mess! So an idea popped out of this turmoil and I think it just might work, at least it will help me to stay organized I think – and we all know that type A’s need to be organized the way fish need water to live. Anyways, I’m thinking about keeping a training log – sure daily mile is nice and all, and my Garmin is in the mail (yay!!!! Post on that coming soon!!) – but I need to see in black and white in front of me what’s going on and what I’ve been doing and what’s going to work for me to keep me healthy and injury free all year long (after all, I just found out to cap the running year off the family is heading to Disney World! Ok, so it really has nothing to do with my running except that we leave the same day I finish my four seasons challenge…) I haven’t quite figured out the specifics of this training log and how I’m going to do it and keep it so any ideas would be good (all 4 followers, I need some input please!).
So there you have it, my rambles for Wednesday – phew, I make myself tired sometimes!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marathon Monday (also known as Patriot's Day)

The Boston Marathon was today and if you know anything about my obsessive compulsive nature then you know that I am just about as obsessed with the Boston Marathon as I am the Olympics, almost, but not quite. So I might have done a little Marathon stalking this morning while at work

PlaceNameCtryTime
2. Desiree Davila USA 2:22:38
5. Kara Goucher USA 2:24:52***
16. Clara M. Grandt USA 2:29:54


I also followed Ryan Hall and two of the blogger's who's blogs I follow! How cool is that!!!! Plus a new record was set for the fastest marathon time ever, 2:02:03 (I can't event run 10 miles that fast!!!)
Marathon Monday, aka Patriot's Day is actually a holiday in Massachussetts and everything is closed. The marathon is a point to point course with only one turn in the whole entire course! Point to point means that you start and finish at two different places. The race starts in Hopkinton and finishes in Boston Commons in downtown Boston. Now I have never been to one of these marathons myself, but I have read reports and stories and I may have even watched a few on TV before (that's normal right?) and the crowds and the people and all the excitement that follows seems so incredible. I can just imagine the pure amazement and adrenaline that goes through these runners.
Someday, it will be my turn. I know that I just started running and reading all the stories of people who went through trial and heartache to finally get their BQ is so inspiring to me. All I know is that I have plenty of time in my life ahead of me to earn that BQ, and one day I can hopefully share my Boston story with many other people. But for now I am simply learning to appreciate what my body can do for me today and how I can learn to take care of it so I can appreciate it tomorrow.
I know I will never be Kara Goucher or even as fast as some of the other bloggers I follow. For me, I will have to work hard for my BQ, but it will be that much sweeter. But until then, I'm going to go and find me a copy of this book.


Tomorrow-Warrior Dash pictures and update!

Friday, April 15, 2011

two more Big D pics

1352, Finish
this is Michelle and I coming to the finish line.

1352, Finish
my finish!

Short post Friday

So I missed my Things I love Thursday, but stay tuned for next week because I have a great one planned!
I will say though, that Tori Spelling announced she's prego with her third little baby - not sure why I love Tori Spelling, but I just don't question my crazy obsessions!
Tori Spelling

I spent last night doing some much needed foam rolling on my poor little muscles.

if only I looked that good doing it.
Usually I feel like this while foam rolling!

And lastly, I am very excited for this

and this

and this

on Sunday!
See you all at the WARRIOR DASH!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big D in pictures

Pancake Party the night before



my yummy pancakes!

Race day outfit!

my motivation (yes I realize immeasurably is missing the 'a')

the three unlikely runners (Michelle, Me, Lisa)

with Lisa's friend Melissa who schooled us all!




Ready to go!
part of my fan club

not sure, but I bet she's giving me a pep talk!

the other half of my fan club!

me at the start.

Lisa, Michelle and Melissa at the start.


feeling good at mile 4.

making the split to the half course.

I think i'm throwing my honey packet at Denise



Lisa at mile 8

Lisa's finish!!

unfortunately there isn't a good picture of my finish, this was the best we got.

So proud of that medal!


recovery!


I can officially put that baby on my car!!