Archive for the ‘getting healthy’ Category

2015
3
Jan
21:39

the road to reshaping

   Posted by: arcanai

i finally got back into the gym today. i haven’t been since the day before the turkey decided to make his arrival… 19 weeks and 3 days. i did an hour on the elliptical and am already feeling it. funny how i was in much better shape when i was huge and pregnant. i’m not quite sure how to make time for it on a regular basis but i sure need to get a routine going again.

2014
28
Aug
22:27

baby’s first bridge run

   Posted by: arcanai

for the turkey’s one week birthday and daddy’s birthday, we did our first family bridge run. the turkey even got dressed in a tank top for the occasion.

the family that runs together...

daddy did the full run while me and baby walked to the top of the bridge and back. we got approximately two miles in and baby finished just ahead of me :-)

made it to the top

2014
14
Aug
21:06

round is a shape

   Posted by: arcanai

it’s funny that i’ll probably end up in better shape after this pregnancy than i was before.  the pregnancy started with months of sloth due to vacations and holidays and a general affinity for couch-potatoism.  as soon as i saw that positive, however, i immediately started dragging myself out and into a routine.  for about five months, i walked about twenty miles a week.  then there were 6-8 weeks of crazy travel and sickness and the sloth crept back in for a while but the last couple of months I’ve been good about getting back at it.  I’ve been doing an hour on the elliptical 3-4 days a week plus the bridge run (walk) most weeks.  i never thought i could be this close to the end of my pregnancy and still be this active.  and really, after a lifetime of natural sloth and lethargy, who would have thought i would even find the motivation for it?  i guess this kid is already working on making me a better person because all I’ve wanted to do is keep him as healthy as i possibly can.  if that means i have to get out and work up a sweat when i really would rather eat Cheetos and take a nap… i won’t even give it a second thought.

multi-tasking - elliptical, Netflix, and talking to my daddy on the phone

 

2013
19
Jan
21:32

the family that runs together…

   Posted by: arcanai

we drove down to orlando last night so that we could be here first thing this morning for my sissy’s neighborhood’s 5k.  we did it with them two years ago, before they even lived in the neighborhood and had a great time.  the race itself is nice because it works it’s way through 3.1 miles of quiet, tree-lined neighborhood roads but the real draw is the cause… benefits go to the russell home which is a fantastic organization that houses and supports atypical children in central florida.  i think this was their fourteenth year of putting on this charity event. 

so, two years ago, i found myself racing a little old lady – had to be in her eighties – and unable to beat her.  this year, i felt confident that i could take the octogenarian :-)   i never saw her but i also didn’t post a stellar time (though much better than that one, for sure).  i guess i overdid it on my stairs workout the other day because my calves are super tight.  even though i stretched and warmed up good before the run, i decided not to push it.  i did a leisurely 36 minute 5k and enjoyed myself.  and when i got to the finish line, i stuffed myself full of panera bagels with my family.  i appreciate that running events are something that we can enjoy together as a family. 

2011
16
Mar
12:50

does it even matter if it’s invisible?

   Posted by: arcanai

i’m down five pounds (+/-) since january 1.  it seems like i should be excited about that but, for the life of me, i can’t see where those pounds disappeared from (i so don’t believe in that whole ending with a preposition rule even though i am keenly aware every time i do it).  i certainly don’t look any more svelte.  and, the truest test of weight loss proves no progress…  i still can’t fit into any of my not-brand-new, non-elastic clothes.  what’s the point of losing five pounds if it doesn’t seem to make a difference?  *sigh*  hopefully, the trend will continue and noticeable results will be forthcoming.

and while ranting about my body… what the heck is with all of the adolescent-style breakouts?!??

2011
10
Mar
12:05

13.1 analysis and comparison

   Posted by: arcanai

i completed my second half marathon sunday.  if you’ve read the last few posts, you know i was very concerned about it because my body decided to rebel against me for my last two weeks of training.  add to that the fact that saturday night was thunderstorms and crazy winds.  i was anxious sunday morning.  happily, everything came together to make for a great race day.  i got a decent-for-me night’s sleep, going to sleep about 2100 and waking at 0300, then dozing on/off until the alarm went off at 0500.  the rain cleared out while we were driving over there.  it was cool and windy waiting for the start but there were really only a few short stretches where the wind was truly sucky.  the temperature stayed nice and cool and it was cloudy the whole time so i didn’t have the sun beating down on me, burning me up.  i was aware of my vengeful knee and hip but they weren’t debilitating like they were for my twelve mile training run a couple weeks ago. 

so we got there and found several friends and got in the corral with them even though they were way further up than i should have been pace-wise.  the gun went off and we waited patiently to cross the start line. within seconds, of course, they were gone.  i started my race with laughter because my ipod, with 12.5 hours worth of tunes set to shuffle, chose to start me off with “this one’s gonna hurt” and i just found the irony darned amusing.   i started out faster than i should have but with the crowd pushing around me and my maniacal laughter, that’s to be expected.  i was at a 12′ pace the first half mile and purposely slowed myself down to 13′ by the one mile marker.  by then, the crowds were gone and it was just us slow-pokes.  i think i was at mile 3.8 when the first place guy passed heading the other way (we heard he had just finished when i was around 5.7).  that’s the one really nice thing about an out-and-back course… i love getting to see the crowd going the other way and cheer for them.  sometimes they even cheer back.  i was around 4.5 miles when we started seeing some friends in their final stretch, which is a lot of fun.  truth be told, we have two friends who have just starting running in the last few months and this was their first half… i was secretly hoping to beat them and was disappointed that they passed me so early in the race.  i finally saw them again around mile six which meant they were about a mile ahead of me.  when i got to the turnaround, i hubby commented about how they weren’t that far ahead of me and i expressed my doubts of catching them.  around 7.5, i found them and jogged along with them for a few minutes before giving them some encouragement and moving on.  inside, i was quite pleased.  i knew i hadn’t pulled too far ahead of them because at mile 10 or so, one of them pulled up next to me and we chatted a bit.  honestly, he’s quite a bit faster than me but he was being a good spouse and helping his hubby push through it.  i can totally respect that.  that last couple miles, i felt myself dragging a bit but i truly hit a wall.  i managed to pick it up for the last half mile and even managed a decent sprint for that last .1.  i crossed the finish line with a smile on my face and arms wide open.  it was a very different experience from last year.  a friend from ’bama who just happened to be vacationing in that town last week was at the finish line and gave me a big hug and congratulations.  a couple minutes later, our friends completed their first half and there were many hugs and congratulations. 

i finished eleven minutes faster than last year and felt better, physically and mentally, about it.  so me being me, i figured i’d do an analytical comparison:

  1st Split Overall place
1st split
2nd Split Chip Time Avg Pace Overall
place/finishers
Overall
place as %
Age/Group A/G
place/finishers
A/G
place as %
2011 1:26:40 2008 1:25:55 2:52:36 13:10 1947/2127 91.53% F30-34 217/239 90.79%
2010 1:32:53 1825 1:31:00 3:03:54 14:02 1824/1936 94.21% F25-29 135/138 97.82%

last year, 112 people finished after me, 3 in my age/group.  this year, 180 people finished after me, 22 in my age/group.  while that looks like a vast improvement, i had to take into consideration the fact that there were a lot more finishers this year so i did percentages to track my progress.  i improved by 2.68% overall and 7.03% in my age group - although that’s not really a fair comparison either since i’ve moved into a new age group but i don’t have any good way to normalize that.  i find it interesting that i only passed one person on the 2nd split last year but this year i passed 61 people that second half.  although, since my negative split was actually smaller this year, i can’t really count that as my accomplishment… it just means there were more people improperly trained who fell apart after the turnaround.  all in all, no matter what, i am thrilled with my progress.  i’m especially thrilled with how much stronger of a runner i am.  despite the knee/hip injuries, i am really so much stronger than i was a year ago.  i made it through most of my training without motrin, i have had no shin splints at all, and i’m faster and less tired.  that’s awesome!

warming up my poor boy before the race

warming up my poor boy before the race

 

i definitely looked more like a runner this year

i definitely looked more like a runner this year

 

had a lot more energy too.  i looked totally beat before i had even gotten to the turnaround last year but this year i was still having fun and going strong around mile 10 in this pic.

had a lot more energy too. i looked totally beat before i had even gotten to the turnaround last year but this year i was still having fun and going strong around mile 10 in this pic.

 

of course, some things don't change at all.

of course, some things don't change at all.

 

this year i finished with victory arms but hubby didn't catch them in this pic.

this year i finished with victory arms but hubby didn't catch them in this pic.

 

my husband totally rocks for running with me and helping me through it.  especially since he was already starting to come down with the flu.

my husband totally rocks for running with me and helping me through it. especially since he was already starting to come down with the flu.

 

time, bling, and purse (strap)

time, bling, and purse (strap)

 

and because i was so much more awesome this year, even the bling was bigger!

and because i was so much more awesome this year, even the bling was bigger!

2011
28
Feb
15:25

whine? yes, please.

   Posted by: arcanai

i’m feeling so despondent about my half marathon coming up in six days.  for six+ weeks, my training was going awesome and i was truly feeling GREAT about my running.  i just KNEW that i was going to kick that ½’s butt!  after two weeks of knee and hip pain, and only managing to put in a whopping four miles total last week, and another not good feeling three miles today… i think all of my hopes for this 13.1 are gone.  in fact, i have grave concerns about even being able to match last year’s time.  i’m trying to look at the silver lining and resign myself to the fact that i can still go out there and have fun with all our peeps and cross the finish line when i can but i can’t get over the disappointment in my heart after all of the hard work i’ve put in and how fabulous i was feeling about it just a short time ago.

2011
16
Feb
10:49

feeling disheartened

   Posted by: arcanai

i have done such a fantastic job with all of my training.  overall, i have stuck to the schedule and i’ve felt great about it.  so i find it wholly disheartening that now, on my biggest run week, right before the glorious taper, i am having pains.  :-(   for some reason that i truly do not understand, the *back* of my left knee has been bothersome since the beginning.  not really a “hurt” or “pain” but a chronic annoyance.  how the heck do you aggravate the back of your knee while running?!  anyhow, this week the annoyance has turned to ouch.  which doesn’t make any sense because last week was a light week and i took it easy and didn’t push.  also on my left, the “knuckle” on my middle toe is swollen to twice its size and hurts to walk on.  i have no idea why.  i’m pretty sure i have not injured it recently.  it is the toe that i broke before our grand canyon trip last year so i don’t know if 6 weeks of ground-pounding has just inflamed that old injury or what.  it sucks.  lastly, out of the blue, there is a spot in the front size of my right hip that is making itself known when i walk.  see, this is why i didn’t want to turn thirty.  all my training was going great but have a birthday and i start falling apart.  i had to do my monday four miles on the treadmill thanks to the strawberry festival fences not being dismantled in a timely manner at my park and it was a pain-filled four miles.  honestly, i would have quit after 1/2 a mile if i had been in there alone.  since there were two guys in the gym, i hated to look like a wimp by leaving after a whopping 5 or 6 minutes on the treadmill.  tonight i have to run six and i am really hoping that all of these aches and pains either let up or work their way out during the run.

2011
26
Jan
18:51

détente

   Posted by: arcanai

though i haven’t been posting, i have continued my training.  i’m proud to say that i’m halfway through week four (more than 1/3 of the way done!) and i haven’t skipped or shortchanged a run yet.  go me!  as indicated by my last post, i was having a pretty tough time with my out-of-town training but i kept up with it.  i think that first run down there where i was so super fast (for me) might have caused a bit of injury to my legs.  nothing severe but enough to make my training highly uncomfortable for the rest of that week.  my six miler was torturous and my 5k with family was nothing to write home about.  however, the really bad part was spending the day walking/standing around disney after running a total of 15k the night before and morning of.  by the end of the night, after a particularly long wait in line, my feet were screaming for some rest.  when i got back home, i decided to back off and stop pushing and just train comfortably.  happily, this has made for some great runs.  my eight miler over the weekend was possibly the best run i’ve ever had.  i woke up dreading it but it was perfect.  i didn’t push, never got winded, and still managed a 13:15 average pace.   the weather was very cooperative, which was very helpful – even though it was crystal clear and sunny, the temperature was 30 when we started and 40 when we finished so the sun kept me from being cold and the cold kept me from baking in the sun.  truly, we need more days like that.  when i finished my eight miles, i could have easily kept going and i managed a very nice .2 mile sprint to finish it out.  moreover, i haven’t been in any pain since coming home.  last year, i ate motrin like candy the whole time i was training.  for those first two weeks this year, more of the same.  this past week and a half i haven’t had any need for it.  of course, things are always subject to change but right now i feel i’ve come to terms with my running and we have a cordial understanding.  i won’t push it, and it won’t make me cry anymore.

2011
11
Jan
15:15

when the mind is weaker than the flesh

   Posted by: arcanai

that was me today.  i lost it.  totally lost the mental game.  i was running along, looked down and saw that i was only at mile three of a four mile run and i just lost it.  i started crying… crying?… there’s no crying in running!… which really threw my hubby.  he didn’t know what to say or do to make it better for me.  and it’s stupid because i wasn’t hurting and i wasn’t even that drained.  i just lost it.  i managed to push through and finish my run but it was highly unsatisfying.  i felt like i had failed and am highly discouraged becuase it was only four miles.  i have to do 13.1.  before the week is out, i have to do six.  i need to find a way to gain better control over my mental game.  i’ve never lost it that badly.  *sigh*  so, today was 4.16 mi in 51:27 for an average pace of 12:23. 

01112011

2011
10
Jan
17:24

twofer

   Posted by: arcanai

i never got the chance to rant about the insanity of my saturday.  let’s just start on friday evening, when we stayed out way too late enjoying dinner and conversation with neighbors and i ended up having to stay up half the night to get the laundry done and presents wrapped.  saturday, we were up at the crack of dawn for a race in which hubby was participating and i was volunteering.  we left right after the awards, getting home close to noon, where it was a frantic race to get packed up to leave town.  quick bite to eat and we were on the road at 13:30 but three stops before leaving town meant we didn’t really get going until 14:00.  me, exhausted and unable to sleep in the car plus six hours of driving, plus another prolonged stop and one quick pickup before reaching our destination got us in around 21:30.  grabbed the suitcase, said a cursory “hi” to the fam, got changed, and hit the streets for my thank-God-i-did-my-long-run-thursday three miler.  happily, hubby went with me to keep me company on the dark streets at 22:00.  and it was a great run!  i PR’d my pace over that distance and was very happy about it.  unfortunately, it was also the first run i’ve ever done that ended in severe cramping.  i had told hubby when we finished, i wanted to walk back to the stop sign to cool down.  half way to the stop sign, my left quad started cramping, by the time we reached the stop sign and turned back to the house, my right calf was locked up, when we reached the house, it was all i could do to move my legs at all and they were screaming in horrendous pain.  i sobbingly asked hubby to run up and get my bathing suit while i dragged myself out to the pool and started removing shoes and zensas.  i changed into my suit, and sat down in the frigid pool for ten or fifteen minutes, stretching and flexing my legs in the icy water.  during this time, i decided that the cramping was most likely due to lack of nutrition and hydration as all i’d eaten all day was a chicken caesar salad at lunch time and hubby and i had shared my water on the drive.  when i got out of the pool, i was feeling a bit better.  i drank some sodium-filled chicken broth and was feeling much, much better.  apparently, i have to watch my electrolytes better when running.  lesson learned.  still, my run was an awesome 3.05 mi in 34:56 for an average pace of 11:27!

today’s run… not so awesome.  even after my day of rest yesterday, my legs were very unhappy about the demand upon them.  my calves felt very tight and i purposely set out at an easy pace.  even with the slow-down, i had to walk several times as my legs just weren’t having it.  sadly, i was also fighting the skies and they won.  with about three-quarters of a mile to go, the lightning started and the clouds opened up.  i dislike running in the rain.  and i really don’t like lightning in the mix.  i kept thinking about the heart-rate monitor around my chest turning into an instant defibrillator.  but, there was really no quick way to get home so i just finished out my run.  hubby must have gotten rained out on his bike ride and discovered that i was still out there because i met him in the car just down the street from the house.  i chose to keep going since i was already so wet and so close to the three mile mark.  so my goal was to keep an easy twelve minute pace.  i was at a 12:20 or so when the sky opened up and knocked it down to 12:12 thanks to mother nature’s unwelcome prodding.  my legs were really unhappy with the pace pick-up at the end.  oh well.

01082011

01102011

2011
6
Jan
23:07

desperately needed

   Posted by: arcanai

tonight, i was incredibly awesome!  and not a moment too soon because i was very much in need of a pick-me-up both actively and personally.  last night… seriously a low point in my life.  no, not going into it.  tonight, though, i rocked.  i decided to switch things up and do my long run tonight on the bridge so that i’ll only have three miles to do when i get down to orlando saturday night.  my decision was also helped by the fact that there was some construction that prevented us from doing our normal bridge route so we ended up starting from our running store, which is 1.66 miles from the start of the bridge so, really, i had to do five if i wanted to actually go over the bridge.  i don’t take well to changes to my running routine.  i am comfortable with my bridge and my park runs and i don’t like going outside those comfort zones much during training.  many find tonight’s route preferable because you only have to do the bridge once for the five miles, which is twice over on our regular route.  me, i prefer the twice over actually.  i actually like going over the bridge… i can sprint up it and then i get the sweet reprieve of gravity.  it’s a beautiful thing and i actually prefer it to just flat running.  it pushes me to change up my pace so that i don’t just settle into a lazy stride.  this is why i did all my long runs there last year.  and an added bonus is that the more comfortable i am on the bridge, the better prepared i am for hills on race day.  so, tonight was a lot of flat and it was also lonelier because i only passed people once whereas i usually see people more because they’ll be doing multiple laps.  there was also a long, very dark stretch that i didn’t like.  fortunately, i had my hubby who stayed with me and another chick who is roughly my pace.  we had our own little running pack so that was nice.  so, why am i so awesome?  i managed to push out 5.06 miles in one hour flat!  i didn’t track my runs thoroughly last year but i’m pretty sure my fastest five was more in the 1:10:00+ range.   tonight’s average pace was 11:54!!!  i never thought i’d be able to maintain sub-12 for that distance.  i’m so proud of me!

01062011

2011
4
Jan
22:52

why, oh why, am i doing this again?

   Posted by: arcanai

seriously.  did i not learn my lesson last year?!  day two and i’m so over this training with thirty-four more runs to go. *sigh*  in all not-fairness, i blame the call that i got shortly before my run which was a very happy call that did nothing but remind me of very, very bad things. running is a mental sport, you know.  anyhow, the run itself was actually very good for me.  4.05 miles in 48:03 for an average pace of 11:53.  that’s great for me.  but i truly wanted to die during and shortly after. 

01042011

2011
3
Jan
16:33

day one

   Posted by: arcanai

 

and so today officially begins my half marathon training yet again.  clearly i did not learn my lesson last time or i am just a glutton for punishment.  maybe if i meet my goal this time, i’ll be able to hang it up for good.  for those wanting to play along at home, below is the training plan i’ve come up with.  pretty, eh? 

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1/3- 1/9 3 4 Xtrain 3 Xtrain 5 Rest 15
1/10-1/16 3 4 Xtrain 3 Xtrain 6 Rest 16
1/17-1/23 3 5 Xtrain 3 Xtrain 8 Rest 19
1/24-1/30 3 5 Xtrain 3 Xtrain 10 Rest 21
1/31-2/6 4 5 Xtrain 4 Xtrain 11 Rest 24
2/7-2/13 4 5 Xtrain 4 Xtrain 9 Rest 26
2/14-2/20 4 6 Xtrain 4 Xtrain 12 Rest 22
2/21-2/27 3 4 Xtrain 3 Xtrain 8 Rest 18
2/28-3/6 3 3 Xtrain Walk 2 Xtrain Rest 13.1 21.1

so today was a blue, 3 mile day.  i went on my lunch break to the park by the mall and ran three loops.  i adjusted my route slightly on each lap trying to find a true mile.  i think i’ve almost got it figured out.  today ended up at 3.23 miles with an average pace of 11:39, which is better than i expected since it felt like a very poor effort with copious amounts of walking.  i was all alone, the sun was very bright, and the book that i’ve just started is not doing a good job of holding my attention yet – i sure hope that changes in the next run or two.  more details on the run below:

01032011

2010
11
Nov
22:07

at a loss

   Posted by: arcanai

seriously, i have no clue what’s going on.  i’m beginning to think my watch isn’t working right.  i just don’t see how it’s possible that after twenty-one months of running over that stupid bridge, i’m suddenly seeing all this improvement.  tonight was more than a minute faster than tuesday night.  35:32!!!  i’m almost beginning to think it’s possible that i might get down to a thirty minute bridge one of these days.  even more, i’m beginning to think it’s time to start doing two laps.  i’m especially shocked that i was able to run so well tonight because i spent my whole day off laying with a blanket wrapped around my head fighting another monster migraine.  it had eased up a bit when we got dressed to head out there but i was very nauseous and light-sensitive on the drive.  somehow, when i started running, my head just let up.  hubby’s theory is that the relief came from all of the blood rushing out of my head to various muscles while i run.  sounds like good science to me.  when i finished running, however, the throbbing came back with a vengeance.  definitely time to ibuprofin-up.