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Posts Tagged ‘workouts’

Spring into Summer

May 6, 2012 1 comment

It seems I kicked off my spring right, with completing my very first Half Marathon in Oakland. After a few weeks of downtime, with no upcoming race, I’ve had time to think about how I want to spring into summer. I’ve got a few EXCITING upcoming events:

June 3rd 4th Annual Hook & Ladder 10k at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA. This is a great run because it is at a beautiful vineyard in Livermore (and it supports firefighters). I did the 5k last year (I think it was only my 3rd 5k I had ever ran). This would be my first repeat race which makes it exciting because I have come so.so.far. since last year.

July 29th San Francisco Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA. It’s almost here! It’s almost here! I have been looking forward to this since last July when I ran the 5k at it. That was also the time I decided I was going to run a half marathon. I think running over the Golden Gate bridge is going to be an amazing experience that will stay with me for a very long time.

August 18th 25h Annual Tri For Fun Sprint Triathlon, Pleasanton, CA. It’s hard to describe how I feel about this event. It’s been on my radar for over a year, when I hoped I’d someday be able to do something like this. This sprint tri consists of a 400 yard swim, an 11 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. I’m anxious to start training and know I will be able to complete it. The event is also going to consist of 60% beginners, which I find comforting! This is a great way to push myself into a broader scope of fitness. Oh and a major bonus is that it’s on my birthday!!!! At 27 I became a half marathoner. This year, when I turn 28, I am going to become a triathlete.

I’m going to be busy training for the San Francisco Half Marathon and the sprint tri at the same time (since they’re 3 weeks apart). But I will be ready to kick some ass when the time comes.

Time to put together some training plans!

Focusing on a Fierce February

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

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Feeling inspired, I sat down this morning (who am I kidding, I was already sitting down, with slippers on, drinking coffee and watching cartoons with the kiddo) and decided I need to get something more out of this next month.

I did well in January.  I reached 10 miles in my training, and ran my first 10k event.  I made my trainer happy by dropping body fat and inches, and well, I just plain worked hard and I followed my training.  But February is one month closer to my Half marathon.  It’s crunch time now!  I NEED to require more of myself.  Harder workouts.  Smarter workouts.  Better nutrition.  I want to do everything I can to do and feel great.

No excuses.  And just plain don’t suck.

I want to feel fierce after this month!  I want to lower my body fat by 2%, and lose another 2 inches off my waist.  And I want to really improve my core strength.  I came up with 3 goals this month that are VERY attainable. They’re simple.  All I have to do is do the following, consistently, and I will get there.

1. No pizza in February!  It is my favorite food on this earth, but it is getting in my way.  So it has to go.

2. Have a salad every day.

3. Increase my reps and weight in my strength training workouts.  In addition my bench sit ups will increase to 4 sets of 12, as well as my upside down crunches.  These are my favorite things to do at the gym, so it shouldn’t be too hard to follow.

Keepin’ it simple.  I have my miles all planned out for Feb.  I am integrating speed work on Tuesdays, and am on track to hit 13 miles by Feb 18th.  These few extra goals should compliment my running plan nicely.  I feel confident in my training and look forward to where I will be in just a mere 4 weeks!

Progress Report: Week 3: A Milestone!

January 21, 2012 2 comments

Today wraps up 3 weeks of half marathon training.  The first two weeks were pretty tough (in a good way) and I am definitely starting to feel a lot stronger!  Today was a big milestone in my training.  I am up to 10 miles!  My first double digit run!

It was rainy and windy but I did it.  I am so close to my half marathon distance and it is starting to feel really exciting.  The one thing I required of myself before registering for my half, was to reach the 10 mile mark.  So as a special reward I now get to officially register for the Oakland Running Festival!  It makes it a lot more real.  And I know I can do it.

I have my first ever 10k to look forward to next Saturday in Fremont!  I feel like there are so many exciting things to look forward to and work hard towards.  This next week I am going to be writing out my February training schedule, and hoping that either the weather stays nice, or the gym clears out a little.

After a long run… I foam roll.

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And then I drink!
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Cheers to reaching 10 miles!

Half Marathon Training Has Officially Started!

January 7, 2012 2 comments

That’s right.  This was week 1 of official half marathon training.  I had to say that to myself a few times before I started to really believe it!

This all comes after a BIG change of plans.  I’ve had my sights set on the San Francisco Half Marathon as being my very first on July 29 2012.  I’m excited.  Sometimes I even catch myself daydreaming about running over the Gold Gate Bridge.  How amazing does that sound?  It is going to be an experience I’ll never forget.  In a way it doesn’t feel real.  I plugged the date into a ticker and realized it was a whopping 210 days away.  That’s 30 weeks!   I knew I didn’t need 30 weeks to only add another 6 miles onto my long runs.  With the help of my running friends on Twitter, I decided to train for the Oakland Half Marathon on March 25, 2012.  11 weeks away.  Enough time to train up, but not so far away that it doesn’t feel unreal.  Great!

I wont lie. At first I wasn’t too sold on the thought of running in Oakland.  But after reading a blog post sent to me on Twitter, written by a Bay Area runner, (@PavementRunner) and after watching a slideshow on their website (http://www.oaklandmarathon.com) I was sold!  I am so excited to be a part of this event this year, and to experience the community who comes out in overwhelming support (and I saw something about live bands playing along the route), oh and excited for the 13.1 medal because free stuff rocks!

So that’s it.  March 25th is the new BIG day.  And despite the beginning of this year being flogged with junk miles that left my confidence in the gutter, today, being Saturday and my long run day, I gained all that confidence back by sticking to my training and completing my longest distance yet: 8 strong miles.  It felt amazing.  I kept telling myself that I was out there doing something I didn’t think I could do just last week.  It didn’t hurt that it was beautiful out this morning and I took advantage of it, running outside around a big park.  There was lots going on, multiple soccer games, hoards of parents there to watch, people rollerblading (which I thought was a dead sport ha)!, dog walkers, and other runners!  I felt comfortable until about 6.5 miles when I realized I hadn’t brought enough water.  This stressed me out a little (water fountains weren’t working either) so I started rationing it better and was happy that I had some Gatorade in the car waiting for me when I was done.  Since I didn’t have much water left, I was afraid to take a Gu because I thought it would upset my stomach.  Luckily I felt pretty good til the end and didn’t really need it!  And I know that’s a part of what these longer runs are for.  To work out all the kinks so nothing like this happens on race day.  I am still learning how to prepare, perform, and recover.

So I have decided to compose a list of my upcoming events (although it is a work in progress for now).

Jan 21 Twitter Road Race Virtual 5k

Jan 28 Coyote Hills 10k Fremont, CA  http://www.brazenracing.com/coyotehills.html

March 25 Oakland Half Marathon, Oakland, CA  http://www.oaklandmarathon.com/

July 29 San Francisco Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA  http://www.thesfmarathon.com/

Sept 4 Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, Dayton, OR  http://www.run4oregonwine.com/

I will throw in some 10k’s here and there between March the halfs marys, but I’m already getting excited about my list! I hope you stick with me through my training so you can read about my accomplishments!

Ending 2011 Strong, Entering 2012 Stronger

December 20, 2011 1 comment

I ended November by logging my most weekly miles yet: 19.5.  Even with Thanksgiving and traveling…. But….

December is a slippery slope.

After returning back home from our trip to Oregon, I got sick.  And I stayed sick for 3 weeks!  On top of that, my diet suffered with all the cookies and eggnog and treats galore!  It’s hard to resist this time of year.  Between all the sweet temptations and festive commitments (which offer even more goodies), I was finding it nearly impossible to maintain balance.  The holidays (plus being sick) was taking a terrible toll on my routine.

I wanted to write December off.  It’s a wash.

Then I started thinking about 2011, with it coming to an end and all.  I thought about all the running events I participated in.  About how I couldn’t even run for 30 seconds a year ago, and how much stronger I’ve gotten today as I train for my first Half Marathon.  I can’t let myself close out this amazing year stuffing my face with cookies, putting off progress and ignoring my goals.  I want to end 2011 STRONG.  And go into 2012 even STRONGER.

So I’m back at it.  Tackled double workouts yesterday, and eased back into my miles.  I’ve registered for one last 5k on New Years Eve morning… just for fun, and to close out 2011 surrounded by thousands of other runners in San Francisco.  It doesn’t get much more motivating than that!

Consistency and a Positive Attitude

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

I personally believe that these two little BIG things are absolutely key to achieving your goals.  I also believe they’re the two things that are the hardest to habituate.

The problem is when you enter into a new exercise routine, you’re often unsure of if it’s worth it.  The hours of sweating on the floor, or the elliptical or the stair machine seem daunting. And it is HARD work.  Then, when your hard work doesn’t pay off right away on the scale, your motivation wanes.  Your thoughts spiral into negativity and hopelessness.  Sounds somewhat dramatic.  But you know it’s true.  Who hasn’t experienced that to some degree?

When you’re faced with a daunting task at work, do you tell yourself you can’t do it, then crawl under your desk with a doughnut?  Uh no, your boss would fire you.  But if you take on that task with a good attitude, taking it step by step, you will ultimately reach the next level – then the next – then the next, until you finish the task: success!  Even if you stumble along the way, being persistent will get you there.

When you are consistent in your efforts, and have a good attitude, you can overcome.  You can achieve.

This is something I have learned through over a year of pushing myself and working hard.  It’s a part of working your mind into shape, as well as your body.  Both parts are important.  Both are hard.

Consistency and a positive attitude are so important.  Without them, it is too easy to become discouraged.  Even if the scale isn’t telling you what you want all the time, and you struggle with a workout, your mind can be the muscle your body may not yet have.

 

Are you filling up on “fillers?”

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

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This week has been different. For the first time in at least 7 months, I am sick. So while I rest up and get better I have been doing some reading. I love learning about nutrition because the more I learn, the smarter I can workout. I’m not about to waste an hour a day sweating on the elliptical if there’s another way to get my body to burn more calories, while working less. (And there is). My point is, the more knowledge I take in, the more smart decisions I can make towards an efficient calorie burning body.

This week I’ve had my mind on food. I love food. And I came across an article that made me think a little more about the ingredients in my food. I always look at the ingredients when I buy my groceries. Everything that goes in the cart. But I don’t know everything (duh) and something has been slipping past me. It’s called Cellulose. Never really sounded that bad. Cellulose. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t care to question it either, probably because I could pronounce it and it wasn’t “partially hydrogenated” or “fructose-anything.” Right. So the article I read about Cellulose was called “15 Food Companies that Serve You Wood.” (http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/2/cellulose-wood-pulp-never-tasted-so-good.html). huh? I had to read more. Come to find out it is wood pulp. Like from…..wood. It’s made by cooking wood in chemicals to separate the plant fibers. So that creates Cellulose. Food companies add it to food as a filler to mimic fat. It makes food thicker and creamier. So they’re able to market an item as low-fat and “high fiber” and even as organic! They’re saving around 30% in ingredient costs by using Cellulose instead of more expensive raw materials like flour, oil and sugar. Forgoing these ingredients to substitute in a chemically produced wood pulp doesn’t scream organic to me.

Ok so sure, it adds fiber and the FDA says it’s safe to ingest. But the thought of eating “wood pulp” didn’t exactly thrill me. I’m not sure this is something that belongs in my diet. Why would I want to get my fiber from a wood pulp? I don’t! There are definitely better sources of fiber that offer real nutrients along with it. Here is a good list: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582. Balance is best.

So back to my grocery cart. I’ve seen Cellulose before and I don’t remember where. So I start going through my fridge and my pantry. Well I guess I’ve eaten most my weekly groceries it being Friday and all. But I did find one culprit. Sandwich Thins. Only 100 calories and 100% whole wheat. Oh, and the package says it’s “an excellent source of fiber.”  Sounds like a fantastic choice right?  Obviously, because it ended up in my home.   It’s funny how something that looks (and claims) to be so great could be uh, maybe not so great.  I’m not big on bread anyways, so I wont be repurchasing these.

So although I couldn’t run this week, or workout, I did learn something.  And now I can make more smart choices when it comes to where I want to get what my body needs.  And well, I don’t need fillers!