Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Damn Nike+... Grrrr....

Did my weekly 30 minute run last night. It was a pretty standard run, nothing crazy. But my Nike+ took a dive midway through the run and totally underreported my mileage and tanked my pace. That's the way it goes sometime, I guess, but it still sucks because I have no other way to track my distance. I am thinking about getting one of those Garmin 405 gadgets (such a gadget girl, I know), but I need to save up for it or see if there really *is* a Santa Claus!

I am doing Week 9 of OHR this week since I took last week off from the program due to my race. The Week 9 runs for me are:

Tuesday: 30 Minutes (DONE!!)
Thursday: 38 Minutes
Sunday: 55 Minutes (YIKES!!!)

Other than that, I finally shook those crazy 7 pounds that attached themselves to me for no good reason, and I am down a bit lower than my most recent low as of this morning. My daily calorie goal on The Daily Plate fell from 1806 to 1799 in the past day with my small loss this morning, which gives me a bit of a psychological boost since I started at over 1900+ calories per day last July when I started tracking them.

I enjoyed watching The Biggest Loser after my run last night. I still do not have a personal favorite, but certainly hope to see Vicky, Brady, and Heba leave before the show is over. I cannot stand the crap that went on between them and Phil last night... zero tolerance for bullshit like that here. I'm sure it is easy for me to judge as a spectator, but hope I would stay out of those situations were I actually in the situation. Probably not, though, since I always seem to find trouble wherever I look!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treat Trot 5K

I ran the Trick or Treat Trot 5K today on the beautiful Chicago lake front, and it was a fun race! 2500+ people running and walking with many in cute costumes.

The day started out, well, late. I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. because I had to leave the house by 7:25 a.m. When the alarm rang, I leisurely got out of bed and decided to check my email. When I glanced at my laptop clock, it said 7:03 a.m. No... it was only 6:03 a.m., and my alarm clock verified that. Just to check, I turned on the news and saw 7:04 a.m. WHAT???!!!!??? I now had 20 minutes to get dressed, fed, potty-ed, and out the door. Which is not enough time for this no-colon wonder.

I did figure out what happened, though: My alarm clock has a daylight savings time adjustment feature. Daylight savings time typically begins at midnight on the last Saturday of October... but not this year. This year it is starting a couple of weeks later, but my clock did not know that so it kindly adjusted my time for me at midnight last night!!! AHHHHH!!!!

So I did not have time to properly potty or fuel, and I was off to pick up my mother and head into the city for the race. We got to my brother's house in the city to meet up with him and his family (his wife ran the race with me), and then we headed off to Lincoln Park for the race. And then we hit the traffic caused by 2500 runners and walkers and all of the fans trying to converge in Montrose Harbor for the event.

We ended up being dropped off in order to get our race packets and chips. The lines were very long, and we just made it to the start before the race began. And we were off!

Less than five minutes into the race, I needed to go to the bathroom. Badly. I started praying that I could just safely finish the race and make it to a port-a-potty at the end. Then I started having cramping from the need. Ugh. I did make it to the end of the race without having to find a toilet, but it took an effect on my pace as I ran hunched over and slower than usual.

Another thing that I did not account for was the wind. It was a VERY windy day by the lake in the Windy City, and being an indoor track runner I was not used to this! I also did not bring a visor or sun glasses (I forgot to pack them because of my morning rush), and thus it was very bright in my eyes and hard to look far ahead.

But it was a beautiful place to have a run, and I plugged along and did my best given the circumstances. My time was not what I had hoped, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and was very proud when my name was called as I crossed the finish line! My sister-in-law even kept her pace as slow as mine so that we finished together, which was very nice of her since she is in better shape than I.

I learned some important lessons:

1) Get the gear ready the night before
2) Set two alarms ;-)
3) Try something more binding for breakfast
4) Bring a tissue
5) Sunglasses and/or visor must come along
6) Try not to start out too fast even though the rest of the crowd is doing so because you will tire out too soon
7) Have fun and try not to focus on the time too much

The best part was at the finish line where my friends and family were waiting. Delane biked 45 minutes each way to come and cheer me on (thank you!!!) as she rested from micro-tears in her ankles from her half marathon a couple of weeks ago. And my divorced mom and dad were both there to cheer us on... together in the same place for the first time since my latest 7-hour abdominal surgery in December of 2005. Much better circumstance this time IMHO!!! I felt really blessed, and it made the disappointment in my time basically fly out the window.

Then we went out for breakfast at Ina's in the West Loop, and I had some out of this world vegetable hash... YUM!

All in all it was a great day, and I am going to choose to focus on the positive instead of dwell on the disappointing. Live and learn... and keep running!

P.S. My next 5K is scheduled for Thanksgiving morning (the EP Turkey Trot), and I am already looking forward to it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Three More Days And Counting!

Just three more days to the Trick or Treat Trot 5K on Sunday, and I am both excited and nervous! But no matter how I do, I'll get a t-shirt so it's worth the price of admission. ;-)

I finished my last run before the race, and it was a good one. I had the track to myself (yippee!) and felt strong. Not as fast a pace as my last couple of runs, but I'll take it.

On the scale front, I was down about 5 of those horrid 7 pounds as of this morning and I had a good, on-plan day so hopefully the scale will be kind to be again in the morning.

Other than that, it was the same old same old for me today. No good stories, nothing exciting except a random hallway encounter with one of the most handsome men in the world who just happens to work at my company. There's nothing like that serious hunk of hot man to make me wanna stay on plan and make my run a good one! Ah, a fat chick can dream, can't she?!?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gearing Up for Sunday's Race

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have taken a week-long break from the One Hour Runner program in order to keep a low mileage week before my Trick or Treat Trot 5K on Sunday. It's pretty amazing to me that a 30 minute run seems like a short run now, LOL!

Tonight I worked hard during my run. I could feel that my pace was better, and I ran at a higher heart rate without too much fatigue again. I also really pushed myself for the last lap, so things are improving on the running front.

I veered a bit on the eating side last weekend, though, starting with a drunken Friday night out with my co-workers. Two 20-ounce mugs of beer, a SoCo Lime shot, and a tequila shot were the sum of my dinner on Friday (ugh). Then Saturday I had a bit of a feast day at a Halloween party followed by cabinet raids upon returning home. Sunday brought breakfast at a local restaurant and then a pizza dinner, but all in all I kept my calories overage moderate and only exceeded them by about 1000 for the entire weekend. But somehow the scale had me up by over SEVEN POUNDS this morning from my weight on Saturday morning, and there is NO WAY that I ate enough to deserve even 1/3 of that gain.

That number freaked me out enough to step on the scale for a second time today after coming home from work, and I was down by 4.3 pounds at that point, so I know that this is not a real gain... but WTF??? It's not TOM, I have not been pouring on the salt, and I have been doing some big (for me) runs that should have offered a bit of a counterbalance to the weekend eating deviation.

Anyway, I have really tightened things up after this morning's scale fiasco because I want to feel my best for Sunday's run, and I want to keep moving downward on the weight front. It's amazing how much a thing like the scale threw my mood for a loop today, even when my head KNEW that I could not have gained that much so quickly with my intake in the same time frame. The only thing that kept me from really flipping out was that I have been on track with my running plan. I guess this is why it is best for me to have two plans going at any given time, one for weight loss and one for something fitness-related, because if I am on track with at least one of them then I do not feel like a total loser and throw in the towel with a setback by diving snout-first into a binge.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've Got That "New Sensor Smell"

And it smells fishy!

Well, I ended up going and buying a brand new Nike+ kit because it would have cost me just a couple of dollars less to get a replacement sensor (once shipping was included), and I would have had to wait for it to be shipped to me. Great way to get people to spend more money, Apple and Nike. Quite the racket. Yet, I am the dumb ass who did it.

I did my 50 minute run with the new sensor, and I was amazed at the end of my 56 minute workout when I heard "Miles Complete: 5.1"! Woo-hoo! But wait a minute... or more like 2 minutes because that was about how much faster my pace was with this new sensor than with the old one! Which was right, this one or the failing one? Did I really run that far? I did not count how many laps I did in my almost hour long workout, so I had no clue!

Yes, I did feel like I was running faster and stronger today, but that just seems a bit much. Especially when I came home and uploaded the workout and saw that it was showing some of my pace points at an 8 minutes per mile pace... NOT A CHANCE! So now I have to recalibrate this damn thing again and figure out how fast I am actually running. Although the 5K I am running a week from today should give me that answer, too. :-)

So, I finished Week 8 of the One Hour Runner program with a 50 minute run (yea me!). Next week would be Week 9 for me, but since I am running my first 5K in, oh, ten years, I am just going to back off for a week and do 30 minute runs on Tuesday and Thursday and then the 5K on Sunday. Then I'll hop back into Week 9 of the program the week after that. So that means that in three weeks time, I should have completed my first 60 minute run!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sensor: Low Battery!

It's Thursday again, time for my second run of the week! I was still sore from the combo 30 Day Shred/W8D1 of OHR, but not sore enough to be able to convince myself that I could miss the run without guilt.

So off to the gym it was for a 36 minute run. The track got kind of crowded as I neared my ten minute mark, which always makes me grumpy. But then I noticed that it totally cleared by the time I hit my 25 minute mark, and I was the only one remaining... YEA!! This slow, fat girl outlasted all of those fit and speedy runners! As I always say, at least I have endurance!

I felt like I ran a bit faster, though, so I look forward to seeing the run pattern and mile speeds when I upload my Nike+ later on. I also found that I was more comfortable running at a higher heart rate tonight (maybe it was all of the caffeine in the pot of black tea that I drank at my favorite tea shop before my run???). And I found myself picking up the pace for the last 2 1/2 minutes instead of slowing down to a snail's pace as I usually do. So there are three good things, and that makes me happy that I went and did it despite my sore legs.

After my run, though, I noticed that my iPod said "Sensor: Low Battery". I had a moment of panic when I saw that because I have my longest run so far (49 minutes) scheduled for Saturday and I WANT CREDIT IN MY NIKE+ CHALLENGES, DAMMIT!!!! So now I need to find someplace local to go get one early on Saturday morning. Ah, the trials and tribulations of a runner. ;-)

As an aside, it was kind of weird for me to go to the gym tonight because of an altercation that happened in childcare with my daughter on Tuesday night. Let me preface this story by saying that I am a single mother who commutes on public transportation (over two hours a day) to and from a full-time job, so I have to run at night and need someone to watch my child while I do so. Thus, childcare was the primary consideration when I chose a gym. Luckily this gym also has a great 5-lap-per-mile indoor track, so it worked out well in both ways. Before I signed up for an annual membership, I asked if it would be okay if my daughter had a snack there because I pick her up from after-school care and usually go right to the gym so that we can be home by 7:30 p.m. to have dinner, do homework, and get her to bed by 8:00 p.m. That means that she has not eaten since lunch, and she is very hungry. They told me that it would be fine for her to have a snack as long as there are no other children there, which is certainly understandable.

So, she has brought popcorn with her for a snack almost every time that she has gone there for what is now almost a year (my gym anniversary is in the first week of November), and it has never been a problem. But on Tuesday night when I finished my run, I walked into the childcare room only to find my child crying so hard that she was hyperventilating and choking like she was going to vomit. As I tried to calm her, I spoke with the teenage girl that was watching her to try to figure out what had happened to create this situation. As it turns out, the gym manager had come in to the childcare room and noticed my daughter snacking on her popcorn, and she freaked out. She started yelling at the teenager assigned to the room, and then stormed out and printed a big sign about not allowing food in the childcare room and stormed back in and taped it on the desk in the childcare room. And she did all of this very loudly in front of my very sensitive 6 year old child, who then thought she did something wrong and was in trouble.

Suffice it to say that I was NOT happy with the way this 40-something woman (and I mention her age only because she is certainly old enough to know better, unlike many of the teenagers that work there at night) handled the situation. As a matter of fact, I was starting to go all Mama Bear, and was feeling a confrontation on the horizon. So I asked my mom, who often goes to the gym with us, to take the child out to the van while I paid the childcare fee (and looked for the bitch who made my baby cry).

But then I thought better of finding that idiot because I was starting to fill with f-bombs and fury. I figured that if I went off on her with the ferocity that was brewing in me that I would just look like a hysterical mother and not get my real point across. So I quietly paid, grabbed the business card of the Executive Director of the gym, and exited to soothe my child.

The next day I called the Executive Director and left him a brief voicemail about the incident, asking him to please call me to discuss. He did, and he allowed me to voice my GREAT displeasure for about 15 minutes as he assured me that I was totally right (of course I was) and that the stupid manager dealt with it in the wrong way (duh). He promised me that he would address the issue with her personally, and discuss the proper way to handle tricky situations the involve children with the rest of the staff, too.

So, when I arrived tonight, and especially as I left since I was moving much more slowly and became a good target for discussion with the passing staff, I could tell that they felt a little weird about it. I, on the other hand, do not feel that weird about it because the bitch was wrong and I got her in trouble and she should NEVER have done that in front of my child. So there.

Ah, now I feel so much better after that tirade... it was kind of like a big, cleansing breath! I hope that things go well on our next visit (Saturday) because my daughter is a bit nervous about going back. I really hope that it does, because I need to stay at this gym as it is the only one in the area that I could find that 1) had childcare, 2) had a good running set-up, and 3) I could afford.

P.S. Al and Carly, I felt so honored to see you following my blog because I think of you two as running rock stars and I love reading about your experiences. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sore

I am sore. All over.

I did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD last night on my DOR. I was a little sore today, but it was the good kind where you know you did something that worked some neglected muscles, but nothing crazy enough to sideline you.

Then I did my 30 minute run tonight.

I was a bit sore when I started. I worked through it while running, but started to feel some seizing up in my legs during my cool-down walk. Then I came home, fed the child and got her in bed, made some dinner and sat down to watch The Biggest Loser on my DVR.

I started having trouble getting off the couch during potty breaks. And once it was over, I could barely haul my sorry ass up to stagger to the computer.

I am going to take a pain-killer before heading to bed, and then I am going to pray that I am more limber and pain-free tomorrow when I wake up.

And I actually plan on doing the DVD again tomorrow. I truly am a glutton for punishment.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Should Always Be a DOR!

I usually do my long runs on Saturday, but since I had my "day of beauty" yesterday and then had dinner with my family, I had to do my run today.

I went in with a good attitude, and decided to do it at a moderate pace so that I could enjoy the run... but 45 minutes just sounded REALLY long. After my 5 minute warm-up walk, that meant that I had to run until my HRM said 50 minutes!

And I was off! My time was pretty slow, as I expected, but I did enjoy the run. I found that I was generally low energy, which could be attributed to the fact that I did not have lunch or that I was tired after running errands all morning. Either way, I finished all 45 minutes and was so proud! That's big for me because only once in my life have I ever run for more than 45 minutes, and that was back in 1998 during an 8K race... back in the pre-baby days when I still had a large intestine even!

Week 7 of 10 of OHR is done, and I am now entering the final three weeks. I am progressing and it feels good! And I love my new haircut, and smaller clothes are fitting me now, and I just generally feel better. All those things, those are the reasons why I started to run again, so I am going to take a few minutes to savor them before rushing off to do the laundry (ho-hum). :-)

The plan for next week is:

W8D1 - 30 minute run (Tuesday)
W8D2 - 36 minute run (Thursday)
W8D3 - 49 minute run (Saturday)

Also, a huge congratulations to Delane who finished a half -marathon yesterday... you are an inspiration, and I'm in with you next year for the race if you want some company!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

First Time Without a DOR

Since I wimped out on my Tuesday run and ended up doing it on Wednesday, I missed my DOR (day of rest) between runs and ran again this evening. I have been religious about my DORs because I do not want to be sidelined with an injury if I can avoid it, but this was the only way for me to get all three runs in this week.

I did just fine and was not as tired as I feared I might be. 34 minutes for my W7D2 run, with my next run scheduled for Sunday. That run will be 45 minutes, which seems pretty amazing to me!

I actually have been fighting a migraine ever since Monday, and it was coming on really strong before I went running. The good news is that I feel a bit better after the run and was able to eat a good dinner relatively pain-free. Hopefully this darn thing will finally go away because five days with a migraine has been pretty miserable.

Tomorrow night I have a manicure and pedicure scheduled, and then Saturday I have my "day of beauty", completed with a new haircut. Wish me luck, and may I be a more glamorous woman when I do my 45 minute run on Sunday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wimp No More!

After skipping my run last night (ahm... I meant postponing my run, of course), the guilt kept getting worse and worse all night. Then I watched The Biggest Loser and felt like even more of an ass for my decision.

So I packed my workout clothes last night so that we wouldn't have to come home to change this evening before hitting the gym, in order to eliminate that decision point of "to go or not to go now that I am comfy in my house after 10+ hours commuting and working". And then I received even more motivation when my child said "Mom, can we make sure we go to the health club tonight?" as we were getting ready for school/work this morning.

Fast forward 11 hours and I hit the track for a 30 minute run. And now W7D1 of One Hour Runner is done! The bad news for me is that I do not get a day of rest between W7D1 and W7D2 (which is scheduled for tomorrow night) because I have plans for Friday night and Saturday, so my only two remaining days to run this week are Thursday and Sunday. Such is life, and it is of my own doing. Time to suck it up!

I am going to close with a shout-out to Delane, who is running a half-marathon this weekend... GOOD LUCK AND YOU CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Admit It.

I wimped out.

It is cold and raining, I still have cramps, and I "postponed" my W7D1 run until tomorrow night.

That is all.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

And I Even Did a Minute More than Planned!

Yesterday was my W6D3 run, which was supposed to be 41 minutes long... but somehow I misread my HRM watch and ended up doing 42 minutes... score!!!

I ran at about 1:15 p.m., and I do not think that is a great time for a run for me. I was a bit more tired than usual. But my pace ended up being decent, so no worries. The biggest challenge that I had was trying not to blow up at the STUPID WOMAN IN THE RED SHIRT who was sauntering (and I do mean sauntering) in the Jogging lane of the busy track while talking on her cell phone. I almost ran into her just to make a point, but realized that getting into a confrontation was not a great idea with my PMS raging as it was. I had visions of the cops being called after I flipped out at her... and decided to skip that possible path for the day.

After my run I had to take my daughter to a 3rd birthday party for a neighbor, and when the pizza and cake came out I sure was happy that I had burned almost 700 calories during my 3.83 mile run! Woo-hoo, what a treat!

Today I am a bottomless pit, though, with my cold abating and TOM stopping by for a visit this morning. I hope that I'll even eke out a small loss for the week, but sometimes it is just like that I guess.

My running plan for the week is as follows:
Tuesday - 30 minutes
Thursday - 34 minutes
Sunday - 45 minutes.

That will round out Week 7 of 10 of the One Hour Runner program. I am doing my usual Saturday run on Sunday because on Saturday I am going to a local spa for a day of beauty that was gifted to me by a friend. How cool! It actually starts Friday night with a manicure and pedicure, and then I have hair coloring, a facial, and a cut and style on Saturday. Hopefully I will look like a younger, more beautiful woman! A girl can wish.

I still am having a bit of a problem believing that I will be able to run for 60 minutes in four short weeks, but I am just going to follow the program and hope it takes me to the goal line! Wish me luck!

And a special shout-out to FriedMSW, my first official blog follower... thank you! :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Running Sick

I am sick with a cold (please insert an "awww, poor girl" here). My throat hurts, my nose is stuffy, and my voice is temporarily borrowed from some sexy vixen. I am living on Airborne, Emergen-C,and Dayquil (that sounds like some sick twist on Truckin' lyrics!!). Oh, and sugar-free cough drops (which still have 5 calories per drop, by the way).

And I feel sorry for myself. :-(

So I stopped at my favorite tea shop after work for a pot of Mint Lula, and was going to postpone my run until tomorrow or Saturday. But the owners of the shop are some of my biggest IRL running supporters, so after a great conversation about Fred and his son climbing Yosemite and Half Dome, and talk of the Hustle Up the Hancock, they were not so supportive of my idea of workout postponement. Fred said that I should go to the gym to keep my routine and just walk if that was all my body could do... and I knew that he was right.

So I came home, threw on my workout clothes, and headed to the gym. I went to the track and told myself just to do what I could and not get hung up on the W6D2 OHR 33 minute run on schedule for tonight. And off I went!

Of course, being as competitive as I am with myself, I did the run as planned and my time was not half bad! I didn't notice the sore throat as much as I had feared, either.

So now I am relaxing with another dose of Vitamin C, some squirts of Zicam up my nose, and a bunch of water. One last swig and I am going to hit the sack to replenish my energy and make sure that I do not get any worse!