Sunday, November 27, 2011

back at it!

Well I got back on the train today!

I didn't get in 6 full miles, but about 50 mins of cardio, mostly running. I'll take it. I should've run outside - then 6 miles would have been unavoidable. But, for some reason I'm not feeling the outside running these days - even with the unseasonably warm weather we've had here in the Northeast this weekend. I'm not sure what's up with that? (the weather or the non-desire to run outdoors).

I came home and got in a good core workout with some light upper body. On tuesday I am eligible for an additional discount on a phone and am planning on getting an iphone - mostly so i can have the 100pushups and related apps. haha. The problem is, I can't do a pushup. Like, not even one. I can do modified pushups. But, one solid normal pushup - uh, i'm not there yet. I'm working on it. Then i had a delicious refuel breakfast of 2 scrambled eggs, mushrooms and tomato, half a whole wheat english muffin, and a glass of v8. Feein' good!

The last few weeks have been sort of lax in the workout department. only 3-4 days of working out a week. Kind of lame. I have no real excuse other than not having a training plan to keep me on track. So my goal for this week is to workout every day. Even if it's a quick lifting session or just a half hour of cross training. Something physical

Now... if only i can get up off the couch to complete my cleaning goals for today. I want the apartment to be spick and span for when Q get's back! Her sister had her baby early this AM! yayay! Don't want the doting aunt to be stressed out by a unkempt apartment hahah. or maybe just a few more minutes of star wars....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Today was not so good

Today was a bad day. I didn't work out. I didn't do much of anything honestly. And I ate... a lot... of crap. Now I feel crappy. To make up for failling at life all day I just cleaned the crap out of the bathroom (no pun intended.) And now i'm doing laundry. At least I've redeemed something, right??

I've resolved to do 6 miles tomorrow and then a killer abs session. Maybe some at home yoga? Then finish cleaning my apartment and get some christmas stuff out! Then I'll begin the hunger games books, which was the plan for today. whoops.

I really hate wasted days. I feel like a loser. But tomorrow I can restart, recharge and give everything another go. right?

One lost day doesn't mean all hope is lost. I'm gonna get back on the train - after a good night's sleep.

Positive thinking folks. OH! maybe tomorrow would be a good day to start my inspiration board?! I think so.

Power on, people.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The lonely holiday chronicles

The holiday's are, positively, the most annoying time of life to be single and pushing 30. Not because I'm actually lonely, but because everyone else assumes that I am.

uh, this post is not about running.

My sole new year's resolution for 2011 was to NOT date, for a whole year. I started out thinking this was a fantastic idea. Five weeks left in the year, it's an even more fantastic-er (yes, that's a word) idea. However, at this time of year I find myself constantly having to justify my choice to family, friends, and exceptionally rude and inappropriate barely-co workers who find it necessary to discover "what's wrong with me."

Not dating at 29 is the opposite of what most people set as a goal for themselves at this age, I realize that. However, for a myriad of reasons that are none of the internet's business, this was a positively perfect choice for me. Zero regrets. My reasons for remaining single are purely selfish, I'll openly admit it. I don't want to accommodate anyone else's needs. period. I've been doing that for years and not getting back what I've put in, so screw you relationships. If I want to be happy, it turns out, I'm the one who has to put the effort IN TO ME.

I find it very unlikely that I would've found the time or energy to devote to running and training and completing 2 half marathons if I'd been in a relationship. Those races are the highlights of my adult life thus far. Seriously amazing accomplishments, that I did, all by myself (with the support of loved ones and cherished friends, of course :) - see I can bring it back to running.

But really, this post is a rant. I don't want to meet your single friend. I don't want to talk about how I'm getting old and babies and shit. In fact, I don't even want to hold your baby or rub your tummy. What I want is for you to accept that this is the life that's making me happy and that, at the same time, I can be genuinely happy for you and your new/old marriage, and kid (as long as you don't talk about it CONSTANTLY). This is me. I run, I work, I have a cat, and I sleep alone, and I like it. So please, for this holiday season - stop asking me about my singledom. You put it off like there's something wrong with me, but likely you're probably just jealous that I don't have to justify doing what I want when I want to anyone else.

Happy Holidays, suckas.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkeys! and Running Mantras

First of all, let me say, I absolutely love that someone found my blog by searching "I lift turkeys up and put them down." I don't know why my blog was found with this phrase, but it is hilarious in and of itself, and also that someone googled it to begin with.

Blogging has been slow this off season. Not a whole lot is happening. I'm trying to maintain a balance of keeping up my endurance/running mileage, but still get in a lot of beneficial weightlifting. Lifting has resulted in some quick weight loss, as I knew it would. I've been making a mostly conscious effort to eat better (as much as I can during the holidays) and I don't dick around with lifting. I actually had a nearly puke-worthy SHOULDER workout the other day.

Running is mental, we all know that. But really, any physical activity has a mental component. For whatever reason, despite two half marathons and a year of running training, I still feel I've a better handle on the mental aspect of lifting. Perhaps my "just one more" mantra is better suited for a rep, than a mile (a few seconds vs ten minutes - I can see why that's failing).

I need a new running mantra, when I'm really close to then end it's (strangely) a bit easier to tell myself "you've already done 45 minutes, so you know you can do 5 minutes, and that's all you have left." However, if I'm out for an hour run, and a half hour in I'm struggling, THAT's when I need a new mantra. "half way there, baby." Is more like "I wanna kill you if you say that again, bitch" some days.

What are your running mantras? What gets you through the workouts that are tough from the get-go?

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm NOT Running a Turkey Trot This Year

Nope. Not gonna do it. I ran a 10K turkey trot last year and honestly, it sucked, and not just because my ITB flared up like two seconds in. The organization of the race was not that great, there were ZERO mile markers, and virtually no spectators, less the hunters out in the woods wondering wtf was wrong with all these people, running about, screwing up their gaming.

Also, this year I'm going to cook! yay! I'm excited to play a bigger role in cooking the family meal, lounge about with my sister as she reflects on her first semester at college, and continue to try to talk my brother into moving out of my parents' house. haha.

I'm done racing for this year, and I'm ok with that. After the half in October I toyed with the idea of signing up for something small and local, but I have decided against it. Instead I've been analyzing - perhaps poorly - my performance of the year. I'm still stinging with a bit of bitterness from not having performed as well as I wanted to at my last half. So, my analysis has been skewed slightly based on that. I'm trying to distance myself from those negative feelings and take a hard look at what I've accomplished this year, and where I want to go with this.

In terms of good things and progress this year, I ran two half marathons - the first was something I'd never done before so yes, that is awesome.

Additionally, I PR'd every race I ran this year. Some were auto PRs because they were new distances for me. But I ran 3 10ks and 2 halfs - better every time. Can't complain there!

Next year I have some big goals coming - it's also the year of my 30th birthday, which plays into some of my goal setting. I'm going to reserve my goal plans for a different post - probably a few weeks down the line. I need some more time to really think about what I want, and framing goals in a realistic fashion. (last year I said I wanted to run 1000 miles in 2011. Clearly, I had no idea what I was talking about, I was not a runner when I set that goal, nor did I know what running 20 miles a week would feel like -repeatedly. Read: exhausted) ... 2012 might be a different story, though ;)

I also need to spend some time doing more research, and finding more valuable ways to evaluate myself. I need to research training plans, and tactics. Determine the best ways to make the kind of progress I want to make. If anyone has awesome blog posts on training for multiple distance races in a year, or training tips, or books on running they would like to recommend I would be more than appreciative!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Long Run for Fun

I'd often wondered how my running would play out after my race season had concluded. I had big aspirations that I would keep up my mileage base (15-20miles a week) during the winter months and kick ass. But, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't burnt out after my last race in mid-October.

To save myself from returning to being lazy and inactive, I decided to switch up my workouts, with more of a focus on weight-lifting, and running for feel and fun. And it's worked.

Weight lifting is awesome. Period. I feel so bad ass adding weight onto the bar and crushing it! RAWR. But, to be honest, I still really really really like to run. I've been experimenting with some new treadmill techniques. I don't own very much in the way of reflective gear, so early morning runs while it's still dark out aren't something I can do everyday. Treadmill it is. I've gone simple. I cover the display so I'm not just sitting there watching the numbers tick. slowly. by.  It's working! I simply run, and pay attention to my music, every 3rd song or so, I bump up the pace. I'm pleased with this take. The only downside is I'm probably going to need a lot more variety in my running music in order to keep my attention.

The big sticking point for me during the off-season is maintaining a long run. So many times I think to myself "why would I spend all sunday morning running if I didn't have to?" Well the answer to that, dear runners, is because I now WANT to, I NEED to! YES! I'm a runner. "I don't want it. I just need it. To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive." ~Tool, Stinkfist. Pretty much sums it up right there :)

So, this past Sunday I set out with some fuel and a water bottle for 8 comfortable miles. The best part about non-training long runs is that I'm not constantly worried about my pace. I'm not stressing if I have to stop to eat these incredibly difficult to chew power bar gel/chew thingys I bought (they were the only type of on-the-go fuel at my ghetto Price Chopper). I also didn't plan my route. I just went out and ran until I got to 8 miles (that took some creative neighborhood weaving as I got closer to home, haha). The only downside to that approach was I apparently had hill-amnesia, and picked a seriously difficult route.

I also didn't take any caffeine before this run. I usually pop a caffeine tab before any decent workout. And usually, my gu (which is my usual fuel) has some caffeine in it. I'm also likely to have tea or coffee after a long run. Well, Sunday I did zero of those things. Add in daylight savings (though I'm not sure that really had much to do with it) and I fell asleep for an hour or so after my shower, and was seriously fighting to stay awake past 7pm. I fell asleep for real at about 915. Uh, am I a 20-something or a 70-something? haha. Monday ended up being a rest day too because I just could not wake up! It was well deserved sleep, though! I ran 22 miles last week - just cuz! That is close to my peak week mileages during training! It's nice that I can just casually run 20+ miles a week even when not training (assuming I have no social life and can go to bed at 9pm every night, haha).

Today I did a legs workout and it was awesome. My mentality with legs workouts is similar to speed days. Go big or go home. Push it. Leg days are my favorite lifting days! I'm not entirely committed to adding cardio on to leg lifting days, because after a seriously hard workout, doing cardio could be a disaster. But today I had time to pump out a mile and a half on the t-mill after my lifting session. My legs felt great!

Let's see what I have to say about that tomorrow...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

inspired, uninspired, reinspired

i've very clearly been avoiding my blog for about two months (maybe more). Some of it was due to work related stress and a non-desire to be on the computer or think.

Some of it was because i've been trying to work a few things out in my head before posting all my nonsense on the interwebs.

Some of it was jealousy.

I had blog runner envy. I follow a LOT  of blogs of really really awesome runners. I was training for my second half. While my training went quiet awesome this cycle, the spark of something "new" and breaking barriers wasn't there this time like it was for my first cycle. Add work/life stress on top of that, and a lot of runs (even if they were awesome) felt forced and chore-like. I reminded myself that I had been training pretty much since February, after spending nearly 3 decades doing a whole lot of nothing. So mental (if not phsycial) burnout was to be expected.

The first training cycle, I'd read the blogs of other awesome runners and be inspired. Now I was just getting jealous. everyone else was blogging about getting faster, and breaking mental walls, and happy runs and I was miserable inside my head. So, I hopped off blogger. Twitter updates was enough, and worked well enough. I even stopped reading many of my favorite blogs. Not all, but many. It was nothing to do with the bloggers themselves. It was my own issue, of frustration, unwarranted jealousy/envy etc.

I have read a MILLION times, literally, not to compare yourself to other runners. Run your own race. You're not them, blah blah. But I had a really hard time doing this. Especially when my real life runner friends were getting super fast, and I felt I was stagnating. I am, without a doubt, my own worst enemy. I am like this in every facet of my life. One time, in high school - freshman year - you know, SEVENTEEN years ago, I said something to a friend that came out all wrong. I did not mean for it to sound as mean as it did, I was trying to be funny. I still beat myself up about it. We didn't even have an argument about it. In fact, I know she knew I was joking when I said it and STILL I feel guilty about it.

Seriously, Jen? wtf?

So, I distenced myself from blogger and spent more time focusing on ME, MY running and MY training. And I am starting to snap out of it. I'm comparing my paces/distances to a year ago and seeing (obviously) giant improvements. I've come a long way. I'm making goals for next year. After tomorrow's "long-run-for-fun" I will have topped 20 miles for this week and I'm not even training. that's awesome. AWESOME. And certainly not something I could've done last year.

I've started reading blogs again, and I'm getting back into the flow of commenting.

I'd like to send a big thanks out to a bunch of women I've never met for keep up with awesome blog posts and tweets and that they, completely unaware, have contributed to my re-inspiration - for running, writing, goal setting and ass-kicking.