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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Good Week - Women Stuff

It was a good week this week for health and fitness, not so much for work.  It was a busy stressful week, or maybe it just seemed busier and more stressful because hubby, the teacher, was on fall break and that makes you look at him in bed at 4 AM as you lace up and think, really?

I was back on track this week and got in all my workouts running and strength, and they felt pretty good. I cooked everyday and we were back to mostly veggies and fruit meals.   I also had my physical and after they stuck me nine times trying to get a vein for blood we had a serious discussion about my need to get a colonoscopy right away.  I will be following up on that.  But I also had an interesting talk with my Dr. about "that time" in a middle aged woman's life and we discussed the impact that could have on my running and fitness goals.  I had never really thought about the fact that while my body finds a new balance I may have to change up my goals, because I am asking an awful lot of my body.   That kind of tracks with my running lately.  I have been consistent but definitely my performance and pace has been a little off my normal.  We both agreed the change would be harder if I was not as rigorous about my exercise and diet, but that I needed to understand that maybe I should shift my focus off performance.

I think it was a good perspective.  I will continue to be consistent and finish all the races I have committed to, but I might alter my goals and just run for fun and fitness.  Who knows what might happen.  Eventually my body will find its new Chi and I can reevaluate big time goals.  After all I did not start running for times and medals.  I started running to be with my husband and I kept running to avoid the health issues and bad choices endemic in my family.

Today we enjoyed a beautiful breezy late morning 6.75 miles of fun together, no times no pressure.  Back at it this week.  I plan to do a couple of morning runs without music and enjoy the sounds of morning in my neighborhood.  It can be very centering.  I hope your training week went well.

Today I am grateful to see cooler weather on the horizon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day, Reminders and Getting Back at it

It is mid-week or as the camel likes to say "hump day!"  I have been back in town since Thursday and trying to make up for a sluggish week last week.  So far so good.  I have gotten in strength training Monday and Wednesday at the gym and my morning three milers in everyday this week.

Also since I have come home I have been back on my regular diet which helps.  Lots of fruits and veggies and healthy home cooked meals.  I think it is not that we have set backs or situations that make healthy choices difficult; it is about whether we can get back on track.  I feel like I have.  Also I don't know about you but I only feel like myself when I am doing the things that make me feel healthy and happy.

Speaking of choices, I got to spend some time with my mother and sister today.  I had to take my mom to see my Dad's grave and the marker for my brother had been put in so we went to bring flowers.  Spending the day with my family is always a good reminder about the value of making good health choices.  Lots of my friends make fun of me, lovingly of course. Asking if I miss eating a cheeseburger or pointing out only crazy people get up at 4 AM and run every morning.   The truth is those things don't seem like sacrifices; if you have ever seen the results of bad health choices played out over and over again.  A cheeseburger and an extra hour of sleep will never be as important as good health and all the rewards and independence it brings with it.

Tomorrow is a rest day I have my annual physical tomorrow morning so I have to fast until 9 AM so I did not think a 4 AM run was a good idea if I could not refuel.  Tomorrow I tell my doctor that my brother died of colon cancer 5 months ago at 46.  I suspect "someone" will be setting up a colonoscopy soon.  We shall see!  Hope you are having a good week so far.

Today I am grateful for many things.  Visiting your relatives at a cemetery will do that.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What a Week: Tales of a Banana Slug!

I am not cut out for a sedentary life!!  I got to experience what one feels like this week.  I had to attend a vendor sponsored conference which meant everything was mandatory and the days were long with every minute scheduled.  Day started at 6 AM and ended at 10 PM.  I was there Monday-Thursday.  I wear a Garmin FR15 with the fitness tracker.  I normally, even at work, get between 9,900-12,000 steps a day.  While at the conference I  got 3,000 or less.  Not to mention there was hardly a vegetable or piece of fruit to be found.  That may be a side effect of being in a male dominated field.  It was an alcohol, meat and potatoes bonanza!

I am a pretty health conscience girl so I don't usually experience that kind of sedentary life with no healthy food.  Even though I am normally really active and healthy, by Thursday I could already feel that I felt sluggish and less like myself.  I can see how if you get in that mode you might not have enough energy to turn it around, but also I can't imagine anything, short of a brief work trip, forcing me into that position long term.  I also could not be on the road all the time.  I like being home and have really set up my own life around my health and fitness priorities.

As soon as my plane landed I headed to the gym for an hour of weight training then to my chiropractor.  I ran a quick one miler with hubby after dinner and was back out for my pre-dawn run on Friday.  I was able to cook us a healthy meal Thursday and the rest of the week.  This week, more than any of my other travel, gave me a glimpse of why I make the choices I make.  It came at a good time.  I have been struggling with motivation and some injuries but I felt really recommitted when I came back.  All of sudden what seemed like an obligation felt like a privilege, after I was not allowed to do it.  It is amazing how your perspective can turn around.

I guess I may have needed a less intense week after my half, and to find my love of all things healthy again.  I am back on track.  Got my strength training in on Thursday and Saturday and runs in everyday.  I am happy to be back in my routine and feeling like myself again.  Now to train for my next half marathon.

Today I am grateful that most of the time my lifestyle allows me to make good health a priority.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Diva Half - Running in the Rainforest

Yesterday was the Diva Half Marathon in Peachtree City.  First I chose this half because of my theme for the year, to push myself past my comfort level.  I knew this race would be hot and I typically do my half marathons well into the fall or winter.  I went into this with a rough training season, lots of injuries and really hot weather.  That being said I was realistic about this half.  I was not racing it, just using it as a tune up long run before Silver Comet half at the end of October.  I figured how many times will you do a long training run and get a big blinged out medal.  Believe me the medal is huge.

What about the race.  It was a mixed experience.  First the start was tough.  Here is the thing about these travel races, meaning they just go from town to town.  They are different than local races because they don't know the little nuances that make a place a place.  One thing about Atlanta, never choose a parking location with only one way in and out.  My husband and I were on the road accessing the parking for 50 minutes trying to get three miles.  We ended up getting there about 25 minutes before the race and had to catch the shuttles to take us 2.5 miles to the start.  I had about 15 minutes before my wave 1 started to use the porta-potties.  With 1500 5K runners and 2300 half marathoners you can imagine that did not happen.  Also they had no one manning their social media to give updates about if the shuttles would run longer or start times would be held due to the parking disaster.  Yes the shuttles ran longer; no they did not hold the start times as I was running down an embankment as they yelled "last call for Wave 1."  I had no prep time.  I was trying to start my Garmin find my music while catching up to the tail end of my group.  I finally pulled off to get my technology straightened out.  Turns out I did not need to worry about that since we self seeded and let me tell you a number of people self-seeded themselves in the wrong wave as I caught up with my group at  .25 miles and many were already walking.

I tried to shake off the start.  I mean I had to run 13 miles might as well try to enjoy it.  The first 5 miles were pretty good they were on a tree lined street, wide enough to accommodate the number of runners, easy to pass those that maybe should have been in a different wave.  Then we entered onto the golf cart paths.  Peachtree City has 100 miles of Golf Cart Paths it is the Golf Cart capital.  Who knew, right?  The good, my Friend Laura was working that water station I had not seen her since college.  So super fun to see her and get water from her sons.  The bad, did not know the next 8 miles would be on narrow, winding, poorly maintained golf cart paths.  It was clogged with runners so you really could not pass anyone.  For awhile I was following this girl, but she was getting more frustrated and more rude, yelling "move over! Let me through!"  Since I was afraid folks thought we were together I backed off and just reminded myself this was supposed to be a training run.  Who cares about time.  Just relax.  It was a good reminder, especially as I continued running and encountered several runners who fell because of the torn up path or were passed out or hunched over because of the heat and humidity.  Yeah, you really aren't living unless you run 13 miles in 100% humidity with 2300 people.  I myself had to slow down a couple of times and take a little walk break around mile 10 because I could feel that I was too hot.

Diva had plenty of water stations with porta-potties and Gatorade about ever 2 miles.  We needed it.  They did not have enough medics for the extreme weather and the varied running experience of their participants.  I was at mile 12 when I passed a woman sitting on the ground.  Several people ran past her.  I stopped to see if she needed help.  She said she fell and thought she broke her foot.  Could I send help from the next stop, which happened to be the tiara and boa stop.  I sped up, because finally I had some room and also I wanted to get her some help.  I finished the race in 2:16 number 362 of 2300 runners.  My slowest half, but I finished, and for the conditions I felt pretty good.

The fun, they did have tiaras and boas for your photos as you crossed the finish line.  They also had champagne and the biggest heaviest medal I have ever seen.  They had plenty of shuttles to take us back to the field where we were parked.  I was surprised by the experience.  I had thought it would be this hugely supportive women's running experience, but most of the women I met were pretty standoffish and I saw a lot of folks blow past people who needed help and none of the racers really lending each other any support, may have been different further back.

The toughest thing for me personally was the heat.  I was soaked through with sweat head to toe.  My wet shorts and tank caused some vary uncomfortable chafing even with Body Glide.  Also my shoes were so wet from sweat that the extreme downhills on the golf cart paths I felt like I would lose my balance.  I did check getting completely naked in a field off my bucket list.  My clothes were so soaked I had to change, had no idea we would be parking in a field.  Hubby used the sun shades for the car to block me while I wriggled out of what was then a wet suit but started as a running outfit.  It was great to see my husband standing cheering when I rounded the corner to the finish.  I never get tired of that, even if it was pretty slow for me.  I still think persevering in the heat and humidity will pay off for me at Silver Comet.  The shirt is a dry fit hot pink which I love.  Ultimately I would not do this race again, but I was glad I got to experience it.  Maybe the heat and humidity just made it too hard to have a girl power kind of experience.  My chafing is healing and took a short two miler with hubby today to shake things out.  Flying to Florida tomorrow for work.

Grateful that I could make it through 13 miles!  Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seriously? I am Running 13 Miles Tomorrow?

It is official!  Everyone in my house spent the day getting ready for the Diva Half tomorrow.  Don't worry, unless Lena gets up at 4:45 tomorrow with 4 little running shoes on and drags her fluffy tail 13 miles she can't wear the shirt she commandeered today.

I have taken a little blogging break.  Did not have much to write and had been focused on getting back into loving my fitness routine.  Hope I am there; since tomorrow I am running the Peachtree City Diva Half Marathon.  Let's hear it for girl power!!  I will write up the race of course.

I can give them a thumbs up for being green!!!  Everything for the race instructions and discounts are electronic.  The little environmentalist in me loves that.  Also kudos for great and consistent communication and the race number pick up and expo was simple, easy, well staff, and swathed in a sea of pink.  I took complete rest days yesterday and today and went to see my chiropractor today after picking up my packet and number.  I am actually finally feeling injury free and well rested so hopefully that will make for a pleasant run.  I am using this as a training run for Silver Comet in October.  Not going to push to hard.  Plus it is supposed to be pretty warm and humid.

Also just s we are clear that I am crazy.  I do the half Saturday, fly to Florida Monday for a conference, fly home Thursday and report right to the Kaiser Corporate Challenge 5K since I am on the County Wellness Committee.  That all sounded like a good idea a couple of months ago.  Oh well should make for some interesting posts.

Today I am grateful for my husband who will be getting up at 4:45 to cheer me on tomorrow, even if Lena stays in bed!  If you are racing this weekend good luck and if you are training hang in there.  This was my roughest training period for a race.  Hopefully pushing through will help me tomorrow.