“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prowling through a workout

Have you ever had a workout or used a particular piece of exercise equipment and thought - "WOW, I want to do THAT again!!!"  It's like being a kid again!!!

Kind of like how Avery feels about her favorite exercise:
She was actually cooing and smiling the whole time.  Only Daddy does this exercise correctly.  Perhaps I should quit putting her in "Daddy's Girl" stuff - maybe it's giving her ideas?

Anywhoodle, Adam, the guy who puts me through my strength training, often tells me before an exercise, "You'll really like this one."  And, of course, "like" might not be the right word.  Hahaha.   This morning he started with, "This will probably be the hardest workout we've ever done."  So, of course, I LOVED it.  Well, at least the prowler part.

What is a prowler you ask?  It's similar to those weighted sleds they use in football training:
I actually used the Prowler 3 - but couldn't find a good photo of it
This picture from the internet doesn't do it justice - mine looked different.  I'll have to bring my camera to the gym next time.  Mine had a cross bar, shoulder pads, and a bar for adding weights.  Anywhoodle, you put your shoulders on the two bars...and PUSH....while running as fast as possible...because once you lose momentum, it's harder.  There was a cross section piece on the one I used that allowed me to also turn around with my butt to it and push it backwards - THAT WAS TOUGH.  Nonetheless, I loved this exercise.  And I mean LOVED.  I think that's a sign that there is something wrong with me.  LOL.
My mommy is so embarrassing that I must hide my face in shame.
I also got a package that put a big cheesy grin on my face today - so for those of you that are only here for the pictures of Avery's brand new stocking and ornament...
Avery's first stocking - it matches the rest of our set.
The rattle actually says - Baby's 1st Christmas and the heart has her birthdate on it.
So, back to my original question - Do you have any exercise that just DOES it for you?  One that makes you smile and say "let's do that AGAIN."?

Do you want to push a prowler now too?  Come on, you know you want to.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rainier Training: Week 4

Quick Look:
# of Workouts: 7
# of miles ran/swam: 13
Weight: 202.4 (Down 4.2 lbs from previous week!)
Chest: 43.0" 
Waist: 45"

Monday:  1 mile TM run
Tuesday: ST with Adam and 2.2 mile run
Wednesday:  Rest day
Thursday: Flying Feather 4 miler (Recap here)
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 4 mile NOBO run/walk, 1 mile bonus run
Sunday: 0.75 mile swim
That's right.  
I lost 4.2 lbs on the same week as Thanksgiving!!!
I'm awesome.  That is all.  LOL!

Instead of blathering on about how my week of training went - I'll let the weight loss tell the tale.

I did get new running shoes this weekend:

My shoes are already telling me what to do next week!
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week!
Even Avery is all smiles this week!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flying Feather Recap

Race: Flying Feather 4 miler
Distance:  4 miles
Date:  November 24
, 2011; 9am start time (Thanksgiving)
Finish time:  48:45, 12:12 min/mile
What sets this race apart: The bottle of wine for finishers

This is another race put on by M3S Sports.  I did this race last year when it had about half the racers it did this year.  LOVED it.  I mean, what's not to love about a bottle of wine for finishers?

It was a lot more crowded this year - maybe it had something to do with Runner's World picking this race as one of the top 10 thanksgiving races? 

Nice swag in the bag for this race as well:
Long sleeve tech shirt, hat, gloves...and...
And a little bottle of whiskey
We brought a couple of toys for Toys for Tots - because they'd been a drop off spot for that at the race last year.  Apparently they quit doing it this year - but they still took my bag with promises to get it to Toys for Tots.
Avery would have loved these if they'd refuse to take them.  :)
I knew that I wouldn't be able to meet or beat my time from last year based on my conditioning, so my goals for this race were two-fold.  Run the entire race, no walking.  With that in mind, I started the race slow and gradually picked up speed when it was clear I would have plenty to give.  In fact, I could have run another mile or two.  YAY.  My secondary goal was to finish with a 12:30 min/mile pace - in line with the whole starting slow.  Success on both counts!  My avg min/mile splits were: mile 1: 12:33, mile 2: 12:31, mile 3: 12:00, mile 4: 11:26, bit over 4: 7:07.  Almost a 1 min/mile slower than last year - but since I did give birth 3 months ago, I'm okay with it.

They changed the course from last year eliminating most of the hills - which actually kind of bummed me out.  LOL.  I know, I'm not normal.  There were some gentle hills, but nothing even medium sized.  Nonetheless, LOVE THIS RACE and the course.  Most of the run takes place in Glacier Ridge Metro Park.  I do some of my Mommy Milers workouts out there...and I think I'll have to put that in the rotation for training runs.  It is even jogging stroller friendly, so once Avery is big enough for the jogging, we'll have to try it out.

There were lots of jogging strollers in the race - very humbling to be passed by someone pushing a double-jogger!  There were also a lot of walkers - the downside of a holiday-themed race.  Not only were there walkers - but they were inconsiderate.

<stepping onto my soap box>  I have no problem with people that walk a race or those that employ a race/walk strategy.  What I do have a problem with is when they decide to talk and string out to completely BLOCK the trail behind them.  And, when the slow walkers start at the front of the pack.  If you know you are slower - start in the rear - don't make it harder on the runners by forcing them to run around you.  In fact - a couple times, my patience reached it's limits.  Some high schoolers were running hard...and then walking and chatting and covering the trail.  As I ran towards them I yelled "Please don't block the entire path."  Another time, I was running through the only gap between walkers behind another runner - and she decided to start walking RIGHT in the gap.  I actually said aloud "seriously" - but she had her music on so loud (I could tell what she was listening to) that there is no way she heard me.   Another time - I simply yelled "On Your Left."

Despite all that, fun race....and several of my Lucky 13 gang were there....
Sara, me, Judi and Mollie - shamelessly stolen from Sara's camera.
My husband ran the race too (Sub-9 min/miles) but we forgot to check the battery on our camera before we left.  Oops.  So I made my friend Sarah (who'd watched Avery during the race) take a photo at home:
Avery -  I want a medal instead of this stupid turkey outfit.
The weather for the race was supposed to perfect - 40's-50's and sunny.  Instead - fog rolled in a bitterly cold biting wind.  While I was running it wasn't bad, but it was cold when we stopped!  All the finishers got a medal and a bottle of wine:
Bottom line - great way to start Thanksgiving.  I fully intend to be back again next year!!!
I get to come next year, right???  I'm dressed for the part!

What are your thoughts about walkers and run/walkers in a race?
What's the best race swag you've ever gotten?  (Can you beat wine and whiskey?)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rainier Training: Week 3

Quick Look:
# of Workouts: 6
# of miles walked/ran: 10
Weight: 206.6  
Chest: 43.0"  (Down 0.5")
Waist: 45"  (Down 1")

I have to say that this was an off week training-wise for me.  I'm actually thrilled that I didn't gain weight...and still saw some change in inches.  I had some lingering foot pain after last Sunday's Buckeye Classic that caused me to cut out Tuesday's 2 mile run.      I still did my strength training and my Mommy Miler's walk that day, but at the end of the walk the foot pain flared and I decided to cut my run.

As a result, on Wednesday I tried my first spinning class ever to limit the flexing of my foot while still getting a workout in.
At the time, I didn't feel like I'd had a great workout for some silly reason.  The bike felt awkward and the seat stabbed me in the butt in a rather bad way every time I tried to do the standing parts.  Nonetheless, the next morning, my legs were all jello-y.   Good thing I didn't have my normal Thursday morning training session because Mark was in Calgary for two days.  Really, Avery and I did well just to survive.  I did get a sitter for my NOBO run that night - and I needed that break!

Saturday I did my NOBO run at High Banks park (where the Buckeye classic 10K was) and then followed that with a long strength-training session with Adam - both felt great!  
Yes, that's me in the green jacket chatting it up.
I also spent some time on Saturday at the Hug a Runner Day event in High Banks - got to see a lot of my Lucky 13 peeps!
I'm trying to make more water magically appear by staring at it.
Sunday I was jello-y again and traded my Monday rest day with Sunday's walking plan.

The highlights of my week, though, were getting my Kelty pack (early Christmas present from my Dad) - which will help with training hikes carrying Avery...
It kind of looks like some sort of torture device, huh?
And...Avery slept through the night last night!!! OMG!!!  She went to bed around 10:30pm...and woke up at 7am this morning.  Of course - I woke up in between because I'm used to that...but still!  And she woke up HAPPY BABY.
Wait - what is that bright light?
And - fun book club last night at my house.  Avery decided it was time to have a meltdown about half an hour before everyone got there....but Mark took her upstairs for most of the event so that I could have fun eating and chatting with my girls.  :D

This week - with Thanksgiving - I need to add in a few extra workouts.  Plus, I'm running a 4 mile race Thanksgiving morning.  Time to be back on track!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rainier Training: Week 2

Quick Look:
# of Workouts: 9
# of miles walked/ran/hiked/biked: 20
Weight: 206.6  (Down 3.4 lbs!)
Chest: 43.5"  (Down 0.5")
Waist: 46"  (Down 1")

My second week of Rainier training went pretty well despite a couple things that could have derailed it.  I lost 3.4 lbs and an inch off the waist!  My parents came to town to visit Avery - which added a necessary extra rest day so that I could pick them up from the airport and all that.  Nonetheless...

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all involved two-workouts a day.  Wednesday was even two cardio workouts.  

I did skip Mommy Milers on Thursday this week, and I did take Friday off.  Despite that, I need my rest day Monday after running 10 miles in two days this weekend.  Prior to this weekend, recently, I've been running that much in a week.  I ran 10 miles this weekend because I did the NOBO workout and went back out for a mile...and the next day I ran the Buckeye Classic 10K (see that race recap HERE.)
At the Buckeye Classic
I was better about my eating habits this weekend as well - despite the parents being in town.  We only went out to eat once - and I made good choices at the house for meals.  So, YAY!!!

Avery did turn 3 months old this week too - and rolled over from her tummy to her back last night!  WOW!  What a week!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buckeye Classic 10K Recap

Race: Buckeye Classic 10K
Distance:  10K, 6.2 miles 
Date:  November 13, 2011; 9am start time
Finish time:  1:27:19/14:05 min/mile

What sets this race apart:  The Cliffs of Insanity

Many thanks to the Lucky 13's who came out to cheer and volunteer during this race...and who are responsible for the majority of these photos.
The Gang waiting for the start
Starting line!  Are we ready to get serious yet?  Nah...
The Buckeye Classic 10K is another race put on by M3S Sports.  It's a smaller race, the field is capped at 500 runners.  It takes place in High Banks Metro Park...and involves running what a few fellow runners on dailymile have dubbed "The Cliffs of Insanity."   Put it this way, one hill is steep enough, that it is actually STAIRS.

According to my Garmin, the total assent for my run in the Buckeye Classic 10K was 1993 feet. 423 feet of that were in mile 2.  Only the 1st mile and the last 0.2 miles involved less than a 200 feet elevation gain.   In short - the perfect place in Columbus for me to be practicing for the Knoxville Half Marathon and for my Mt. Rainier climb.
Loving the cross-over point and the pavement!
I don't typically do trail runs, I'm more of a pavement gal.  Give me clear and sturdy footing please!  That being said, I actually LOVED this course.  Yes, it was a trail.  Yes, the footing was precarious if you weren't paying attention - lots of loose rocks and leaves and forest detritus.  And yet, it was absolutely beautiful!!!  Part of the trail takes you along the river, almost all of it was in the woods.  The hills were TOUGH, but the scenery was worth it.   
More pavement - that's where all my photo takers were
I was VERY glad that I brought my larger handheld water bottle.  There were only two water stops on the course...and the first one didn't come until partway between mile 2 and 3.  

So, how did I do?  Better than I expected given my current conditioning.  I still say that I was peer pressured into this race.  HA!  I ran out strong the first mile (12:15 min/mile).  The second mile was the start of the big hill, and my first walk.   In the end, I walked all the steepest hills, pushed through running all the smaller ones as well as a few of the medium to large ones.  I tried to always run on the downhill and flat sections.  In the last mile, the ball of my foot where it meets the toes started burning, however, and I had to add a bit of walking to stay mobile.  I did manage to sprint the last several hundred feet or so - getting down to a 7:32 min/mile at the end!  
Mile 1: 12:14 
Mile 2: 15:29 (enter the hill!) 
Mile 3: 15:47 
Mile 4: 14:31 
mile 5: 14:04 
mile 6: 13:08 
0.21: 10:07

Running hard to the finish!
My parents were visiting Avery this weekend and ran the race too.  Avery, Mark and Cassie came to cheer.  (I even stopped during one of the crossovers to give Avery a kiss!)  My stepmom, Janette, was 1st in her age group and my dad finished the race in 50 minutes!
Dad, Janette and Me
Some day soon I will be as cool as them.

As usual, no real swag for this race:
Shirt and medal are both pretty cool though, and the price wasn't bad for a 10K.

Bottomline:  I'm already talking about running this again next year and improving my time by 15 minutes.  And I'm talking about hikes and training runs on these same trails.  Luckily, I already have several who have said they will do it with me - if you're reading this - I'm holding you to those promises!!!
Me and Deb after the race

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three Months!

Today, Avery is 3 months old.  Wow.  Just. Wow.
From then to now: Birth on left - 3 months on right
And yes, she still sleeps in my room.  LOL.  We experimented with the crib this week, and it was an utter disaster.  She'll fall asleep - and then her arms will move and startle her awake.  In her inclined Rocker sleeper (see Review here), she is nicely cradled on each side and doesn't wake.  I mentioned to hubby that we could move the rocker to her nursery until she's ready to lay in the crib - and he just looked at me with a "Why" look.

So what have I learned in 3 months?

  • I am NOT a horrible mother for giving Avery formula despite how some moms make me feel about it.  I breastfed for 2.5 months and through 2.5 mastitis infections and through a low milk supply.  She has been living just fine on formula.
  • I am NOT a horrible mother for putting disposable diapers on Avery.  She's made it to 3 months old without dying from her diapers.  She's only had 2 diaper rashes, both cleared up within a couple days.
  • Sleep is PRICELESS.  I used to think I couldn't function without 8 hours of sleep....now I hope for 6!
  • For some reason the phrases "naked baby" and "stinky poop" are the funniest phrases ever....and fake sneezes.
And yes, I used Naked Baby to get a smile here.
  • Nothing heals like Avery smiles.
  • Nothing stinks like Avery's 3-day poop diapers.  (and no - I don't wait 3 days to change a poopy diaper)
Did I mention I heart Pampers - it all stayed INSIDE the diaper - despite appearances.
  • These toys are the BEST toys ever when dealing with a non-mobile child who wants to be entertained:
Eric Carle Toys, and one Lamaze toy
  • It is hard to find time to read books, exercise, insert favorite thing to do here, when you have a young child.
My pile of "to read" books keeps growing...and this doesn't even include the Kindle.
  • You can have a lot of long conversations about poop...without even batting an eye.
  • Adult conversation is WONDERFUL!!!!!!!  (Where's Duane when I need him?  LOL)
  • You can never have too many spit-up cloths, outfits or bibs.  Carter's may start reserving me a parking space.
  • Bob Evans is suddenly a great place to go out to dinner....it's loud.  :)
  • What works for one mom and one baby...may not work for me and vice versa.  And, that's okay.
  • Races, etc. require negotiations with the spouse.
  • And many, many other things that would take a novel to list.
I want to be NAKED BABY!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rainier Training: Week 1

Quick Look:
# of Workouts: 12
# of miles walked/ran/hiked/biked: 31
Weight: 210.0
Chest: 44"
Waist: 47"

I didn't include a 1 mile walk with Cassie in this report.
This was the week of twos...
Two workouts with Mommy Milers
Two workouts carrying Avery in the Bjorn
2 workouts wearing my mountain climbing boots
2 workouts with NOBO
2 strength training workouts with Adam
2 workouts included Cassie
2 days were three-a-days

I wore my mountain climbing boots on a workout for the first time at Mommy Milers on Thursday - on a flat, paved trail - with no issues.  On Friday, I hiked in High Banks Metro Park with my friend Deb.  I carried Avery (the equivalent of approximately a 10 lb pack) and wore my boots.  

Friday was a little bit rougher with the boots.  I developed a hot spot on my right big toe...and my ankles, shins and calves felt bruised afterwards and the next day.  All to be expected with new boots that I am unaccustomed to wearing.   High Banks is pretty hilly for Columbus.  I'm supposed to run a 10K on the same trails next weekend - part way through the hike I asked Deb "Is there a time limit for Buckeye Classic?"  Yup, I'm that girl.
We weren't the only turkeys in High Banks
I had a couple of great quotes during my training with Adam this week:
"Those are the best lunges you've ever done."
"You're one of only two female clients I have that actually push themselves on push-ups."

The previous week, when I first did three-a-days, I was tired and sore by the end of the day. This week, for both of them, I was energized and happy!  Maybe I just didn't work hard enough...  :D

Supposed to be a warmer than usual week here in Columbus - looking forward to the fabulous weather.  I'll be run-walking the Buckeye Classic 10K this weekend...peer pressure.  My family also comes into town this weekend.  Avery also turns 3 months old this week!

Look at this snazzy dress, hat and tights combo - eat your heart out Mommy!
How was your week last week?
Have you ever worn exercise gear that seemed abnormal for the situation? Or that made people say "Hmmm."  (I got funny looks at Mommy Milers).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rainier Training: In the Beginning

A couple of weeks ago, I found this in my inbox.
And, promptly had a moment of "Oh ****, I'm really doing this."  In the email, the RMI guide gives several gentle reminders about training to climb Mt. Rainier....summarized in one of the opening sentences "To effectively train for the mountains, strive to develop strong back, leg, and core muscles and simulate the terrain encountered during the climb.  This means climbing up and down steep slopes while carrying heavy packs in addition to using the gym."

So, my first goal was to acquire the necessary pack and boots for the climb in order to train with them pre-climb.
Boots - check!
Pack - check!
Gaiters and glasses bonus!
With my Dad's help, goal #1 is complete.  He even threw in some gators gaiters and glasses as a bonus.

Goal #2 - make sure the darn things fit!  HA!  After one return, success on that account as well.
I'm braced to climb the Mountain in ...my backyard?
Goal #3 - Get in good enough shape to truly begin hard-core training.  I need to get back under 200 lbs and then some. (that lofty weight achieved during pregnancy). 

To that end - I have started semi-easy three-a-days.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I start the day with a strength-training session with my trainer Adam.  In the late morning/early afternoon, I go on a 3-4 mile walk with my Mommy Milers group pushing Avery in the heavy stroller.  In the evenings, I do my scheduled run/mileage for NOBO.   In a few weeks when my contract ends with my trainer at the gym and I move to off-site training, this may change the schedule.  Nonetheless, I will also start posting training updates once a week to keep me honest.

Larger goals:
1) Lose 65 lbs before the climb.  This will require me to lose the lingering baby fat plus 30 pounds of the excess I was carrying pre-pregnancy
2) Run Knoxville Half Marathon on April 1st in sub-2:30, which would be a PR.
3) Gradual diet change to exclude refined sugars and incorporate more whole grains and veggies.

Do step-ups on the dog count?
Another new goal that's recently come into the picture - Relay Around Columbus.  My friends and I are putting a 6-person team together for this 107 mile race - how cool is that?

Now to begin training...and to read "Into Thin Air," because why not psyche yourself out a bit???  I will leave you with one last sexy picture...
Climbing boot strip-tease!
Have you ever climbed a mountain???

What's the biggest training goal you've ever set for yourself?

Anyone want to do hill workouts with me?  LOL!