Monday, January 20, 2014

January Madness

Soooo...I have a blog :)  My blog will be 2 in a few months and I just told one of my best friends about it a couple of weeks ago.  That's the only IRL person I have told!  I know she hasn't read my blog, though, because I told her in the midst of cocktails and shots on my birthday, so she likely has no recollection of that event! 

January, January.  The year started off with a 5k!  It was supposed to be an event where you ran a 5k, got a medal, and then could get an extra medal for jumping in the lake, but apparently they nixed that.  I 100% would have done it, but I'm not going to say I didn't feel relieved.  My time was 41:08.  I was going to stick to my plan to run the first mile, then walk.  Well, they didn't have mile markers, only kilometer markers and I ended up running till the turnaround point. 

My friend Laura from the bible study/running group that I attended in the fall did the race too and bless her heart she ran with me.  When I stopped to walk, she went on ahead and as I was nearing what would have been the 3 mile mark, I saw her jogging back my way.  I totally thought she had finished and then just come back as a friendly jog, but she went to the finish, turned around and came back to run it in with me.  Super sweet and unnecessary, but I did appreciate it.  Fairly certain that was her slowest 5K/however far she ran ever.  (That was my second fastest time...first 5K that I had not PRed!).  Honestly, my goal was to not to have any bowel emergencies while running.  Check!

My tri group had a break over the Christmas/New Year holidays and only had informal gatherings.  As YMCA "D" was completed in August, I took it upon myself to set up a little weight lifting routine.  I would run/walk on the treadmill for about half an hour and then lift weights.  It was a little intimidating at first, but I feel no shame in asking for help or demonstrations from the staff!  Because the walls are mirrored and I would rather look at myself than make awkward eye contact with people, I was examining my body and came to this conclusion:  chubby, but strong.  I don't even like the word chubby (sounds like we're in middle school), but that's what came to mind.  Happy with my progress!

My bike had a bolt missing on the crank arm (major uh-oh!) and I went to get it fixed the day before the snow storm/polar vortex.  They said they didn't have the part and would have to order it and that my bike was pretty unsafe (on the trainer) without the bolt.  Sullenly, I went to swim (which made it a little better!) and when I got home, I had a voicemail that they had actually found the correct bolt instore, installed it, and that I could come pick it up.  I was so very thankful!  I got in several bike trainer rides while snowed in and I know I wouldn't have lifted a finger to exercise otherwise.  Plus, they only charged me for the price of the bolt...$6.75.  AND the mechanic put on a spare tire on the back so my red/black one wouldn't get worn down.  I was thinking about trying to change it myself, so I'm glad I had an excuse to take it in and have them do it.  Pretty sure I learned my lesson about the bike shop - if the manager is not there, the bike mechanics will not charge me labor/tire change fees.  And this particular one is not bad looking - always a bonus! 

As my tri group is gearing up/changing things this year, there are a lot more opportunities for running.  I've never really felt one way or another about running (other than "running is the worst!" when in the midst of the first mile). Tri Coach Jeff emailed us a few weeks ago and said that YMCA "C", where my tri group is based out of, was offering the half marathon training program to tri group members for free.  It is usually $85, so I decided to check out the information session.   The program is lead by an older gentleman named Cecil (love it!).  Cecil told us his story.  He used to be 220 pounds, got a YMCA membership for his kids, they didn't go, but he did.  He started walking, then running and now he is super speedy and runs Boston every year.  Sounds simple, but when he was telling us his story I was like "let's get out of here and go run RIGHT NOW".  Inspiring!

The group is training for a specific half marathon in May.  I got worried looking at the schedule, which is only running 3 days a week (cross training 3 more).  I was so proud of myself for running over 2 miles at YMCA "D" before weight training.  The runs in the very first week were all 3 plus.  We all know I can't run a 5K.  I laid out all my concerns in an email to Cecil and told him I wasn't running the half marathon, but I would give this training thing a shot.  He was cool with it. 

I did my "long run" of 4 miles last Friday, which was the longest I have run/walked unless you count the half marathon/1 training run I did in the fall.  Today, I was supposed to do a treadmill run.  Warm up, 3 miles at mid tempo pace, cool down. I wanted to run as much as I could of that 3 miles, but my mind could not get wrapped around the time it would take to do that on the treadmill/boredom I would encounter.  I went back to where I did my long run - my local rec center (not YMCA) that has the free indoor track that is 1/8 of a mile.  I didn't pay too much attention to my pace, but I can tell you that I walked a warm up lap, ran 12 laps (1.5 miles), walked 2 laps (0.25 miles), then ran 10 laps (1.25 miles), and cooled down with walking 2 laps (0.25 miles). 

Holy cow I was so proud of myself!  I mean, I've been able to run 1-1.5 miles without stopping before, but never the distance that I did after a walk break.  Those 10 laps that I did after the walk break were hard.  My legs felt fine, my hip was achy, my diaphragm/lungs were angry, but I freaking did it!  The whole thing took me about 46 minutes, which was actually my first 5k time.  If I'm ever feeling down about where I am currently, I know I can look back and see the progress I've made.  And that my friends, is priceless. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quick post!

Hey guys! 2014 is already flying by!

The year started off rough when I stepped on the scale, saw a number higher than I liked, got pissed about it and decided to eat 3 huge sugar cookies with frosting.  Uh....   I've always said that if things like the scale start to effect my mental health, then I will drop it on the spot.  My mental/emotional/spiritual well being is always my priority.  So I stopped weighing myself daily, have been exercising regularly, and eating better.  I have no idea what my weight is, but life is great right now!

I had a bday and it was a blast!  I got in a morning swim with a special workout written by the tri group swim coach.  My arms and legs were very tired from weights the evening before, but i managed to eek out a 2900 yd workout in an hour and five minutes.  I then headed on over to the church for a prayer and worship service - life altering.  So, so, so good! 

I then got lunch, got a mani/pedi with my bestie, then we had some afternoon refreshments and a local watering hole (haha!) and hung out till we went to dinner with my family.  I recieved some great presents like some of my alma mater's apparel and a mug, and a smart phone!  Welcome to the 21st century, Melissa! lol

Things are getting set up for this next season to tri training group, so we shall see what that holds!  I have been having a blast running on the treadmill (okay that part not so much) and lifting weights at the Y right across the street from my work.  There's no excuse when you can see the Y from your office window.   I've been using some free weights and some intimidating things like the 45 degree leg press!

I've been working on a 30 before 30 list that I will definitely share when it is complete - any suggestions?  I only have about 23 right now! 

Also, I made up a preliminary triathlon/race schedule the other day and my first tri is an indoor tri on Feb 1.  Woot!  I am looking forward to doing some open water swim races as well.  It is obvious that I love swimming, but 400 yards during a triathlon doesn't really cut it.  I'm looking at a 5k swim or two this year.  I was looking into one in Chicago in Sept but I have a wedding to go to a couple of states away that day...bummer!

2014 is looking bright and shiny...all I have to do is keep my head up and stay injury free! :)