Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back to basics

This morning, I was running around the house trying to find my Garmin.  I couldn't find it to save my life.  Then, I remembered I had the Strands app on my phone.  It's funny how I rely on a device to get through my runs, but it's like addicting to be able to know exactly how fast I'm going and how far I've gone, lol.  I decided I was going to take things nice and slow today.  I have been focusing on running my runs faster overall, even my long runs, but I don't really think this has really been helping me much.  I mean, last year I trained at much slower paces and ran the Distance Run faster.  The big difference was that I alternated speedwork with long tempo-style runs every other week.  It seemed like that one day per week of faster running was all it took.  So, I slowed it down today.  I mean, the whole point of a long run is to build endurance and to teach your body how to store glycogen.  If you run it at a fast pace, you're not reaping the benefits of what a long slow run is really supposed to do.

Because of this slow pace, I felt amazing the whole run.  That's another thing about the long slow run.  When you finish, you're not supposed to be dead.  You're supposed to feel as if you could keep going.  That's a nice feeling to have after you have just run 2 hours.  When you feel good during a run like that, you actually enjoy yourself.  You feel good about yourself and what you are doing.  You are breathing the fresh air, taking in the beautiful surroundings, and thinking about life.  I had a nice run today.  It was what a long run should be.

This is a big reason I have decided not to run a full marathon this fall.  I have had such anxiety just thinking about the very long runs that were on my training plan leading up to Nov 7.  I have had anxiety about running 26 miles, period.  I just don't have the time to or desire to run an 18 mile training run.  Right now, that just seems to take the enjoyment out of running when I think about it.  On the other hand, I really really like the half marathon distance.  It's challenging, but not too challenging, and it's not overwhelming.  I can keep my long runs under 15 miles, run about 30 miles per week, and be a happy person.

I revised my whole training plan.  I was just looking around on the RW website, and found a detailed Ryan Hall half marathon training plan.  After looking over it and various other plans, I decided to just go with it.  It gives me some speedwork once per week, and a tempo run once per week.  I really missed speedwork, so I'm actually really excited to start on this plan this week.  I would like to finish a half in 2:10, which is a 9:56 min/mile pace.  This will be my goal for the Nov 7 Marshall Half Marathon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Here come the fall blues

It's been a while since my last post.  Lots to update!

The Charleston Distance Run was Sept 4th.  I can't believe I have not been on here to post about it.  It was the most beautiful day and weekend we have had in a long time.  The weather was super cool and it was just perfect.  I started off in the back with my friend, Mary Ellen.  I felt great.  She was running without a watch, and I was running with her, but I knew we were running too fast starting out.  I was wanting to keep a 10:15-10:30 pace the whole time, and she was running at a 9:30.  We got to Capital Punishment hill about 3.5 miles in and I was feeling good going up.  Mary Ellen needed to stop about half way, so I stopped with her to walk.  We walked a good bit, then started up again, but only for about 45 seconds, then she needed to stop again.  She got frustrated and told me to go on without her, so I did.  I managed to get through the rest of the hills without having to walk but only a few more times.  I didn't want to wear myself out on the hills, anyways.  I came down and over the bridge and still felt pretty good.  Great, 7 miles left.  I was managing about a 10:00 min/mile pace for a while, then I started to get really tired around mile 12.  I realized that I was killing my last 13.1 time by about 5 minutes, so I tried to push myself to get to 13.1 before I gave in.  I didn't quite make it, but still had a better time at this point than the Parkersburg Half.  That made me feel good, but boy was I hurting!  I ended up walking/running the last 2 miles.  I managed a slow slog the last mile or so and finished in 2:37, which reached my goal of under 2:40.  I ate a donut after I finished.

Last year, I finished in 2:28.  I had a great training year last year, it being my first time ever training for a big race.  I am still proud of my finish this year, considering the lay-off I had due to that ankle/achilles injury.  Instead of giving up on running all together, I overcame it and trained my little heart out in barely 10 weeks.  For that, I am proud.  The future of the race is still undecided, though.  We are definitely having a race next year, but they aren't sure if it's going to be a 15 miler, or a half marathon.  I'm glad I got to race this year, just in case it was the last 15 mile race we had.

So, last year after CDR, I pretty much quit running and gained weight.  I ran out of motivation and didn't want to get up and run anymore.  I even signed up for a half marathon and ended up not going!  Well, this year I am determined for that not to happen again, but I'm already suffering from the lack of motivation that I had last year.  I have read that this is common, though, going through post-race blues.  I don't think my problem is just post-race blues, though.  It's fall/winter blues.  You see, it gets so dark so early here this time of the year, and it's going to be way worse when we set the clocks back.  This means, it is very dark when I get up in the morning to head to work, and dark when I get off work at 6pm.  Do you know how depressing that is??  To lose all daylight to work??  All I want to do this time of the year is sleep because it's dark outside.  Well, I can't let that happen this year.  I have worked so hard and lost 14 pounds, and I'm not going to give that up.  I want to keep going!

I took a lazy two weeks of recovery after CDR.  I totally regret the second week.  I failed to plan for any of my runs, so a few of them didn't happen.  I tried to get back on track this week, and have almost failed again.  If I don't run about 9 miles tomorrow, I'm going to be behind.  I need to keep my mileage above 30 miles/week.  I have the Columbus Half Marathon on the schedule for Oct 17, and was thinking about running a marathon Nov 7, but I think I'm going to just do another half.  I may think about a full marathon in the spring, but i'm not sure yet.  I really enjoy the half marathon distance.  Personally, it's an easy distance to train for with my schedule, and I can keep my long runs under 15 miles.

I really think another way to keep my motivation this fall/winter is to hit the gym and lift weights.  I feel so much better about myself when I'm lifting.  It's another thing I can do to clear my head.  Instead of lying around the house on my days off, I should go to the gym and pick up some weights.  We will see how I do with that.

I have a friend, Shaun, that is weight training pretty heavy right now.  His blog is very motivational to me, and he is a rapper, so he's very good with words and inspiring people.  I'm copying this from his blog because it just gives me so much motivation:

   "i dont do this to look good, i do this because i love waking up and visualizing my goal and day by day     
   watching myself get closer to that goal... i am the competition, i am my competition, the only person who
   can stop me is me... i go to the gym when im tired, and i lift when im so sore i can barely lift my arms, i do
   squats soaked in sweat with sweat in my eyes, i deadlift until my hands bleed and i bench press until the bar
   bruises my chest (true story)... yea i love this sport... bring on the next 96 days..... "

Stay motivated, my friends!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon

Well guys, I ran a half marathon this past Saturday.  It was kind of a last minute plan.  I had thought about running it a long time ago when I was planning out my training plan for the distance run.  Well, then I forgot about it.  I really was unsure if I would have my mileage built up enough to run it, and I didn't want to plan on running it and then get injured along the way and have to lose my registration money.  So, the Sunday before last, I ran 10.4 miles in 1:50.  Thursday I decided, what the heck, it's just a few more miles, so I registered.  It was pretty last second, and my husband had other plans, so I had to make the trip by myself.  That kind of stunk because I had to work out of town, come home, pack up everything, then drive over an hour to Parkersburg.  I didn't end up getting there till 11:30PM, and didn't get to bed till about 12:30.  I had to get up early in the morning to get my race packet before the race. 

Let me just tell you about this hotel I stayed in.  Because of the race and my lack of planning, there were only 2 rooms left when I got there.  One was a smoking room and the other didn't have a key.  No key??  What do you mean??  The hotel guy told me that he could let me in, but I couldn't come and go.  Lol, no problem I'm just going to bed and leaving in the morning anyways.  This place was so gross.  It was the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in, and the carpet was nasty.  I was so creeped out by this place and excited about the race that I could barely sleep.  Luckily, I survived through the night.

So, on to the race.  I had heard this race was a little hilly.  Nothing like the Charleston Distance Run, but still hilly.  I figured it would be a great training run for the CDR.  I also heard about a monster hill at mile 11.  I didn't think much of it.  Boy was it ridiculous.  Just at the moment you can't take one more step, you get to a giant hill.  Terrific!!

My plan was to run this as a long slow run, in place of my usual long Sunday run.  I told myself I would run it between 10:30-10:45 min/mile pace and pick it up at the end if I had anything left.  Well, I made it through the first couple of miles holding back a little, and then I couldn't hold back any longer.  I felt so good, and my competiveness got to me.  I settled in at a 10:00 min/mile pace and felt amazing.  The hills didn't phase me a bit.  My breathing was very controlled and I felt great.  I got water at every water stop, not losing a beat.  Then, around mile 8 my race bib decides to rip half off.  Great.  I'm trying to keep it from falling off, and I finally ask another runner if she could spare one of her safety pins.  She was nice enough to do so, so I pinned it back on and kept running.  I felt good till about mile 10.  I had to take a walk break.  Not necessarily because I was pooped at this point, but my stupid feet were killing me.   Seriously, my feet never hurt, so I don't know what was going on.  So, I started running again, then came to a bridge at about 10.5 miles.  Haha, yep I'm walking this one.  At this point, I'm really tired, and I'm had to start doing the running/walking thing.  Then, I got to mile 11.4.  The monster hill.  And man, they weren't kidding.  It was the steepest hill, but luckily not too long.  I laughed, as I wasn't even going to attempt to run up this thing.  I walked to the top, then saw the big downhill and started running again.  I was 1.5 miles away.  I stopped to walk a couple more times, then with about a 1/2 mile left, I could see the finish line.  This motivated me enough to keep running to the finish and to finish strong.  Boy, that last stretch of street seemed to go on forever!  I crossed under 2:19.  It averaged out to be about a 10:35 pace.  Even though I had managed about a 10:05 pace through the first 10 miles, those last 3 miles kicked my ass!

I'm actually very pleased with the race.  I mean, I have only been back training from my injury for 8 weeks.  So, I am actually very happy with how I did.  I believe had it not been for the hills, I could've maintained my 10:00 min pace.  I'm not disappointed at all that I tired the last few miles.  Considering my last long run up to that was 1:50, I think I did pretty good.  The Distance Run is in 10 days.  It's 15 miles, so I will have to push myself, especially with the 5 miles of hills in the beginning-middle, but I know I can finish.  I'm probably not going to finish in under 2:30 like last year, but I will finish nonetheless.

I will say that the Parkersburg Half was a very well put together race.  There were tons of spectators all lining the course, which was very encouraging and motivating.  They had groups of people strategically placed when you needed it, lol.  It was very cool how supportive the city was.  Also, there was a nice pizza party afterwards with Papa Johns Pizza, cookies, and ice cream.  And, the local YMCA opened its doors to allow the runners to take showers.  By the time I got there, there was no hot water, but I was thankful to take a shower and change into dry clothes.  The sucky part was having to drive home tired and feeling like I just got hit by a bus, lol.

Overall, a great experience and I will definitely run it again!

race info:
My race pic:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

20 days to go!

Wow, it has been almost a month since I have blogged!  Sorry about the long hiatus, but my life has been pretty busy lately.  I finished working in Summersville about 2 weeks ago.  Thank goodness that is over!  No more driving 90 minutes every Monday, staying in a hotel for 2 nights, and driving back home Wednesday night.  I mean, it was nice just working 3 twelve hour shifts per week, but I'm not going to say it was easy to leave my husband and pets every week.  So, I'm back home now and very happy to never have to go back there again!

I'm finishing up my 8th week of training for the Charleston Distance Run.  Things have been going very well!  My ankle and achilles are pretty much all healed up.  I run 4-5 days per week on it, and the only time it reminds me it's there is the day after a long run.  It gets a little bit stiff after the long run, but I just stretch it out and it's good to go.  I did an hour and 40 minute run last Sunday, and I'm bumping it up to 1 hour 50 minutes this Sunday.  I have really been enjoying my long runs.  I have a great downtown route I run that includes part of the CDR course.  Last year, I tried to keep my pace 11:30-12:00 min/mile because I was going off of heart rate.  This year, I ditched the HR monitor and I just run how I feel, so my long runs are faster.  Last week I ran a little over 9 miles at a 10:50-ish pace.  This Sunday will be my first 10 miler in a really long time.  It's pouring the rain now, and is supposed to rain in the morning, so I should have a nice rainy 10 miler.

I ran the CDR hills for the first time in almost a year on Thursday.  I forgot what a beast Capital Punishment is.  It's almost 1 mile at a 5% grade.  I had to walk twice up that, then a couple more times on a couple other hills.  I got a tummy cramp under my rib at the downhill.  I finished the 5.5 miles in 60 minutes.  I was pretty satisfied with the run.  I'm going to run the hills two more times before the race, which is only 20 days away!!  I'm barely going to have enough miles built up for my long run to even think about running this race, but I have to run it!  It may actually be the last year of this race :(  They keep talking about turning it into a flat half marathon to draw more people.  There's actually an article about the race in the most recent article of Runner's World.  It's towards the back and talks about how the race is in danger of being in its last year.  It's quite sad to read.  When we heard RW was doing an article about the CDR, us locals got really excited.  I thought they were going to talk about the history of the race and talk it up to try to get people interested in running it, but instead it just talked about how it's almost dead.

Anways, it's been so freaking humid and hot here, my runs have been hit or miss.  I have been doing my runs early in the morning between 6-7AM to beat the heat.  The heat index has actually reached 105 degrees a couple of times.  Some days, the morning weather is good and I have a great run, and other days the air is just so heavy and humid, I can barely run.  I'm hoping to have two weeks of really good training in before the race.  If the weather cooperates, I should be fine.  I just hope that raceday the weather isn't too bad.  Last year, it was just the perfect temperature, and I had a great race.  They start the race early at 7:30, but with this weather, they should start it at 7!  I'm not sure what my goal is, or even if I have a goal time.  With the limited time I will have had to train (10 weeks v. 16 weeks last year), I may be just happy to finish.  I have told myself that I'm going to take it easy on the hills, and take a few walk breaks, so I don't wear myself out.  I may just shoot for a 10:00 min/mile pace again and see how I feel.  Last year I finished in 2:28.  We will see how things go, though.  My training has been very different this year, so I may just surprise myself.

Oh, I ran a 5k last Saturday.  I finished in 27:37, which was a huge surprise to me!  I planned on running it as a tempo run at about a 9:15 pace, but the weather was so cool at about 65 degrees, I pushed harder.  I tried to keep it under a 9:00 min./mile pace, and I succeeded.  It was a flat 5k just minutes from my house.  I was very pleased with the results.  Considering I haven't done any speedwork or hill training, I'm very happy with that!

This week's training plan:
Monday:  off
Tuesday:  80 min medium effort run
Wednesday:  CDR hills
Thursday:  80 min medium effort run
Friday:  60 min rolling hills
Saturday:  off
Sunday:  2 hour long run

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 4 Training Recap

I have been training for 4 weeks now, and things are going great.  I am still experiencing some soreness/stiffness after some runs, but I am managing it very well with ice, massages, stretching, and rest when I think I need it.  I think I'm still in the healing process and it will take some time for it to completely go away.  I have changed up my stride and am trying to correct slight overpronation, so I am still adjusting.  The good thing is, I am definitely able to run 4-5 days per week!  It was so bad before, that if I ran I would hurt for 3-4 days and would be limping.  That is definitely gone!  My husband has become the best little calf massager, so it's all good!

I accidentally skipped Week 3 recap, so I will do that first.
7/5:  4.85 mi in 50 min (10:18 min/mi) also my 26th birthday!!
7/6:  off
7/7:  3.8 mi in 40 min (10:31 min/mi)
7/8:  3.62 mi in 40 min (11:04 min/mi)
7/9:  5.0 mi in 50 min (10:00 min/mi)
7/10: off
7/11: 6 mi in 66 min (11:03 min/mi)
total: 23 miles

Week 3 was a really good week for me.  I got some confidence in proving to myself that I could run faster paces.  Last year, I really held myself back training in certain heart rate zones.  Now, I just run based on how I feel, and that has put me at a faster pace.  I got in 5 good days of running and my ankle/achilles didn't bother me too much.

Week 4:
7/12:  cross training - weights/abs
7/13:  5.12 mi in 55 min (10:48)
7/14:  off
7/15:  4.07 mi in 45 min (11:03)
7/16:  4.75 min in 1:02 (13:04)
7/17:  off
7/18:  6.36 mi in 70 min (11:00)
total: 20 miles

This week was a little weird for me.  Week 3, I started running this somewhat hilly route with Becca near her house.  It's a nice quiet run, with enough small hills to transition me into hill training to come.  Plus, it's a good test for my ankle and achilles to see how they are going to react to hills.  I ran this Monday, 7/13, and it was a good run.  7/15 was a bad run.  My legs felt heavy and it was so humid outside I could barely breathe.  Still a decent run, numbers wise.  7/16 was the biggest epic fail of a run.  My mistake for trying to get a run in at 4 in the afternoon in humid/sunny weather.  By the time I realized what a mistake it was, I was more than 2 miles from my house.  I ran/walked 3 miles of it, then walked the rest back.  Saturday, my 5k got rained out, and I ended up not getting my run in at all because I had a jewelry party that lasted all evening.  Today, 7/18, was a turnaround after 2 bad runs and a missed run.  I got up early this morning to beat the sun and heat.  It was a very solid run for me. 

The rest of this week, I have two 60 min runs and two 50 minute runs scheduled.  One of the 50 min runs will be run on a hilly course of some sort.  I would like to start training on the Distance Run hills, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet.  Maybe here in a couple of weeks.  I am also going to finish remodeling my kitchen.  I took vacation from work to go to the beach this week, but we decided to finish our kitchen instead.  We bought cabinets from a warehouse a few months ago, and they have been sitting in our garage ever since.  Time to start destroying the old kitchen!  I really don't want to do it, but I will be very happy when it's done!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weekend recap and randomness

I finished up my second week of training.  I did a couple miles less this week, 15 to be exact.  I think I ran 5 days last week and 4 this week.  I usually run every Sunday with Becca for her C25K, but with the holiday and stuff we just couldn't get together.  We normally run at 8PM so that it's not so hot and humid outside, but she went to see the new Twilight movie.  I haven't seen any of them, so I didn't go with her.  I need to catch up on these movies!  Anyways, my calf got pretty tight this week, which made my achilles a little sore, so I decided to take Saturday and Sunday off, instead of running without Becca.  I'm trying to play it smart and listen to my body!

Friday evening, I ran in the Independence 5k with Becca.  I ran the whole thing with her, as it was her first 5k.  I pushed the baby stroller most of the race, so she could focus on her running.  My goal for her was under 35 minutes, and we did it in 33!  She wasn't ready to run the entire race straight without a walk break, so we took 2 walk breaks.  She made it to the turnaround point (about 17 minutes) before taking a break, and that's the longest she has ran straight, so I was really proud of her!  We took the pace really easy till the halfway point, about an 11 min pace, then did a 10:30 pace another mile, took another walk break, then did about a 9 min pace the last half mile.  We had a great time!  I just hope Becca enjoys running as much as I do, lol, because I really want her to keep running so we can run together.  All last year I ran mostly by myself, but I have had a blast having a running partner this year!

Yesterday, I went to a spa and got a calf massage.  The lady was really nice, but she didn't work my calf out like my physical therapist does.  I mean, it felt good, but it wasn't as effective as when he does it.  Good thing I see him this coming Thursday so I can get a good massage.  I'm using that stick roller, too, but it's also not as effective as my PT.  I'm still a little tight tonight, so I'm going to stretch really good before bed.

A new 24 hour gym just opened up this Friday.  It's called Anytime Fitness, and it's the only 24 hour gym around here, so I signed up for a membership.  I hope this new gym will motivate me to get some cross training in.  I have really fallen off my ediets plan because I've been so down and out about my injury.  After a weekend of poor eating, I need to get back on track.  I guess I will wait till Tuesday to get back on track because my birthday is tomorrow, and the pharmacy is throwing me a little bday party.  One girl is making oreo bon bons, and I can't turn that down, lol.  I need to get these last few extra pounds off, then start to drop more weight.  I really need to get back into weight training.  I felt so much better when I was doing that (years ago, haha).

I think this coming week, I'm going to start the long run.  I will probably do about 55 minutes, so about 5 miles.  I have been leary of doing a long run right off the bat, but with 2 weeks of training and my achilles behaving pretty good, I think I can start doing a long run.  I'm going to increase my weekly mileage slowly, and I should have just enough time to build up to the Charleston Distance Run.  If that goes well, I'm going to run the Marshall Marathon in November.  I've never thought I would ever run a marathon, but for some reason I really want to run one now!  I just hope I can stay healthy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm back beotches!

I am happy to report a whole week and a half of running with minimal complaining from my ankle and achilles.  Yep, that's right!  I'm back, bitches!! 

Last Thursday, I had another PT appointment.  We didn't really do a whole lot.  He massaged my calf for about 10 minutes, and man oh man, did it feel good!  When he was finished, it felt as if I didn't even have an injury.  No tightness whatsoever.  That lasted through to Sunday, then the tightness started to creep back up.  My injury is so weird lately.  It's healed enough so that I can run daily on it, but that stupid calf gets tight on me and puts a lot of strain on my achilles.  I bought The Stick massager, so that I could massage my calf myself, so I have been doing that since last Thursday.  It works pretty well, but it's nothing like a professional massage, lol.  It's getting me through, though.  I also discovered the ThermaCare Heat Wrap.  Wonderful product.  I have been using a wrap every other day or so after a run to keep my muscles loose.  Love the heat wrap!  I scheduled a calf massage for this coming Saturday.  My PT is on vacation this week, but I will go back to see him next Thursday.

As for my runs, I ran 17 miles last week!  I have been training my friend, Becca, on the Couch to 5k Program.  It has pretty easy runs, and I think she is on week 7 this week.  I did a couple of 35 minute runs with her last week, and two 40 min runs by myself.  The calf massage did me wonders through 3 runs.  Monday, I rested because it felt like it was getting a little tight again.  This week, I have run Tuesday and today.  Tuesday, I did a 45 minute run, and it was amazing.  It was my first real run without breaking to walk.  I had been breaking to take it easy on my ankle, but I'm barreling forward now, lol.  Today, I did a 35 min run in the sun.  I'm feeling pretty tight tonight.  I made my husband massage my calf with the stick tonight, and I'm hanging out on the couch with a heat wrap on, catching up on my shows on the DVR.  The funny thing is, I am running faster paces now than I did last year when I was training, lol.  I took 3 months off from running.  I cross-trained a little bit, but definitely thought I would struggling when I came back full force.  I guess I kept up enough cardio on my break to still be able to run a decent bit.  I'm taking the advice of local runner, Jason Pyles, who recommends I run based on how I feel, not based on a pace chart or HR zone.  Running how I feel has me running faster than before!  I ran today's 35 min run at a 10:00 min pace, and last year I would've ran an easy run like that at an 11:15 pace.  The 10:00 pace felt good, so I just went with it!

I am very optimistic that I am on the up side of this injury.  At least now, I can actually run on it regularly.  A little tightness I can deal with through massage and stretching.  As of right now, I believe that I have enough time to train for the CDR.  I don't know that I will run it any faster than last year because I'm getting a much later start, and I'm fresh off an injury.  Last year, I took 16 weeks to train, but I started from scratch.  This year, I have 10 weeks to train!!  But, I know from last year that I am capable of pushing myself harder.  I know that I can do more weekly miles, and I can do them faster.  I may just surprise myself!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A slap in the face

Still singing the injured ankle blues, unfortunately.  I felt pretty good after the adjustment the podiatrist did.  I I ran on it the next day, then that Sunday, and I was a little sore.  I called her and her staff relayed messages back and forth between me and the doctor.  She said it was normal to have soreness after the adjustment.  So, why didn't she tell me I needed to rest for a week or something?  Instead, she tells me it's ok to run, and I'm wondering if I'm hurting myself even more!  After Sunday's run, I stayed off of it till Thursday.  The funny thing is, I was having this little funny feeling in my ankle the day before and the day of my run.  I decided to run Thursday anyways, then I ran Friday, did Zumba Saturday, and ran Sunday again.  Four days in a row of physical activity.  I think it was a little too much, lol.  Today it was pretty sore behind the ankle.  I'm hoping it will be a little better because I plan to run tomorrow morning.  Here I am still wondering if I should just stay off of it for a while, but then I only have 11 weeks till the Charleston Distance Run.  I may have to forget about this race this year, which is devastating for me to think about, but if I can't do it then there's no reason to push for a faster recovery than I'm capable of.

I went back to the physical therapist.  The same guy who saw me free the first two times.  I told him I wanted to be a paying customer this time, so he doesn't get in trouble.  He said ok, and he did a full workup on me.  He even had another physical therapist take a look at me.  At this point, the other PT just starts ripping me to shreds, lol.  My left hip is weaker than my right hip, and this is what's causing my ankle problem, because other muscles are trying to compensate for the weakness.  My core is weak.  All my leg muscles are tight, which prevents my running form from being at his full potential.  My upper torso tightens up when I run.  I arch my back and throw my hips back when I walk and run, and that is just wrong.  At this point, I'm thinking holy cow, how do I even get through a day by myself, lol??  I had not one single problem last year and now I apparently don't know how to run or walk, haha.  They gave me strengthening and stretching exercises to do, and I'm supposed to go back this coming Thursday.  Apparently, the shoes may have been the culprit, but I would've eventually developed a problem sooner or later, according to the PT.  I'm just really overwhelmed at the fact that these measley little exercises are supposed to transform me into a better runner and cure me.  The last few days, I have really focused on keeping my hips forward when standing and walking.  It's really hard teaching yourself to stand and walk differently.  Something that you never had to think about, now you have to think about all day long.

I am just venting, lol.  I am taking this seriously.  I really love my physical therapist(s), and I understand what they are telling me.  Under all the whining, I am determined to beat this and to get stronger.  It's just really hard to hear that something you do so naturally has been wrong your whole life, lol.  I just want my ankle to heal so I can run like everybody else.  I miss it so much, it tears me up inside.

And all this because some new stinking Asics and a treadmill........

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Peroneal Tendon Subluxation??

Say what? Peroneal tendon (the tendon running behind the ankle and up the side of the fibula) subluxation (a partial dislocation).  That's right!  My peroneal tendon somehow decided it didn't like living in its nice little home and ventured off to cause all kinds of ruckus in my ankle/achilles area.  How ridiculous is that?  What did I ever do to you, PT?  I have suffered 3 months with this crazy injury, hoping it would heal up with some rest from running and light cross training.  Stupid me.  I saw a physical therapist a couple times, who helped me alleviate much of the pain through stretching.  But, I knew there was something else wrong going on in there.  I booked an appointment with a local podiatrist, Dr. Carrie Lakin.  Her staff was very nice and got me in the same week I called because there was a cancellation.   

I went in and gave all my history to Dr. Lakin's nurse.  I explained where the pain was and how it began the day I ran in a new pair of shoes on a treadmill.  I explained how it didn't hurt during running, but would kill me the next day.  How if I rested, it seemed to get better, but was always bothering me.  Dr. Lakin came in and listened to my story, watched me walk down the hall a few times, moved my foot around a little, then told me what she thought.  She told me that when I walk, I come inward on my big toes.  She said that I probably had peroneal tendon subluxation and that sometimes that tendon slips out of place.  She also said that because of my mechanics, I was a little more prone for this to happen.  I guess the new stiff shoes on the treadmill just pushed me over the edge.  Then, she told me what she was going to do to fix it!

She said a colleague from another state told her about a manuever a few years ago, and then she saw it in a podiatry journal the next year.  She told me she was going to push on my fibula, pull down on my foot, then dorsiflex my foot, and that if it worked we should hear a sound.  It all happened so fast, I didn't know what to think!  Sure enough, she did the 3-step move, and sure enough, there was the clunk sound!  When we heard the sound, we looked at each other with wide eyes, lol, like we were shocked it worked.  She told me I could run and see how it felt, and that if it happened again I could come back and she would fix me.  She said she could make me an insert if I needed it.  I saw the doctor for less than 10 minutes, I paid $120, and went home.

My ankle definitely felt weird the rest of the day.  But, I could tell that the pressure and tightness in my ankle and along the tendon was gone.  There is still a little soreness and tightness in my achilles, but I believe I am fixed!  I ran with my best friend, Becca, yesterday.  She is a Zumba instructor and just had a baby about 3 months ago.  I talked her into starting a Couch to 5k program, although she is no couch potato!  I started her off on week 3.  She is doing so great!  I decided that I should run with her so that I ease myself back into running and don't do too much too fast.  I was a little sore today, so I took the day off.  We are supposed to start on Week 4 tomorrow.  I just need to be sure and stretch really well, and I think I will heal up nicely.  I have heard of this being a recurring problem for some people.  I hope that is not the case for me.  Hopefully, my tendon will stay in its home and behave itself!

Picture courtesy of 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back in the game!

I am happy to report that I am healed!! Well, for the most part.  I did a test run Tuesday morning at the hotel on the treadmill.  I did a warmup, then did intervals of 1/2 mile running with 1/4 mile walking, for a total of 2.3 miles.  Then I tested it out the very next day, but did intervals of 1 mile running with 0.2 miles walking.  I did notice a little twinge of something above my achilles after my run while I was getting ready for work.  I don't know if it was the fact that I ran two days in a row, or it was the longer intervals.  I iced it at work and stretched, and by the middle of my shift I felt better.  I know it's going to take some strengthening and baby steps till I'm full out running 5 miles.  Right now I need to be cautious because I don't want to reinjure it.  I have come so far!  I plan on working out today, so I will test it again.  I might cut back and do 3/4 mile intervals. 

I was trying to figure out the best way to repay the physical therapist that helped me.  He saw me twice and didn't charge me a thing!  He is a local runner, so I think he was just trying to help me out.  He was so generous to provide me with therapy where he works and not charge me anything.  I thought about getting him a giftcard to  Then, I heard that he was thinking about running the Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon, which is in Morgantown.  I had registered to race it, but can't run it now.  I emailed the race director to see if I could give my spot to somebody and she told me yes.  So, I messaged him and told him he could run in my spot.  I feel better that I can at least give him that.  I can't remember how much I paid in registration, maybe $50 or so.  I know that doesn't come close to paying him back, but at least it's something!

Next week it will be exactly 16 weeks to the Charleston Distance Run.  This is the race that prompted me to create this blog last year!  I took 16 weeks to train last year, so I'm cutting it close this year.  I know I won't be able to jump right into running 15 miles next week, so my training plan might be cut short.  I know I can do it though!  I feel like I trained hard last year, but I can train harder.  I just have to get over this injury completely.  I need to be able to run everyday and not have any signs of an injury.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Long Road to Recovery

This has been the most awful experience of my life!  Well, that may be exaggerating, but it's a really close second.  I haven't posted in a while because there's been pretty much nothing to post about.  The injury thing leaves my life a little boring right now, and I'm generally in a depressed mood about it.  I do have some updates, though, and I might be able to better explain what's going on and how it's going to affect my summer.

I don't know exactly what is wrong with me.  I haven't seen a doctor to get a diagnosis.  I believe I have an achilles tendonitis or tendonosis or something like that.  Because I ran on this injury for over a month, long runs and all, I ended up making it a lot worse than it probably should've been.  Instead of taking a little time off to heal, I kept running and now I have been off for about 6 weeks.  I mean, I didn't even go that long during the winter without running, and I had a horrible winter of not running, lol.  So, the achilles thing turned into an ankle thing, because well all those things are connected in there and I guess all that stress on my achilles affected my ankle.  As soon as I started taking time off, the achilles pain went away, and I have just had this nagging sensation above my outer left ankle.  Dorsiflexion makes it obvious that something is wrong, and my ankle and achilles have been very stiff, particularly in the morning.

The whole time I have been off, I have been cross training.  Stationary bike and stairmaster.  Well, I decided that since I was stuck at "almost better", I was going to stop cross training all together and see if I got any better.  At the same time, I went to see a physical therapist, who is also a runner.  His name is Craig, and he is about 45 minutes away, but he offered to take a look at it for me.  He immediately told me I had really tight calves and that's not good for a healing achilles.  He sent me home with several calve stretching exercises to do twice daily and told me to ice it.  Withing 3 days, I felt 100% pain in my achilles or my ankle!  Craig is amazing and I was so happy!  I decided to go for a test run, and I stretched really well, ran 1 mile, stretched again, and ran 1 more mile.  I had absolutely no pain or sensation of an inury doing the run!  I was healed!!!

Then, I went to sleep and woke up the next day.  And what happened?  I woke up with a pain in my achilles!!  **!#$*$*#*!!!  I was so heart-broken, it's ridiculous.  On the good side, I didn't have any ankle pain.  I left a message for Craig to call me back, and when he did I broke down wining and crying, lol.  I hope he couldn't tell I was crying a little, but he probably did.  He told me not to worry and at least I didn't have any pain during my run.  He suggested that it may take a combination of doing a lot of little things to get me all better.  He recommended some Sugoi compression socks, which I should get tomorrow.  He also recommended me running 1/4 mile at a time and walking, and slowly building it, instead of running 1 or 2 entire miles at once.  He told me not to give up and to be patient.  I felt a little better.

Well, the very next day I woke up with absolutely no pain in my achilles!  I was so excited again.  At least I only hurt for one day, lol.  Then, I made a mistake.  I decided to workout, and did 30 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes on the stairmaster.  As soon as I finished the stairmaster, I realized what a mistake that machine was for me to use.  Then I realized that I had been cross-training on that thing the entire time and that was probably the reason my ankle wouldn't heal!  The stress of the stairmaster motion was hurting me the entire time and I didn't realize it until I was almost all the way healed and used it again, lol.  This has been the most difficult thing to figure out!!!

So, here is where I am.  I have another physical therapy appointment tomorrow.  I am still stretching and icing.  I'm going to wait till I have absolutely no pain for 3 consecutive days, then I'm going to do another test run, of 2 quarter-mile repeats with a walk in between.  If I wake up the next day without any achilles pain, I'm going to do it again, adding on another 1/4 mile.  I planned on starting my 16 week training plan for the CDR on May 17th, but I don't think it's going to happen, and my training plan may be cut short.  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My stubborn ankle!

Holy moly, it's been two weeks since my last post!!  What have I been doing lately??  Well, I have found a really amazing awesome website, where I log my workouts and such, as well as follow some really talented local runners.  Good luck to Jason Pyles, his wife Marian, and their friend Marshall, as they are tapering for Boston.  It's so cool witnessing them train and prepare.  I joined the site a little late, so I didn't get to see a lot of their training, but they are definitely very motivating and genuinely kind hearted.  I am still using as well because I really love the running community on there.  So, I am logging my runs on two websites!  Strands provides better stats and feedback on running, but DM is fun, too.

Well, my ankle has been injured for a while now.  It was injured a long time ago, but for some reason I was too stupid to rest and let it heal.  I think it's because it never hurt during my runs, just afterwards, then by the time I had to run again the pain would subside enough for me not to worry about it.  It finally bothered me enough to take time off.  I took 12 days off and it still wasn't healed.  Ran a mile on it on day 12, a little sore the next day.  Day 15, I was so fed up, I wrapped it in a sports band and ran 2 miles.  Still a little sore the next day, but nowhere near the pain I was in before.  Then it dawned on me: I should probably be wrapping this ankle every day!  Hell, I stand on it 10 hours a day working, so the time off isn't that great if I'm standing on it all day.  I have been wrapping it for 4 days now, and I feel like it's almost completely healed.  What a dummy, huh?  Why didn't I think to wrap it for extra support before?  Well, it feels great, and I'm hoping to be running again in about 5-7 days.  Fingers are crossed!

I definitely haven't been slacking, though.  In fear of losing my cardio, I have been doing the stationary bike and the stairmaster ever couple days.  Those are two hard workouts, let me tell you!  The stairmaster makes me sweat more than any activity I think I have ever done.  The bike really works my quads and butt!  I am hoping that it will make my running stronger.  I'm going to try to keep these cross training activities in my training plan when I return to running.

I have been pretty bummed out about this ankle thing.  I am missing races that I want to run on the weekends, and I am missing valuable long runs and speed workouts, so when I do return to the races I'm not going to have the speed I was hoping to have.  So, I am going to be about a month behind on my training plan, but if my cross training is successful I can bounce back where I left off at the 8 mile long run, and still run my half marathon in June.  I was hoping to have a great base built by June so I can train hard for the Charleston Distance Run in September.  Looks like I'm going to have to really train hard when my ankle heals if I want to reach my goals.  Last year I was starting from scratch in April for the September race.   This year, I should have the half marathon distance under my belt in June and can have 3 great months of quality long runs and speed workouts.  The year is not a total loss!

As far as the weightloss is going, I had a little setback the last couple of weeks, but got back on track for this week.  I let a cheat weekend turn into cheating most days for a little bit.  I gained 2 pounds back, but got those off, so I am still at 5 pounds lost.  Still doing ediets and loving it, just strayed from the meal planning for a little bit.  The point is, I am seriously back on track and it's ok that I stumbled.  It's going to happen!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A weekend full of mistakes

I have been following ediets now for 3 weeks. I was doing very well following the meal plan and not cheating, then this weekend I ran into problems. Friday evening, I fought the urge to eat chocolate chip cookies for hours. For some reason the late night hunger got the best of me, and I ate several cookies. I went over my calories about 500 calories Friday because of that.
Saturday, I went to a baby shower, and did remarkable well. I ate a balanced plate and stayed away from the dessert. However, Saturday evening was the Mountaineer basketball game. We went to the usual sports bar and I ate a horrible horrible meal of wings and fries!! I am kind of glad I did it, because it reminded me of how uncomfortably bloated and full I was all the time before I started ediets. I felt awful. I don't even want to think about how many calories I ate!
Sunday actually wasn't too bad. I went to the Chinese buffet, but stuck to vegetables, and stayed away from the breaded chicken in sauce. I did eat some lo mein. I was full, but not miserable. Overall, it was a weekend full of mistakes, and I ended up gaining 2 pounds back for my weigh-in today. Monday I got right back on track with my diet, but I guess it wasn't enough time to at least break even!

I have learned a couple of things from this weekend. Yes, if I completely deprive myself of the things that I enjoy the most, I am probably going to have some serious cravings and end up bingeing. I think that if I want to have something to eat, I should allow myself to have it, but within the realms of my calorie intake. If I want a cookie, I will have 1, but it gets counted. I was able to find some neat things at the grocery store Friday. Edy's makes little tiny ice cream containers that have about 160 calories in them. It's 1 serving and doesn't put too much of a hurtin on my diet. It's premeasured, so I am not tempted to underestimate exactly how much I ate out of a gallon size carton. I also found mini Cadbury eggs, that are only 45 calories each. Eating one of those would definitely satisfy my sweet tooth. Hopefully, these small changes will prevent me from bingeing. I need to work really hard this week to make up for my weight gain. The good thing is I'm not discouraged, and I'm moving on!

On the running front, I took a week off this week to let my ankle heal.  Today was the first day I woke up and it didn't hurt.  It's not 100%, but it's almost there.  Hopefully, it will be healed for the long run I have planned Sunday.  Since, I haven't been able to run, I have been very diligent about cross training this week.  My race was Saturday, then I went to the gym Tuesday night and biked 11 miles (45 minutes), then this morning I did the stairmaster for 25 minutes and biked 7 miles (25 minutes).  I didn't want to lose any cardio that I had built up.  I will probably take the day off tomorrow, then maybe try to run 2 miles Saturday to see how my ankle feels.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fighting the sweet tooth cravings

I went to the gym this evening and used the stationary bike for 45 minutes, biking 11 miles.  I usually don't bike, but it was a great workout.  Since I am taking the week off from running to let my ankle/achilles heal, I have no choice but to do some other form of cardio.  I can see why runners cross train with biking.  It really gives the legs a good workout.  My butt felt like a million bucks when I walked out of that gym, haha.

I will be heading out of town early in the morning to go work for 3 days.  I have to do this every week now till they find another pharmacist.  It's about a 90 minute drive to get there, which sucks, but they are paying me well to do it!  The problem with being out of town for 3 days per week is that if I don't plan, it's easy to fall off the diet wagon.  After the gym, I went to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies and stuff to take with me to eat healthy.  I will be eating 7 meals while I'm up there, so I am packing as much food as possible to cover them.  It was a lot of preparation in the kitchen, chopping and bagging all the food, but I know it will be worth it.  I do see how it is a hard thing to maintain, but I am so dedicated right now I am sticking with it!

I'm trying to use running as my motivation to lose this weight.  I keep telling myself that if I can lose 10-15 pounds, then I will be a lot faster and be more competitive when racing.  This is actually really good motivation for me because I am tired of being so slow, lol!  I hope this motivation holds and I can see my times improve as I lose weight!

This past weekend, I had a few cheat moments.  I was craving to cheat Friday evening, and it continued the whole weekend.  I didn't binge at each meal all weekend, but I did have a few meals and snacks I shouldn't have.  The good thing is I did it and immediately got back on track Monday.  I have decided that the best thing for me to do is to allow myself to have things that I want, but in small quantities.  That way, I'm not feeling like I'm depriving myself all week and want to binge on the weekend.  I found the perfect "cheat" when looking at the Easter candy.  Cadbury makes these mini Cadbury Eggs, and 4 of them is 180 calories.  I mean, one of those eggs is rich enough to satisfy any sweet craving I'm having, and at 45 calories, that's not too bad!  Of course, I will only limit myself to 1 or 2 and it will be counted in as part of my daily calorie intake, not as extra.  I hope this works better than depriving myself all week till I cave in!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Joker Run 4 Miler

Saturday was my first real race of the season.  I did run a winter series early in the year, but I was not running or training at the time, I kind of just showed up and ran slow.  I surprised myself a little bit because of my lack of speedwork preparation.  My goal was to finish in under 40 minutes, and I finished in 38:06.  I was thinking to myself that I would keep around a 10:00 min pace or a little faster.  I felt really good, so I settled in around 9:30.  I wanted to run at a comfortably hard pace and not kill myself.  Killing myself would be the equivalent of trying to PR a 5k.  You know, that miserable pace that you just want to die the whole time, lol.  Yeah, I didn't want to do that at all this race.  The last mile, I felt really good and had plenty of conserved energy, so I kicked it up and ran it in 9:10.  I was a little disappointed when I finished and saw my time because I knew that I had a lot more in me, but at the same time I was happy.  Now I know that I can push myself harder.  I was just worried I would push too hard at the beginning and then tire out halfway through.  I probably could've maintained a 9:15 pace and not killed myself.  At any rate, it is much better than the paces I ran during the Winter Series.  If I can get back to my 5k PR pace of 8:40 by June I will be very happy.  I think I can do it.  It was very cold for the race, around 35 degrees, and not that many people turned out....maybe 50.  There were only 3 people in my age group, and of course I got 3rd place, haha.

I stumbled upon this amazingly awesome website for tracking runs when I left a comment on a local runner's blog.  He's local, but pretty much a rockstar in the running circle, lol.  Actually, that would be an understatement.  His name is Jason Pyles and you can find him over at Running with Pyles if you want to see some pretty amazing runs.  The site he told me about is  It's so integrative and offers lots of analysis and charts, it's crazy!  Check out my profile and play around with the training charts.  I'm at  Pretty cool!

Running stats:
Miles: 4
Time: 38:06
Ave pace: 9:30

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A little speedwork, if you can call it that

It was a beautiful day today!  My bestest friend had a big healthy baby boy this morning, weighing in at 9lbs 3oz.  I was at the hospital at 7am and left at 11.  His blood sugar was low, so we still hadn't got to hold him when I left at 11.  I came back home and crawled in bed at around 1 and took a nap with my kitty.  Woke up around 3, got a bite to eat, and headed out for some speedwork at the local high school track.

I was so excited to go to the track.  It was my first track workout of the year, and honestly the first one since August!  Needless to say, I'm pretty slow with that kind of huge break from speedwork.  I have no problem with long slow distance, but upping the pace just about kills me right now.  I ran to the track for a warmup, then had a plan of running 3 repeats of 800m @ 8:30 with 400m repeats, and running back.  Well, I ended up doing 2 repeats of 800m @ about 9:00, instead.  I mean, I wasn't dead when I finished, but it just seemed like I couldn't do it.  Last year, I used to put in some work at the track, but right now it seems too difficult to push through.  It's probably best that I don't push myself at the track at the beginning, so I don't get injured or something.  I'm not discouraged by any means.  I know it will come back, I just have to get my butt to the track each week, and start running the hilly routes.  I'm running a half marathon in June, the Deckers Creek Trail Half.  That should be plenty of time to find some speed!

After my run, I headed back to the hospital to see the baby.  His blood sugar finally came back up, and he was nursing just fine.  I got to hold him for a little bit, and he is so cute!  Glad he's doing better, that's for sure!

Running stats:
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: 48.47
Ave pace: 10:50

My kitties!

The sweetest kitties ever!

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 pounds down and a Congrats to Barbie!

I have officially lost 5 pounds so far on my diet.  My weigh-ins on that website are on Wednesdays, but I still weigh-in on my blog on Sundays.  That gives me a mid-week checkup to see how I'm doing.  I started ediets at 160 pounds, and was 155 when I jumped on the scale this morning.  I am so happy to be getting closer to my "normal" weight of about 153 pounds.  I can already fit into a couple pairs of my jeans, but they are a little snug.  A few more pounds and a couple more inches, and they should be fitting great.  My ultimate goal is 140 pounds, and if I stick with the diet I know I can get there.  I'm going to be increasing my mileage each week, so the only thing that can hold me back is my eating. 

This year is going to be quite a good year, I think.  For one, I'm finally committed to a nutrition plan that works for me, so I should be able to reach my goal weight.  Secondly, I am going to be so far ahead on my running as compared to last year, that I should be able to shave some time off when I race the CDR in September.  Last year, I spent most of the summer just building my mileage, and I didn't hit the 10 mile long run till July.  August I had built up to 14 in preparation for the 15 mile CDR.  This year I will be at half-marathon running distance by May.  So, I will be maintaining a great weekly mileage of about 30+ miles per week, and maybe even increase to 40 miles per week while training for the CDR.  I will have a chance to greatly improve my speed, and I'm really excited about that.  I definitely want to get faster, but I know it will not only taking me hitting the track for lots of speedwork, but it will also take me reaching my goal weight.

On a running note, I ran 8 miles today.  The weather was beautiful, but I didn't get out to run till it had turned overcast and windy.  It was still warm, though.  I was afraid it was going to pour the rain on me, but I'm a trooper and was prepared for that.  Luckily, it only sprinkled on me a little bit.  It was a good run, and I have no complaints.  Other than the fact that my Garmin froze on the main screen that only shows the time!  It was still keeping track of my run, I just couldn't see my pace or distance.  I was fine with it and decided to just continue to run at a comfortable pace.  My comfortable pace ended up being slightly faster than I wanted it to be.  I was trying to keep an 11:30-ish pace, and ended up running an 11:05-ish pace the last 3 miles that my Garmin was acting up.

Running stats:
Total miles: 8
Ave pace: 11:11
Time: 1:29

Before I go, I have a huge congratulations to give to Barbie over at Barbie Runs.  She ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon today and beat her old time by 19 minutes!  Go Barbie!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tammy v. O'Charleys

I have to blog about my victory tonight.  I successfully went out to eat at a really tastey restaurant and I totally kicked its butt!  If you have eaten at an O'Charley's, you know what I'm talking about....soft, fluffy rolls, broccoli cheese casserole, chipotle chicken tenders, cajun chicken pasta.  You walk into this restaurant, and you can plan on spending at least 2000 calories.  Did I mention the ooey gooey caramel pie?

The only way I survived this trip was the fact that O'Charley's is kind enough to put their nutrition facts online.  Gotta love the iPhone for its awesome internet access.  I scoped the menu for a long time, then decided on the 5 ounce sirloin with asparagus and a cup of chili.  The sirloin only had about 260 calories, the soup had 150 calories, and the asparagus about 50 calories.  And, I didn't eat one roll.  I didn't even look at the rolls!

Score:  Tammy 1  Restaurant 0

I really think this whole diet thing is 80% mental and 20% physical.  What I mean is for the longest time, I couldn't get through one single day trying to eat healthy.  I would starve to death, even when I really wasn't starving.  I just had to eat sweet stuff while at work....chocolate in particular.  And at night, I had to cheat and eat chips or something.  My mind was what was ruining my "diet" attempts.  It's kind of like that with running.  There is a huge mental aspect to running.  It may hurt like hell, your lungs on fire, your knees screaming at you to stop.  But, you just push through it.  Then there are days when you just give up and go home.

For some reason, a switch got turned on somewhere in my brain.  A switch that turned off all the negative dieting thoughts and turned on my willpower.  A switch that suddenly has me saying no to "bad" foods.  I have only been eating 1400-1500 calories per day and I haven't even really been hungry.  Today, in particular, I went a long time without eating (not on purpose), and normally I would be going crazy throwing a fit starving, but I wasn't.  I didn't feel hungry.  And when I got to that restaurant, instead of eating all the rolls and ordering a huge meal, I kept my cool and ordered what I was supposed to.  And this time, I didn't eat off of Eric's plate, lol, something that I am severely guilty of doing on a regular basis.  This is all a mind game, and I'm winning right now.  I just hope that switch doesn't get turned off somehow!                                                      

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 1 of eDiets in the bag

Today was my first check-in on  I have followed a great meal plan for 7 days now, and I really did it!  I stuck to the plan and I didn't cheat!  That's a huge deal to me because I always cheat on diets....maybe that's why I have always failed to lose weight?!?!  Anyways, I can't praise eDiets enough for the menu plan.  There are thousands of meal combinations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, that I'm never eating the same things and everything is fulfilling.  There is usually a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein at each meal and snack.  Luckily, I'm not hungry on this diet!  I start to get a little hungry right before my next meal.  The real hunger comes at 10PM at night when I want to eat again, but I haven't!  I have told myself each night that I will be going to bed soon and don't need to eat, and so far it has worked.

Seriously, nobody from eDiets is paying me to say any of this, lol.  I realize now why I always had problems with diets in the past.  I mean, I know what I'm supposed to eat!  Lord knows how many fitness magazines I read and how much research I've done on running and nutrition.  My problem is the planning part.  That's where eDiets comes in.  It puts all my meals and snacks together each week.  All I have to do is sit down in front of the computer for about 30 minutes at the beginning of each week and review the week's menu, making any changes I want to it.  I then print it out, along with the grocery list it creates based on my menu.  I go to the grocery store, get the week's worth of food, and I am set for the week.  It takes all the guessing out, and it takes all the chances of me wondering off to a fast food restaurant out.  Plus, if I do happen to forget my food, I know I am supposed to eat 420-450 calories at each meal, so I grab something in that range.

Anyways, I am proud to say that I have lost 2.5 pounds my first week!!  I am now at 157.5 lbs.  My weigh-ins are every Wednesday.  My goal weight is 140 pounds, and I started off at 160 pounds.  I am really hoping that I can stick to this.  This meal plan, in combination with my running should get me there, as long as I don't deviate from the menu.  I will be running a half marathon at the beginning of June, so my mileage will be increasing back up into the 30+ mile/week range.  Of course, I will run the CDR again in September, so I will maintain that mileage for a good while.  I'm almost at 20 miles per week now.  If I'm feeling spunky, I may jump up to 40 miles per week while training for the CDR. 

I have found a nice group of girls in the eDiets forum.  We are in a group on the forum called Remarkable Runners.  They are really friendly, and post about their daily runs and life in general.  It's nice to find people on there to talk to who are doing a diet and who like to run races.

Aside from all my eDiets posts, I guess I should post something about running!  I had been sick for like 10 days with a chest cold, and it really kicked my butt on the running front.  I got my runs in, but not the whole distances and goal paces.  One of the runs, I had to do 1/4 mile intervals, running at a slow pace and walking.  My lungs just coudn't handle running the entire time.  One of my runs was supposed to be a 6 mile speed workout, and ended up being a 2 mile easy run.  FINALLY on Sunday, I had a fantastic run.  It was a scheduled 8 miles on my training plan.  I headed out the door with the intention of doing 7 IF I felt ok.  I figured that 8 wasn't an option considering the quality of my recent runs.  Plus, 8 miles is the longest I have run since October!  Well, as soon as my feet hit the pavement, I felt great!  So, I went for the 8 miles.  I felt great the whole time and was so happy!  Unfortunately, I had done lunges Friday.  Needless to say, Monday at work my legs hurt so bad I had to break down and take some ibuprofen.  That stuff works like magic!  I have never been so sore before!  Not even the day after the CDR last year.  I guess the lunges and the long run together kicked my ass!

I have a 4 mile race next Saturday.  It's called the Joker run.  I ran it last year and am excited to run it again.  No real goal time, I don't guess.  Maybe under 40 minutes?  I'm not sure what kind of pace I can maintain for 4 miles.  I haven't been doing any tempo runs, and have only done a few speed workouts.  I'm pretty sure I can keep a 10 min pace, maybe.  We will see.....

Sunday's long run stats:
Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1:32
Ave pace: 11:32
Calories burned: 1259 (as calculated by  I assume it's closer to 800-1000 calories?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 1 of eDiets

Well, I have made it through the first day of my eDiets meal plan.  I have to admit, it wasn't toooo bad, but I was very busy at work, so I really didn't have time to think about how hungry I was.  My hunger peaked before lunch time, but lunch was very fulfilling.  I was pretty hungry right before dinner, also, but that's because I missed my afternoon snack.  Gasp!  I usually never miss food, but again I was slammed at work. 

My meal breakdown for the day:
Breakfast - the plan called for a protein shake, an english muffin with PB, and an orange.  I bought the Slimfast powdered protein shake mix in chocolate.  I mixed that in the blender with light Silk Vanilla Soy Milk and some ice.  It was rather yummy!  Between the shake and my english muffin and the orange, I was very satisfied.  I kind of anticipated that it would stay with me, but at the same time I was doubtful because it seems like breakfast never stays with me no matter what I eat, unless it involves the Shoney's breakfast buffet.  I ate this at about 7:45AM, and was very hungry by noon, but didn't get to go to lunch till 1:20.

Lunch called for a Lean Cuisine chicken meal of about 200-220 calories.  The one I chose had rice in it.  In addition to the frozen meal, I had a mixed greens salad with tomato, cucumber, celery, and a raspberry vinaigrette, a light fruit yogurt, and some grapes.  I was decently full after the Lean Cuisine and salad, and thought about saving the yogurt, but went ahead and ate it because I figured I would be hungry in an hour, haha.

My snack was supposed to be between lunch and dinner and was supposed to be celery with PB.  I ended up not eating it till right before dinner, as I was preparing dinner.  This actually was a good idea because I tend to graze and eat lots of junk while I'm cooking dinner, and the celery w/ PB kept me from doing that.

Dinner was a total surprise!  It was a true home cooked meal, and was delicious!  I had Chicken and Pepper Saute with Rice Pilaf, recipe courtesy ediets.  The rice pilaf was amazing, with garlic, onions, and mushrooms.  It had a great flavor.  The chicken and pepper saute was yummy, with onions, green peppers, and chicken stir fried with light soy sauce.  On top of that, I had another salad.  Dinner also called for some strawberries, but I'm saving that for later in the evening when I watch television.  Dinner was definitely satisfying, and like I said was very delicious!  I am very pleased with the recipe and hope that the others are just as good!

Total calories for the day was about 1500.  I didn't exercise today, but I'm off Friday thru Sunday, and I plan on getting lots in over the next few days. 

Yay for me for my first day of the diet.  I didn't feel deprived and the meals were very filling.  I wasn't expecting that!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I signed up for eDiets!

Well guys, I have officially admitted defeat in the world of healthy eating.  Haha!  I am unable to plan my meals and count my calories for more than 2 days.  When I do well and abide by the ~1500 calorie diet, I am generally hungry all day, and then crash on day three, eating everything in site.  I am still teetering about 10 pounds heavier than I usually am, and even though I have began exercising 3-4 days per week again, it hasn't been enough to compensate for my dietary intake. 


I signed up for  Yes, I am paying a website to pretty much plan out my meals for me, lol.  It's less than $20 per month, which isn't bad, and there are forums and groups and such on there for me to mingle.  It gives me one week at a time, and I can change up my meals and pick and choose from a very large list of meals.  I picked the combination plan, which is a mixture of fresh foods and packaged foods, and dinner is usually an easy recipe that I can cook.  I opted for this plan because I would most definitely fail if I had to cook each meal everyday.  At least this plan is good for those who may be on the go and work, but like to cook dinner. 

To give you an idea, here is an example of my meals for tomorrow:
Breakfast:  Strawberry protein shake, english muffin w/ PB, and an orange
Lunch: Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken with salad, yogurt, and grapes
Snack: celery stuffed with PB
Dinner: Asian Chicken with Rice, salad, and an orange

The breakfast is quick and easy to make in the morning, for lunch all I have to prepare is a salad the night before, and dinner is a nice recipe with fresh vegetables, chicken, and rice.  I went grocery shopping this evening, and when I got home I prepared little ziplock baggies of carrots, celery, grapes, and such, so I can just grab them in the morning and go.  I'm kind of excited about this because I don't have to sit here and think about what I'm going to eat for the whole week.  The website compiles my menu, and if I don't like something, I can change it.  It also generates a grocery list for me, based on my menu for the week.  That is nice too.

Back in the day, ediets used to only offer one diet plan, and that was simply ediets.  I will admit, I tried ediets about 10 years ago, haha, but didn't do it very long.  I was a teenager, so I can't really remember what became of it.  Now, they off a bunch of other diet options, such as a diabetes diet plan, a Mediterranean diet plan, a low-fat diet plan, a vegetarian plan, and lots others.  You can change your diet plan at any time.  I think I'm going to try the eDiets Weight Loss Plan for a while.  When I get bored with it or hit a plateau, I may change it to the Mediterranean plan or the vegatarian plan.  I just like that I have different options. 

They do have nutritionists available for live chat and email.  I will more than likely utilize them once my weekly mileage increases and I'm at 10 mile long runs again.  I figure that 1500 calories isn't going to be enough, or I will have to change some things around.  It will be interesting to see what kind of advice they give me. 

I canceled my personal training session for today and tomorrow.  I feel bad about it, but I feel like I'm wasting my money as long as my diet is in shambles.  Once I prove to myself that I can stick to this diet plan, I may go back.  Or, sticking to the diet plan may provide me with the motivation I need to get my own butt into the gym on non-running days to get some high intensity cardio and lifting done without the need for a personal trainer telling me what to do.  Let's be honest, I know what I should be doing!!

Oh, by the way, Eric and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on Monday.  We went away to some cabins in the woods for 3 nights, which was super nice.  We went on a hike one day, and the other day I ran 4 miles outside.  The weather was amazing while we were gone, and it hit 70 degrees!  Unfortunately, they drain the lake during the winter, so the lake wasn't very pretty.  We were the only ones renting cabins while we were there, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves.  It was nice, and in the evenings we cuddled up on the couch and laughed and talked.  We are going to go back with friends this spring to get the full cabin experience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Last week recap

Last week was my first big week back to working out, running and cross training.  I have been running regularly for a couple of weeks now, yay!  I'm so glad to be back, and now it's March and it's only a matter of time before we see some decent weather.  The days of being able to run till 8:30PM are just around the corner!!  All this dark, cold winter weather sucks!!  So, this last week I worked out everyday, except Tuesday and Saturday.  Sunday, I ran 7 miles, Monday I went to the Fitness Center for my first personal training session.  I got my ass handed to me there!  It's awful starting back into strength training because you are sore for 4 days after your first few sessions.  The trainer had me do lunges up and down the hallway, and every inch of my legs from ankle to butt hurt so bad till Friday.  I could cry everyday, lol.  Tuesday, I took the day off, then Wednesday I woke up early and ran 2 miles and did 20 min on the elliptical.  I was still really sore, but knew I should work it out.  Thursday I went to Zumba.  Friday I ran 5 miles, which included a fartlek run, and then had another personal training session, where I got my ass handed to me again.  I hope this starts to get easy soon!

I had never done a fartlek run before.  I get emails from McMillan Running, and I had received this message about 'the lost art of fartlek'.  You can read the article here.  First of all, the word fartlek is really funny to me, and I don't like saying it.  Try telling your friends you did a fartlek, and then you have to explain what the heck you're talking about.  The article talked about how your running peaks during the fall, and then in the winter you usually are just doing maintenance miles and not much track workouts.  When spring hits, you hit the track again, but have no where close to the speed you had during your peak the season before.  And it's not a bad thing, obviously winter is a time to recover.  But, you shouldn't be discouraged, such as I was, that when you get back into the training, you aren't as fast as you were during peak.  Rather than jump back into track workouts and kill yourself because you try to run the same times as when you were peaking, you should do fartleks to ease your way into track workouts.  The article made a lot of sense, so I decided to give it a shot.  I mean, I tried to do some speed workouts on the treadmill and didn't last very long, which made me pretty discouraged.

The first week of fartlek training, the article said to do 10-12 repeats of 1 minute at faster than 5k race pace, with 1 minute recoveries.  I needed to get 5 miles in, so I did a 2 mile warmup, then started into the fartleks.  Last summer my best 5k pace was around 8:40 (holy cow, I was so proud of myself!), so I decided I would try an 8:30 pace.  I thought to myself that wouldn't be too horrible to run for a minute at a time, but I wondered about the 1 minute recovery.  Well, I did it!  By the 7th repeat, I was really tired and the minute recoveries felt more like 30 seconds, but I pushed myself and finished!  And I did a 1 mile cooldown.  The 10 repeats ended up being 2 miles, so it worked out perfectly.  It was probably the best and toughest running workout I have had in a long while, and I felt very accomplished.  I'm pretty excited to do this week's workout!  The paper says that fartlek 2 involves 4-5 surges lasting 3-5 minutes each with 1-2 minute recoveries.  Each surge should be run at faster than 10k race pace, but not faster than fartlek 1.  I think I may run this between 8:50-9:00.  That should be fun!

I'm really hoping to get faster this year.  I did take some time off this winter, but it didn't take me long to get it back.  I'm already at 7 miles on my long run, and hope to maybe run a half marathon May 2nd.  With a half marathon under my belt in May, I have no choice but to pick up some speed and train some hills pretty hard by the Distance Run in September.  Last year, I just started training for the Distance Run in May, so I was basically building the mileage to be able to run the race.  This year, I'm going to have the base mileage under my belt by May, so I just have to maintain my mileage and do some work on the hills.  Maybe I can reach my 25 minute 5k goal this summer!  Maybe I'm jumping the gun here, but I have some high hopes! 

Now, if I can just get my eating under control and lost this winter weight......

Monday, February 22, 2010

7 miler and a personal training session

Yesterday, I ran 7 miles.  It was beautiful outside, close to 60 degrees and sunny.  I just had to take advantage of that because this winter it has been snowing a lot and has been really cold.  We have never gotten this much snow before!  The 7 miles was a good run.  It was my longest run since October, I believe!  Most of you know, I have had a rough winter of not wanting to run.  The only thing that kept me running here and there was the Winter Series I signed up for.  I think I am finally back!  For a few months, I have tried putting a training plan on my calendar, but haven't followed through with anything.  The last 2 weeks, I have run every run on my calendar and actually look forward to each run.  That's how I know I'm back! 

Anyways, I'm hoping now that I'm back, I will quickly drop the 8 pounds I have put on since my running came to a stop.  Not just those extra 8 pounds, but I hope to lose close to 20!  I have turned my diet around the last two weeks as well, turning down certain restaurants and not touching the pizza that my husband's friends bring in my house.  I'm rather proud of myself lately!  In a effort to be serious about the weightloss, I jumped on an offer from a local physical therapy/fitness center.  It's not a gym, but offers personal training sessions for cheaper than any local gym around here.  I went this morning for my first session.  She new I was a runner, and I think that's why she kicked my butt, lol.  I asked her to take it easy on my due to my 7 miler the day before, but she didn't really.  I did 10 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the stairmaster, but at a HR of 170.  She kept turning up the resistance, telling me my HR wasn't high enough.  I'm looking at her like she's crazy!  After the cardio, we did some upper body free weights exercises, 3 sets of 15 reps each.  After that, she had me do walking lunges up and down a hallway 4 times.  So much for going easy on my legs!  Every inch from my ankles to my butt is hurting right now!  Finally, she had me do those situps.  It was a good workout, I must say.  Honestly, it's the same type of stuff that I would normally do on my own at my local gym, but not near the intensity she had me do.  I would definitely let myself take it easier on the cardio.  But, that's what I need.  A kick in the butt to turn up my cardio a notch.  Just because I am a runner and can run long distances, doesn't mean my cardiovascular system is trained to do high HR workouts.  It's definitely a different kind of cardio that will probably benefit my running in a positive way.  I'm going back Friday.  Hopefully my butt won't be sore anymore!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Where have I been??

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately!  The truth is, I have been running, just not blogging!  I think I am finally getting out of this winter funk, and really getting excited about running again.  I ran the 3rd race of the Winter Series on Valentine's Day.  It was a 10k.  I haven't run or trained much for any of the Winter Series runs, just enough to get through them.  Overall, my times were slower on each of these races this year compared to last year, but I actually trained last year.  Here are my times for last year and this year:

          2008-2009 Series         2009-2010 Series
5K          29:30                              29:35
8K          47:48                              52:43
10K        1:01:56                           1:03:38
Finish:      117 out of 143                not posted yet

Basically, the 2008-2009 series was when I first started out as a runner, and I was training decently hard for a beginner, and running 3-4 days per week.  The 2009-2010 series, I was a huge slacker.  I ran my 15 miler in September, and then running kind of took a back seat.  My best 5k time during training was 26:50is, so you can see my 5k time definitely slipped.  My 8k time sucked this time around, but that's not completely my fault.  That race, there was snow and ice on the whole course, so I ran slower to keep from busting my behind!  The 10k, I really surprised myself this year.  I thought I would be dead by mile 4, trying to run at a decent pace, but I somehow found this burst of energy and maintained my pace till the end.  I just want to say that I ran a 10k this summer that involved horrible hills for most of the run, and finished in 58 minutes, so to finish the winter 10k, which is completely flat in 1:03, is pretty pathetic.  Then again, I try to tell myself that's not so bad considering I have been running less than 10 miles per week up till then!  Not so bad, then, huh? 

Now that the winter series is over and the warm weather is right around the corner, I am getting super excited.  I have a lot of races on my race calendar already through July, and hope to add more.  I want to add a half marathon somewhere in there around June.  I am definitely getting back into it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food prep night

I finally ran out of food today, so it was back to the kitchen to prepare some more for the next few days.  I made some of those small red potatoes.  Baked them in evoo, sea salt, pepper, and paprika.  I have a love/hate relationship with making red potatoes.  They never get soft enough when I bake them according to the directions, so they are always too hard.  Today, I cooked them a little too long, lol.  They are a little too soft, but still have a great flavor.  I also made some awesome tuna salad with light mayo, red peppers, celery, a hard boiled egg, and some relish.  Finally, I made a homemade salsa from Tosca Reno's newest eat clean cookbook.  It has tomatoes, onions, red peppers, garlic, cilantro, chili powder, and lemon.  I still have cut-up veggies in the fridge.  I have to get up really early in the morning tomorrow to go work a pharmacy that's about an hour and a half away.  Those days are usually bad for me because I tend to eat out all day.  Lunch is typically a Chinese buffet.  But not tomorrow!  I will have my lunchbox with healthy food packed and ready to go.

On a side note, I went to the gym and ran today.  I ran 3 miles.  They felt ok.  I want so bad to be back to running 10 miles.  I felt so good when I was running that much.  Not just physically, but mentally.  After the distance run, I planned on just taking a little rest from serious running.  Maybe a month.  But then the idea of running for an hour and a half just overwhelmed me.  I simply didn't want to do it.  I didn't want to give up my Sundays anymore, haha.  Now, I would give anything to be able to run 10 miles, lol.  I know I will get there again.  I need to quit sulking about it and just get my butt outside.  I'm trying, slowly.  I'm hoping for a 6 miler this coming Sunday.  Thank goodness I signed up for that winter series or I probably wouldn't have ran 1 mile this winter.  Oh, spring hurry up and get here!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eating healthy day 2

I mentioned how inspired I was by Denise over at Running Journal to eat healthy.  She has been preparing her food ahead of time and taking it with her.  Great idea!  Except, that I spent hours in my kitchen Monday evening preparing and cooking food.  It was a lot of work, but it was very nice to come home yesterday after work and simply heat up a healthy meal!  I got off work at 6, and was home with dinner ready at 6:35.  I called my husband to tell him dinner was ready, and he was like, "you're home with dinner ready already??"  He knows that IF I make dinner after work, we don't eat till closer to 8.

Anyways, Monday evening I made several things.  For dinner that evening (which created healthy leftovers for lunch) I made a vegatable and chicken pasta.  It was a recipe I found on a long time ago and is very yummy.  It has asparagus, zucchini, and red peppers, chicken, and pasta.  For the sauce, you use chicken broth, 4oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, and a little parmesan cheese.  It makes a lot of food, and I have eaten on it for a couple of days now.  Since I had extra asparagus, peppers, and onions, I went ahead and sauteed those up with some chicken and teriaki sauce, made some brown rice, and stuck that in the fridge for the next day.  I also chopped up veggies and fruit so I would have healthy snacks to take with me and make some hard boiled eggs.  I have packed my food for the whole day to take to work with me the last two days and am trying to eat every 2.5-3 hours.  So far, it's working out well.  Yesterday I got hungry here and there, but today is much better.  Hopefully the hunger pains will subside after I train my stomach to eat smaller portions again.

I guess I will repeat the meal prep on Friday.  I anticipate running out of food then.  It does take a lot of work to prepare all that food in one evening, but then it makes the rest of the week so easy.  Having my lunchbox makes what to eat not a question, and I'm much less likely to eat out everyday.  I hope to continue this!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A great run for a change

Since I haven't been running regularly, whenever I do get a run in it feels so difficult.  I think that's another reason, on top of the weather, that I haven't been running much.  Whenever I do run, I feel like poop.  Well, tonight I had a great run on the treadmill for a change.  Five miles and I felt great the whole time.  I ran it at the South Charleston Rec Center.  I think I've raved about that place before because each treadmill has a television.  I watched the end of American Idol and some new show called Human Target or something.  Pretty interesting, but not sure it will be around long, lol.  At any rate, it kept me going!

Running stats:  5 miles/57:41/10:32 min/mile

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Years Resolution 2 week update

Not so good.  Ok, it's been terrible.  I have not put forth much effort at all.  But, I have one excuse, which wouldn't even be an excuse if I had better prepared myself.  The first week I was going to start my resolutions to eat clean and run and such and ended up working six 10-hour shifts from Monday thru Saturday.  Needless to say, I wasn't able to get in clean eating or exercise with that work schedule.  I usually only work four 10-hour shifts, but we had a pharmacist on vacation and I chose to pick up the slack (and the overtime, lol).  Had I thought it out and prepared my meal plan for the week, I would've been fine, but I didn't and I was a total flop.  Last week was no excuse at all, I just didn't do anything I should've done.  I did run my 8k, on Sunday the 10th, though.  Yay me!  The only problem was that the entire 5 miles was a sheet of ice and snow, and I was more worried about not falling on my ass than speed.  This may have been a good thing because I ran a slower pace and finished without feeling like I wanted to die. 

I snapped this pic after the race.  I have never ran on ice and snow before, but it was kind of fun to do it with about 200 other crazy people.  I bet the neighborhood thought we were nuts!  I ended up finishing in just under 53 minutes for an average pace of about 10:30.  Last year I ran the same race in about 48 minutes, but there wasn't snow or ice on the ground and I actually trained for it.  This winter, as you all know, I haven't been running much at all.  The 10k is on Valentine's Day, so I have some time to prep for that, and I will actually train for it (I will!!).  I don't really think I can go into a 10k without running at least a few times per week, so I will have to train.  And, if I train like I want to and do well, then I may have my eye on the Pittsburgh half marathon on May 2.  Hopefully, I will get back into my groove training for this 10k, and the weather will be warming up shortly after that.  The weather has been by far my biggest barrier to running.  Winter kind of depresses me and I don't want to run in the cold or on a treadmill.  When the weather warms up, I will be outside guaranteed. 

So, I was really super motivated by a blog that was posted by Running Journal.  She is an absolutely amazing runner and is currently dedicated to eating clean.  Her blog was an inspiration to do what I need to do - go grocery shopping, come home and prep all my food for the week, and take it with me everyday.  It is very nice today, so I'm going to go for a run, then go to the grocery store and come home and prep my food.

I hope everybody is doing well and sticking to their resolutions.  I haven't forgotten or given up on mine, I'm just getting a late start!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Reflections on 2009 and New Years Resolutions

2009 was a good year for me.  I actually became a "runner" in 2009.  In April, I set a goal of running the Charleston Distance Run in September.  I signed up for the race really early and trained for four months.  My goal for the 15 mile race was 2:30, and I finished in 2:28.  I had a great time and learned a lot about myself in the process.  I learned that I really really like running.  Sure there were times when I didn't want to get out and run, but most of the time I couldn't wait to get outside.  Each run was like a new challenge for me.  I tackled speedwork, tempo runs, long runs, and hills.  I had bad runs and awesome runs.  I learned about running and nutrition.  I did the most I have ever done for my body in my entire life, and it felt amazing.  When I finished that race, it was the greatest accomplishment ever.

Then, I took some rest time....and some more rest time.....and some more rest time....and before you know it, it was getting dark outside at 6PM and it was winter.  I rested so much that I lost all my endurance and stamina.  Everything I had worked so hard for was lost.  The motivation of a big race.  Gone.  I even signed up to run a half marathon in Pittsburgh in November and didn't go because I had slacked so much.  For this, I am ashamed, but I guess when you don't feel like running, you don't feel like running.  Only you can give yourself the motivation you need to get out there everyday.

The whole reason I started training was to lose weight, and I didn't.  Sure, I was in great shape and lost enough inches to drop a size.  But, the scale didn't move.  While I trained for the race, I also trained myself to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, simply because I was running.  I told myself it was ok to eat the Chinese buffet, wings, Olive Garden, or whatever it was, because I was going to run 10 miles the next day.  This is the reason I didn't lose any weight, and the reason I have gained 5lbs since the race and feel like a fat blob, lol. 

So, I come to my resolutions.

1.  Get down to a goal weight of 140 pounds.  I am currently 5'3 and weigh 160lbs.  This is the heaviest I ever remember weighing in my adult life, lol.  I usually stick between 150-155.  When I was training, I got down to 148 quickly, then settled in at 153.  Basically, I have 20lbs to lose.  If I lose 1lb per week, that means I should reach my goal by May 23rd.  I'm going to make it a goal to reach by June 1st.

2.  Run at least 10-15 miles per week all year round.  None of this training hard for 4 months, and then doing nothing the rest of the time.  There have been 2 weeks at a time since my race that I haven't run 1 mile.  I resolve to not do that anymore.  I need to be active and fit exercise in each and every week of the year.

3.  Eat Clean.  Period.  This will obviously be the toughest of my resolutions.  Anybody can follow a healthy diet for a couple of months, but for a whole year?  The point is, it's not supposed to be a diet, it's supposed to be a way of life.  I'm reading Tosca Reno's The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged.  I read the original Eat-Clean Diet book over a year ago.  The prinicples are simple - eat clean.  Avoid processed foods and sugar.  In a nutshell, you don't eat anything that doesn't come from nature in its simplest form.  You eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  Brownie sundaes don't fit into this category, nor does pizza at midnight, or unlimited amounts of food at the buffet.  Eat 6 small meals per day, about every 3 hours, and drink lots of water.  This will be difficult with my husband and all his buddies around all the time, but I am serious about this.  I know how to eat healthy, I just need to do it.

4.  Strength train twice per week.  I always talk about doing it, but never make time for it.  I know the only way I'm going to get the results I want is if I weight train.  When I make my running training plan, I need to limit the running to 4 days per week, so I have time to do other exercise on the other days and still have a rest day or two.

5.  Eat out less.  I need to make healthy foods at home for me and my husband.  I love to cook and my husband loves it when I cook.  Eating out is the devil and is the reason our nation is so overweight and obese.

6.  Blog more.  Sorry, I know I have been a delinquent blogger.

So, that's about it.  I plan to run as many races as I can, and to run the CDR again this September.  Those aren't realy resolutions, just goals.  I know that to stick to these resolutions I am going to have to keep a training and food diary.  I am also going to have to lay off the chocolate.  There are days that I just want to eat a big bag of hershey kisses or M&M's.  Nothing like chocolate to sabotage a week's worth of healthy eating. 

I wish everybody good luck on their resolutions.  I know we will motivate each other!