Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Week To Do's

It looks like I may have to halt my Nike 10k training for this week.  I have a 5k race on Saturday evening (my first night race) and I really, really want to PR. I'm going for sub-29.  My 10k training program scheduled me to do 5, 2, 4, and 6 mile runs this week.  Instead here's how this week will go for me:

Sunday - rest
Monday - 5 mile easy run
Tuesday - Insanity's Cardio Abs
Wednesday - 4 mile run
Thursday - 2 mile run, Insanity's resistance (or Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred)
Friday - rest
Saturday - *Race Day* - Firefly 5k (3.1) Run

I've tweeted about going to track workouts one day a week to work on my speed to improve my 5k time.  That has shaved seconds off of my time, but I think the type of speed training that has really worked better for me is Fartlek training.  Fartlek training is just casual speed work where you run fast and then at your normal pace for intervals.  I've been very consistent with running each week, but what I hadn't done was push myself out of my comfort zone. Why did it take so long? Because it is uncomfortable!  But, you can't expect different results by doing the same thing.  So far by doing this I've been able to conquer hills like no other and last week I ran at 9 minute and some second mile paces consistently.  No, 9, 10, 11 minute miles...all 9's.  I think I have a pretty good chance of at least beating my last time and finishing at sub-30 if not sub 29 anyways.  Wish me luck :)

I'll be trying to eat as clean as possible, significantly increase my water intake (I've been slacking), and get at least 8 hrs of sleep at least the 2 days before the race.

My last run before this morning's 5 mile easy run was another 5 miler on Saturday.  Although I rested on Sunday, I think me running that 5 miles on Saturday was the reason I felt a little something in my shins and below my knee.  I haven't felt pain in either places in a while.  I've read that's one of the signs you'll encounter when increasing your mileage.  Or maybe I shouldn't have run two long runs so close together?  After the second mile, my legs started to feel fine which led me to believe all I needed was a proper warm-up.  Through trial and error, I will eventually figure it out without injuring myself too badly.  I made sure not to forget to stretch and iced all areas I felt a little pain in afterwards.

How do you prepare the week of a race?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Somebody Stop ME!

In the words of Jim Carrey in The Mask, "Somebody stop me!" (lol). Yes, I realize that was a bit corny, but that movie line sort of sums up this past weekend for me.  My last post about me wearing a swimsuit with confidence now seems like the beginning of something totally new I started.

Hold up, I'm not that advanced!
My weekend started on Friday evening in a pole dancing class with a friend. Yes, pole dancing.  It's not just for strippers anymore.  Hopefully you've heard by now anyway that a lot of women take pole classes for several different reasons.  It doesn't mean you are, dare I say, a "freakazoid", if you take one.  My first time taking a pole class was 2 years ago.  Well, 2 years ago I was busted and disgusted.  I had fun, but I did NOT feel confident nor sexy.  Good thing I have no problem laughing at myself, so I'm pretty sure that's how I got through that whole embarrassing ordeal.  Now that I am in a totally different place mentally and physically in my life, I could tell a major difference from 2 years ago to last Friday night.  

The class was pretty cool.  I was glad to be among other beginners and even those with little rhythm such as myself. And it didn't hurt that I was smaller than the first time I started.  The main benefits I've experienced from pole dancing are that I feel a little sexier and it provides a great arm workout depending on the moves the instructor has you doing.  The stretches in the beginning felt SO good for my running legs and hip area.  I liked it so much my friend and I are going to sign up for more classes.


On Saturday, my running group celebrated a major milestone.  The day started out with a 5 mile group run, which you can read about here.  We reached over 2000 members so we had a social to celebrate.  I normally don't do clubs, but this was an event I didn't want to miss.  I'm so glad I didn't and I am excited to be apart of 'the movement'.  It was nice to relish in all of our hard work.  We all looked so great dressed up!  

After the social, I headed to a family members birthday celebration at a nearby restaurant and lounge (I tell ya, Tiff's just been a role lately lol).  But, my point is, I am so proud of myself and the goals I've accomplished. These are things I would've normally automatically shied away from and not given a second thought. (Shirt off the shoulder 2 years ago? Not me!) I did not feel one ounce of insecurity because of the way I looked.  I know I'm not perfect and I haven't even reached all of my goals yet, but weekends like this reassure me of why I do what I do every day.  Once you set your goals and are doing something to accomplish them for at least 2 weeks (IMO), I think it has already become habit.  Make healthy living and an active lifestyle continue to work for you and it'll start to feel like second nature.  I canNOT go back to the way I was!

With that being said, my goals for the week are to continue 10k training (I haven't registered for one yet and I've also begun to consider a half marathon on Thanksgiving) with the following:

Sunday - rest
Monday - speed work (track workout), Insanity
Tuesday - 4 mi run
Wednesday - 2 mi run, weights (upper body)
Thursday - 4 mi on hilly route
Friday - rest
Saturday - 5 mi

What has made you feel like your hard work is paying off?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

#OperationBikini - Check!

Ya just don't know how often I visualized myself at the point I am in my life right now.  While either trying not to watch the timer on the elliptical, psyching myself up to finish the entire workout DVD, or reciting whatever personal mantra came to mind while attempting to run uphill; All of that was for a weekend like the one I just had at the beach.

I tend to renew my goals in October the past 2 years for some reason.  Well, last year I made the goal that since most of my weight had shed, my next goal would be to get into that bikini and wear it proudly.  As my tweet states, I didn't want to wear the bikini JUST for vanity reasons (although that is a pretty huge reason), but having the confidence of wearing that bikini and just letting lose and having fun on the beach was priceless.  I'm not done with "sculpting" my body yet (or ridding entirely of the pudge), but this weekend made all the hard work over the past 2 years on my weight loss journey worth it.  This weekend has definitely inspired me even more to continue onward with my goals.  This time next year, maybe I'll visit a nude beach. ONLY KIDDING.  Here's a few pictures I deemed Internet-safe :)


There's a first time in life for everything :)

Panama City Beach, FL - It was nice w/o the "Spring Break crowd" lol

With that being said, my goals for this week are to take full advantage of this perfect Fall running weather and continue trying to increase my mileage.  Sunday is usually my rest day so I didn't do anything today. I'll do a speed work out tomorrow, followed by Insanity (maybe).  Tuesday-4 miles. Wednesday-2 mile run and weights. Thursday-4 mile run. Friday-Insanity. Saturday-5 mile run.

I'm encouraging you to stick with your goals. You won't regret!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Own Green "Monster" and Vegetarian Meal of the Week (VMOW)

After seeing so many other bloggers post on their versions of green smoothies, naturally I wanted to try one.  It kind of happened by accident, just because I was out frozen strawberries to make my usual strawberry banana smoothie.  I never saw a recipe that I actually wanted to copy, so I ended up creating my own little version.
Sorry for the poor presentation, but the color was really pretty

2 cups of fresh spinach
1 cup of frozen banana slices
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 serving 329 calories

This was so good after my elliptical workout.  I hadn't been to the gym since February.  The change was really nice.
Meanwhile, with me NOT having to cook and thoroughly enjoying THAT fact this weekend, a vegetarian meal was in order.  I decided to have spinach salad (out of whatever I had that was salad ready in my fridge) and roasted new potatoes.  I know I saw this meal on someone else's blog.  It wasn't the exact recipe, but just the idea of this combo I took.  Anyhoo, I forgot to jot it down.  It was simple, just the way I like it all.  
olive oil, sea salt, chili powder, paprika
Will make enough for about 3-4 people

I baked these at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes (or until tender)

About 312 calories
For the spinach salad, I just added part-skim mozzarella cheese and a little Italian dressing.
Follow-up from the Truth Dot Com post last week.  After facing the fact that I had gained some of my "last 10lbs" back from meeting my weight loss goal in April/May of this year, I started back paying closer attention to my food calories.  I was already doing great with my workouts, I was kinda, sorta pigging out elsewhere.  Since then, which was maybe a week and a half ago, I've lost 3 of those 7 lbs so far.  I hope I don't sound anal.  I'm not, I'm just a bit of a perfectionist, Type A if you will.

This week's workout will continue to be about adapting to increased mileage.  I'm going to run at least 3 miles Monday and Wednesday of this week.  On Friday I will run 5 miles (perfect before heading out of town).  If I feel the urge to run other days, which I probably will because the other days are my usual group run days (it's too fun to pass up), I will just take it light and easy.  I am definitely trying to keep up the momentum this week because guess what? I'm BEACH BOUND Friday afternoon! Woot Woot! And I'm wearing that bikini!