Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Cool Cross-Training Idea for Runners

I've always wanted to try indoor rock climbing just because it looked fun. I didn't realize it would actually give me a work out or that this is a good cross-training activity for runners.

There are several similarities of climbing and running that we learned in the brief clinic prior to starting. For starters, climbing engages your upper body and core.

You need to push "off" with your legs to aide your upper body, so they're engaged just as much.

Balance and breathing were definitely necessary to reach the top.

I like this WAY better than zip lining!
The scary part was coming down.
Once I was down, I couldn't believe I had broken a light sweat and was lightly panting. My upper body needs work anyway, so I could feel it in my arms before I even left the building. Two days later and I think I used EVERY muscle in my arm!

It was fun and hopefully I'll get to try it again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Need for Speed

For me, this spring and summer is all about becoming faster. There's no way I want to run long distances in this this southern humidity. I'm kind of glad I wasn't chosen to participate in the famous AJC's Peachtree Road Race, but 6.2 miles may be my cap for the season. I won't lie and say I'll consistently get up super early, as in 5am, enough in order to beat the heat either. I'll intentionally pick up the 7+ miles when the weather breaks again.

Despite the effects of the changing temps, I still want to focus on getting my average pace to a consistent 8:30-9:00 pace. I read this discussion on Runner's World site and could relate to this guys' question. I think the endurance I'll build just from continuing to run in the humid temps will help when I do increase my mileage once again. I definitely got faster last Fall.

There's a new app I intend to try called MiCoach Running. I saw someone mention it on Pinterest for her speed workouts, so we shall see next week. I'm not good at the old fashion way; the stopwatch, paper, and pen way, I need a "babysitter", SMH.

Tonight's workout was sort of like my "inaugural" workout to this "new" plan that has popped in my head. I ran 3-miles at an average pace of 10:44 (still haven't fully recovered from taking the 2 week break after my half), ran hill repeats for 1-mile, 25 standard push ups, and two 1-minute planks. Hopefully my workout partner will not want or need to cancel any evenings, because I was way more motivated to do this with her with me! Little does she know.

A Sweaty Beast

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Alleged "Detox" Green Smoothie

I found this smoothie recipe from Pinterest. The original can be found here. This was pretty disgusting. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but is kale supposed to be spicy? The consistency was thick (guess I didn't blend long enough). And mine was not bright green like the original photo. Lastly, I wasn't "detoxed" either.

Banana, Pear, Kale, Spinach, Orange Juice

I hate to throw it out, but first I'm going to add some mixed frozen fruit, blend it more and see how it tastes afterwards.

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

I've been in a eating-the-same-things-week-after-week rut, so as soon as I found this recipe on Pinterest and noticed it only included 2 ingredients, I knew I had to try it (I prefer SIMPLE as possible). The only changes I made from the original recipe was omitting cumin and coriander seeds. I wanted to use what I already had on hand. I've purchased too many seasonings in the past for one-hit wonder recipes and now they're just sitting in the cabinet, waiting to expire I guess. Also, I topped this over BROWN rice instead of white.
I'm not into counting my food calories anymore, so I don't have a calorie count for ya. Off the subject, but if you've seen the latest Desperate Housewives episode (watch the part where Andrew brings his new "fiance" home. She's formally obese.), you will see a little of why not. Thinking about the calorie count of EVERYthing I ate was like how some people feel about the scale. It can become obsessive.

You can find the original recipe and instructions here and pictures of my version below.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Race Recap: Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

This time last year, I was starting Week 2 of Couch to 5k. I would've never thought only a year later I'd be running my first half. I was kind of emotional waiting in my corral, where I had too much time to think. I'm sure the people next to me probably thought I was nutty for wiping tears and the race hadn't even started.

Miles 1-3 were okay. Took a min to get in my rhythm with the amount of ppl and adjusting to the raggedy roads. Miles 4-8, I was feeling myself and thought, "this will be so easy". Mile 9-10, seemed to take forever and the battery on my phone was really low. That took my mind off of having fun and worrying about whether I'd have music to finish. Miles 11-13 were the worse...bathroom issues and legs were tired. I was disappointed that I had to run/walk majority of the LAST couple miles of ALL miles. My long runs before were near perfect compared. So why when race day comes, random stuff occurs?


Some kind of way I got a boost of energy to sprint the last few yards.
I set a time goal for myself, which I didn't meet, but overall I'm just proud I did it and finished. The best part of the race for me was being done and my husband (race crew volunteer) being the one to put the medal around my neck.

After New Orleans, I spent the entire week at the in-laws house. They don't exactly live in an area safe for running nor does their hoarding tendencies lack of space allow me to exercise on the inside. That was fine with me because I needed the break. This week was my first week being lazy as hell and not giving AF inactive in well over a year. It felt kind of weird. I ate and pretty much drank what I wanted, when I wanted all week, but I'm ready to get back my mojo back already. For this week, I'm thinking group runs, spin class, and a body sculpting class should get me back on track. We brought back the nephews to spend time with us during their spring break, so we shall see how this goes...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My 1st Half Marathon: 2 Days Before

A little late night ramble.

Well, the weekend has arrived. I will be running my first half marathon on Sunday. I ran my last long run this past Monday (12.5 miles) and have eaten fairly well (except succumbing to the Girl Scout cookie temptations). I have no regrets. I feel like I prepared 90% well and I know my body, so I'll be fine.

All week I have received nothing but encouraging messages from those who have known of me racing. As the days grew closer and during my last few runs, short and long, I teared up and shed a few droplets when I imagined my journey to get 13.1 miles ready, crossing that finish line, falling AND bawling into my husbands chest. I know it's going to be a monumental moment for me. I can't wait to tell our future kids. I pray someone gets good pictures too.

We left Atlanta a little after 9:30 this morning. I had eaten breakfast at home (bran cereal with 1% milk) and I didn't pack my lunch or snacks like I did for the last road trip. No worries, so I thought ... And this really isn't that much of a big deal, but I kind of told myself that I would eat super clean especially the last few days until the race. So anyway, we stopped for gas and there was Arby's. As you've probably noticed, fast food joints are offering better options. I ordered a turkey and Swiss sandwich (found out later, it was pretty high in calories) and medium-sized fries (also high of course). I could've switched my side to a salad, but I noticed too late and didn't want to bother them with switching (yea, excuses). I'm doing good on my water intake, so I feel good.

Picture taken from Arby's site.
This trip is making me wish I would've went grocery shopping though or something, geez. For dinner, we ate Subway. I got a 6" turkey on wheat with a variety of vegetables, lite mayo, mustard, and vinegar (no oil as usual=some progress). I didn't get a combo, instead I stopped by Wally World a.k.a. WalMart (so many characters in there, btw) for bananas and a gallon of water. So dinner was Subway, a banana, and water. I'm going to be real and say I am so ready for this race to be over so I can PIG out on some authentic "Nawlins" cuisine I tell ya!

I wonder how tomorrow will go. I think I'm going to go to bed after I'm done icing my knee, so I can get my mind off of wanting something sweet. I don't want my stomach to cramp during this race and I want to be full of energy.

So, it seems all I had was eating on the brain.