Saturday, January 8, 2011


So far I have registered for two of my most important spring races. The Warrior Dash - which I'll run with my brother & The Boilermaker - which I'll run with my college friend "D".

There is often a hesitance when you are first signing up for a race. My friend "KD" was asking me about the warrior dash and she wasn't sure if she wanted to run it or not. I told her she could do it but like me she'd want to train for that first mile of the run which is all uphill. I didn't hesitate to sign up for the warrior dash. I'm prepared to be muddy, prepared to climb over obstacles, and prepared to be absurd.

However, starting my registration for The Boilermaker, well I couldn't help but think. "you are crazy" the entire time I as filling out my registration. It's 9 miles. I've yet to run more than 3.2 miles. I know i've got time, I know i've got the mental ability, I know I'll gain the physical ability. Still, somewhere there is a part of you that thinks - what the hell are you doing? I know once I signed up for the turkey trot and once I told people, I was more dedicated, I worked harder cause there was an end goal.

This summer, there is an end goal. Finishing the Boilermaker in 2 hours 30 minutes or less. Finishing the Warrior Dash in under 52 minutes.

When i started training for the trot I got these grandiose ideas about running The Walt Disney World Half Marathon. One of my grad school friends is actually running both the half & full marathon there right now. Completing the spring race schedule I have planned out would allow me to consider the half marathon next January. It's an idea right now, nothing solid, just an idea.

Friday, January 7, 2011

it was like hot yoga

The back room that I keep my recumbent bike in is not insulated very well. In the summer it is horrifically hot and in the winter it's bitterly cold. We have a gas fireplace in the back room to warm it up if we are out there for long periods of time. However, the fireplace does not have a thermostat. So right when you think it's the optimal temperature, kiss it goodbye and welcome a heatwave.

I knew this was the case so this morning I started the fireplace a lot sooner than my workout. I wanted to see if the heat would be like exercising in a hot yoga class. (I've never done hot yoga I've only heard stories from friends) It was something I had to struggle through during the first 20 minutes of my work out and then the last 10 minutes it was really enjoyable. I could feel the sweat in my elbows and could see it all along my arms. The true test of sweat was the amount deposited on the machine itself at the end of my work out.

Today I did the small hill climb program. It's 10 minutes long and I repeat it 3 times. At the highest point of resistance it has you there for 4 minutes, the hike uphill and downhill are tapered 3 minutes. Often when I am using the recumbent bike I will switch the program I am doing thinking it's like some form of great training. Usually, it is what do I think I can do today. There are several programs that still scare me and I really don't want to attempt the 100% target heart rate program again yet. Yet, I think equate intervals with speed and hill climbs with endurance and I watch my MPH & mile pace. I remained at my 4 minute mile which I am happy about and I usually am around 16.6 MPH

I'm sweaty, tired, and I can feel it in my lungs a little bit. All things I am OK with.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

sleep deprivation

It is hard to exercise when you are tired. Throw in being tired and having a food coma, it is even harder.

I had a good friend come in to visit for a total of 24 hours, so I felt the need to jam pack those 24 hours with good times and little sleep. Morning came and I knew I wanted to go use the bike and get all excited about it and start the day.

In reality, I woke up, made coffee, woke my friend and lounged around all day until dinner. Normally, I'd feel some what OK with this lounging and skipping of the workout if several things had occurred.

1. if I had been 21 days into my routine
2. if we had gone out and walked some
3. if I didn't eat the dinner I ate.

We had a dinner filled with meats, meat and more meat along with fries, gravy & cheese. Not a healthy choice by far and I chalked it up to a friend being in town. Do I feel guilty about it all as I write? Yes, I definitely do.

This morning I tried to sleep in, to catch up on sleep but I had errands to run so my sleep schedule is still out of whack. I thought about getting on the bike tonight but I'm going to pass until the morning. While I want to get back up to 3 days a week, I'm OK with two times a week.

Online articles have said that you need 21 days to form a new habit. I am working on writing daily in my food journal. I feel like once I've got that habit down again, I can get back to being disciplined with my 3 days a week.

Am I worried, yes. I get worried that I will give up, that many people who read this right now will think its all a New Years Resolution that I'll be ready to break. But today while I was visiting with friends who asked if I was still running I replied to them that March 1st I'll start my training again for The Boilermaker.

I made a goal. I've set training plans. I'm telling people so I can remain accountable. But I'm human and sleep deprivation is my worst enemy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

back in the saddle

this morning I knew I wanted to get back to exercising. I bought a recumbent indoor bike about 3 years ago when I was first diagnosed with health problems. For a person of size the recumbent bike is just so much easier. Your back doesn't hurt as much, you feel sturdier, it's easy to see the readout and it's low impact on your knees.

Before I started running, I biked in my back room 3 days per week and started out doing the interval program on my bike. I would bike for 30 minutes and each minute the resistance would go up & down for me. When I first started my mile distance was about 5 minutes. Then as I worked out I got my time down to 3:30 for a mile. Jumping back on the bike today I wasn't sure what I would be able to achieve. Although just the other day I heard the words "you can't loose fitness in a month" I still was unsure of how I would do.

So the curtains were drawn on our sliding glass doors (cause I don't like my family to watch), I turned the gas stove on in the back room (because there is no heat in the back room), and I popped my headphones on and started.

It was a lot easier than I thought and I wasn't concentrating on my time or my distance, I just wanted to keep a good pace, break a sweat, and just feel OK. After the first 3 minutes passed I looked down at my distance. I was close to the mile mark. It took me 4 minutes to hit a mile but then I decided I wanted to keep that pace. 26 minutes later, i hit 8 miles.

I got off the bike, felt a little light headed but that's cause I did not properly cool down. I was just excited that I made it through 30 minutes and wasn't overly winded or hurting. I could feel the muscles in my legs firing and I knew that it was a good thing.

I like working out in the morning because then I don't need coffee or tea. It just sets the day right. I know, it sounds nerdy & impossible and believe me I have days when I push my workout to the evening or even the next day. Still, it makes me feel good and when I put the exercise in my food journal well, I get to have more food to still hit my intake for the day. Sometimes that means more chicken, more greens, but tonight is the first night of rehearsal so it will probably equal out to one beer.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Over the holiday season I got to visit with one of my biggest running inspirations. I often will refer to him as "J" (until I figure out better nicknames for people). He would post things on my facebook on my Couch to 5K (C25K) posts. He was there with a cowbell on the turkey trot during the last mile. Then at our annual holiday gathering he gave me a gift. My cousin joked that I had this look on my face like I was going to cry.

If he gave me another minute, I just might have. See all the guys exchange gifts and most others there just what the silliness that happens. However, this year J walked up to me, handed me a gift, and I opened it to find a cold weather long sleeve running top. It was awesome and after I thanked him and told him he didn't need to do such thing he replied with "anything I can to advance people running". I also saw him exchange gifts with his running soulmate MP and he had borrowed a book on running from MP and when he met the author he had him sign the book for MP. He then returned the newly signed borrowed book to MP, pointing out what made it a new "gift". MP, was in awe and J was just as jubilant because they both just understood that it was cool. I listened to them both talk about their marathon plans, when they would start training, what was their point of no return date, etc. It was just awesome & inspiring.

I have other friends who run, who comment on my facebook, who ask about C25K and well I try to keep up with them. I have a friend who told me she started the C25k program because she saw my weekly posts stating I finished a run. (I need to check in with her and see how she is doing and see if she wants to join me for a race.) I have other people who hear that I've run races and they say that they can't do it, that they arn't a runner. Something different happens to me at that point. I tell them how they can do it, that they don't have to be a runner. The difference that happened from week one to week nine was amazing and that I even surprised myself.

So keep trucking, keep trying, and keep letting others know what you are up to. You'll be amazed at where the support comes from.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spring Race Season

While my training starts in March for The Boilermaker 15K, I know that I want to do some 5K races to keep me entertained during my training. I also want to have fun for some of my races. So I determined races by location, historical notary, and if they sounded like a good time. My brother had run the Warrior Dash this past year and I wanted to run that with him but I had just gotten cleared for exercise after my shoulder surgery and there was no way I could run 3.1 miles - not to mention the damned hill that starts you out.

My training will be primarily using the Couch to 10K program app for the iphone. I used Felttip's C25K app in training for the turkey trot this past year and it was great. I also use the Nike+GPS app to keep track of my run routes & times. In addition to running, I'm also going to try out the Nike Training Club app to add in cross training & strength training. I will also be asking "J" & "MB" for training advice and tips.

Well, here is my Spring Race Season for anyone interested:

The Rotary Five - Queensbury, NY

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Urban Dare NY, NY (two member amazing race event)

Saturday, May 14, 2011 

The 33rd Freihofer's Run for Women Albany, NY

Saturday, June 4, 2011.


Sunday July 10th, 2011

The Warrior Dash - Windham, NY

August 13, 2011

Schenectady ARC 5K - Schenectady, NY

September 15, 2011

11th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge Saratoga Springs, NY

October 22, 2011

The 64th Annual Troy Turkey Trot - Troy,NY

November 24, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A month off

It seems like forever since my last run. Truth is, it has been forever. After the Turkey Trot I went into full performance mode for the show that I was in. Singing & dancing two times a day was wiping me out and I had no energy to run. I was still getting exercise from performing in the show so I felt healthy. After the show ended on December 13th and I could finally rest, my body just broke down.

I was training for the trot, on antibiotics for a sinus infection, finishing up my Master's web portfolio & presentation, two papers for my last semester of classes, and singing & dancing two times a day. Why wouldn't my body just breakdown? So I just rested.

Then the holidays came along with super cold weather. I have asthma and the cold weather just tightens my lungs right up. Financially, I can't afford a gym membership (until I get this new job) and well I was just in a funk.

Just before New Years Eve I took a look at all the races I wanted to run this spring season. Trying to figure out what my no turning back point was for training. March 1st, 2011 is when I need to start my running training back up. Yet, I know I can bike indoors until that time and when you start having dreams about working out and you wake up missing your weekly workouts...well it's a little strange.

Now, let me set something straight for you the reader. I'm not a health nut. I'm not an athlete. I am however stubborn, extremely stubborn. If there is something I want to do, I find a way to do it. I made a committment to myself in 2009 and I have been working to get healthy ever since. I'm human though and there are times when I slip, when I get set back. The holidays had me gaining two pounds again and the struggle to get back to "clean living" where we don't have sweets in the house or I have one drink has been hard.

But I am back to writing down food in my food journal and tomorrow I will jump back on the bike. I've cut down my caffeine intake and asked my family to not purchase sweets for the next two weeks. It's tough. I guess that is why I am working on this project.

Yes, getting healthy is tough. So if I can share what I am doing and what is working, if I can motivate others to try the things I'm trying...well then what's the harm of a little blogging.