Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upping the Mileage (how not to do it)

   I've been thinking recently that in order to improve my 5k and maybe start training for some longer races I should be putting in more mileage.  Over the past two months I've done only 3 or 4 runs that were 6-7 miles.   I highly favor interval work right now, but I know you need a good mix of the two in order to get the best results.  Also reading all you super distance runner blogs has had me thinking about running longer.  So today I went for it. . . 13 miles.

                          Y'all are nuts!!!!
                 (I mean I realize 13 miles is child's play to many of you,  I don't
                                                      know how you do it.  I've got nothing but respect for you)

     I don't know how some of you do such high mileage, my legs are completely dead right now.  I ran 6.5 out and then back.  The first half I ran in 57 min, my overall time was 2:01.  I definitely had some walking breaks at the end there (most of the last mile :/).    I was starving the whole way back (I guess that's my mistake for not bringing any fuel)  If I had any money with me I surely would have stopped at one of the numerous restaurants along the way.   Obviously going from a high of 6 miles straight to 13 might not be the best way to go, I'll never claim to be the brightest crayon in the box ;)   Spontaneous, that's what that was right there.

That's all I got right now, I've gotta go stuff my face and take some pain killers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fitness Goals Progress 11/29

Here is a little update on the things I've been working on:

My progression in just over a month (before Oct. 17th the last 5k I had done was on 7/5/09 in 22:18):

Oct 17th~ 23:19 (Hills)
Oct  31st~ 22:26
Nov 25th~ 21:52

     A minute and a half improvement in just over a month, but as noted the first race had a few more hills than the last two.
The most recent race is not a lifetime PR, but I ran on either H.S. or College XC teams up until 11/07, so I consider this a PR outside of running for a team.   There is obviously a big difference between training on your own and training with a team and a coach at a scheduled practice everyday (sometimes twice a day).  

   With that said I am still aiming to get a lifetime PR while training on my own.  My fastest times in XC were just below 21 minutes, this was on very hilly trail courses so it would have been faster on the roads.  The race/time that I still consider my best is running 20:53 on what was/is considered New York's Toughest XC Course, during the Suffolk County Championships my junior year of H.S.   I've always assumed that would be sub-20 in a road race. 

     I really, REALLY want to go sub-20 on the roads in 2011.   I absolutely think I can get in better shape this year than I ever have.  I am already incorporating more resistance training than I have in the past, I could barely do 1 push-up through out H.S./ College.  I think getting stronger is going to be a big help in getting faster while feeling more effortless (by that I mean I will feel able to hold a fast pace for longer without feeling like I am all out sprinting.)  Plus all my incline training :D
    I'm not sure of my next race yet, I might train through December and then do the Winter run series during the 4 Sundays in January(not looking forward to racing in even colder temps though :/)

  I didn't do my push-ups this week, I finished week 3 on 11/20.  Then during my little race attire photo shoot/ dance party on Tuesday I decided to record my push-ups with my computer camera to check out my form.  I was not happy with my first set.  I was not getting low enough at all, my mid section was moving way to much, and my head was not aligned with my body.   I taped a few more sets to see if I could get my form looking the way I want it to.  The last set I think is pretty decent, here is a video of the first set, middle set and last set:

     Obviously when I am doing them with better form and getting lower I can't do as many.  I am going to re-do week 3, starting with day 1 later today.  I am concentrating 100% on form so I will do the best I can to reach the given number of reps, but if I have to do W3 again next week, so be it.  I would rather do 15 beautiful push-ups than 50 half-assed ones :)  I'd also like to be able to do push-ups with my elbows tucked in, baby steps, i'll get there.

   It's hard to track what I have been doing to reach my goal of one pull-up, I should probably make up some kind of plan.  My current routine is just kinda hopping on the pull-up bar whenever I feel like it.  I have definitely made improvement, I can do a pull-up with a little hop and no bands.  Yet I still feel so far from a dead hang pull-up.  I can do more reps with the band and I can hang for longer than when I started.  I also take the resistance band out to my garage pull-up bar because then I can lower myself all the way without touching the floor.  I should probably do my pull-ups out there more since I will get the full-range of motion.  

Fitness related goal~
     One of my goals when starting this blog was to get certified in personal training, I've researched some certifications and I think I am going to go with ACE for now.  Matt's best friend works at a nearby gym and he said that they are definitely looking for trainers and would hire me if I got certified.  Sooo I gotta get on the ball and do it already!  I'm going to look right now online to see if I can get the instructional manuals for cheaper then they cost on the ACE site.  I'm sure someone is selling their used manuals somewhere!

Note: I reallllyyyyy wish I could say that I got my road bike and have started learning to ride it and training on it.  Unfortunately I've gone back and forth on what I want, what I should get and how much to spend.    Since I'm leaning towards a the $600-$800  bikes it is going to have to be a Christmas present, along with the indoor trainer.  I am very anxiously awaiting getting started on the bike,  if I start working at that gym I can take free spin classes as well :D

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 2010

    I'm finally getting to the full race recap, the past few days have been a little crazy.  Friday we went to my m-i-l's house to celebrate Thanksgiving, since we spent Thursday with my family.  She offered to watch Nolan for the night so that Matt and I could go out somewhere on our own (love her!).    Yayy, I made Matt go out dancing with me (like full on club dancing, I like to pretend i'm still 21 sometimes :D).  Of course this involved too much drinking as well and so yesterday I was totally incapable of doing anything.

     The only exercise I got between Friday and Saturday was 3+ hours of dancing (in heels, calf workout!). I attempted running on my treadmill yesterday and gave up at 2 1/2 minutes when I realized I would most likely get sick if I went any longer.  Ohh and some assisted pull-ups on Friday, I'm determined to get my first full unassisted pull-up!!

    I have a lot of topics that have come up over the weekend that I will address throughout the week, some exciting stuff (for me anyway)!  First things first, race report:

     This race was a lot less eventful than the last one, no domestic turmoil, no lost iPod and no rushing to make the race.  I pre-registered this time, which is a good thing because the race reached the 1,000 person cap early in the morning.  My son was going to do the kid's race (which was before the 5k this time), but when we got there it was very crazy with people everywhere, a lot bigger then last race and he got a bit scared and didn't want to do it anymore.

  At 8:50, I made my way over to the starting line for the 9 o' clock start,  I usually try to start up in the front, somehow I got stuck in the middle and there was literally no way to move any closer.  I was just happy I wasn't stuck behind the parked police car in the middle of the start area.  They forgot to move it before the start of the race and half the people were lined up behind it.  The runners lined up behind it had to maneuver around it once the gun went off.

   Being in the middle at least I was kept warm, which I needed since the race did not end up starting till 9:20!  We were all lined up at nine, standing around wondering when the race was actually going to go off.  I couldn't see with all the runners in front of me so I had no clue what was taking so long and everyone around me was making comments and one-liners about the ridiculous start.  I was just thinking that if the race started on time I would have been done by now!  When it finally did go off I hugged the side of the street and bypassed a few hundred people running down the middle of the road.  Within the first minute I got near the front of the race, where it was much less congested and I could do my thang :D

  The race is kind of a blur, I was very cold, not my legs (I guess bc they were doing all the work, they stay warm?), but my face, my hands, some of my toes felt numb.  Breathing in the chilly air hurt, maybe since I've done most of my interval training inside?  I'm not sure the temperature, around 40 F I believe, but there was a bit of a wind chill as well.  I know that my first mile was around 6:58 (they had a big display for each mile split)  and then mile two was right about 14 min.

   During the race I saw my H.S. winter track coach cheering on the side which made me very happy :D My thoughts were on the negative side throughout the race,  I had such positive thoughts during the days beforehand about powering through the pain and staying strong and confident.  Of course then you actually race and it is hard and it hurts and you're thinking why do I do this to myself and I'm not going to be able to keep this pace up and I'm not running another 5k for a long time, and blah, blah, blah. Negative thinking aside I made it through and I achieved one of my race goals of breaking 22 :D  I had also set loftier goals of 21:30 and Sub 21, and although I didn't reach them this time, they will be mine!!

     I was very happy to find that I had beaten three girls that I used to compete against in H.S. and often beat me!  They were 1-2-3 behind me in the age group results, one of them actually passed me momentarily near the end, but then I started kicking with 400 meters to go and she was history ;)

    The boys always explore  while I race, so no pictures of me running :/  This race started and ended by a very cool little bay beach, so while I was running Nolan was doing this:

Final time and placing:

Katie McGrath #546

Age: 26 Gender: F
Clock Time21:52
Overall Place96 / 1036
Gender Place19 / 576
Division Place5 / 81
Of course a few hours after the race I was back to thinking, "I can go faster next time, that didn't feel so bad, I have more speed in me, I want to run another 5k soon!!!" :D  All day Friday I thought about getting faster, Faster, FASTER! (which will be the topic of an upcoming post )  Now i'm off to do an hour of stair running to make up for the rest of this weekend :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quick and Dirty Recap

It was cold, I still wore my shorts and socks, but I threw on a long sleeve as well.

First mile: right around 7 flat (6:58?)
Second mile: same pace about 14 flat
Final time: 21:52/ 7:02 pace

I did have a goal of 21:30, but I took 34 seconds off from my last race time of 22:26 :D  I can't be disappointed in that. . . I'm so close though, next race sub 7 min miles!

I placed 4th in my age group, which I think Matt was happy about 'cause it was cold and he wanted to go home.  I don't know my overall results yet, but it was a bigger race than my past two, with 1,000 people running.   More to come. . .    

For now bring on the wine! :D

T- 1 hour

     Good Luck to all my fellow Turkey Trot-ers today!!!!!!!!!

I'll catch you on the flip-side

And a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving to  everyone!!! :D

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Race Play List

I named it "Sub-21" (it had a much better ring to it than sub-22 ;)

~Stay Tonight- Matchbook Romance
~Firework- Katy Perry
~One-Eighty By Summer- Taking Back Sunday
~Down- Blink-182
~The Truth- The Spill Canvas
~Wasted- Cartel
~Thnks Fr Th Mmrs- Fall Out Boy
~Right Round- Flo Rida
~Close to Me- The Get Up Kids
~Playing For Keeps - Matchbook Romance
~Lovers And Liars- Matchbook Romance
~My Eyes Burn- Matchbook Romance
~Jamie All Over- Mayday Parade
~Under Pressure- The Used
~Born To Quit - The Used
~Check Yes Juliet- We the Kings
~Untouched- The Veronicas
~One Eight Seven- Senses Fail
~She's Got the Rhythm- The Summer Set
~Number Five With A Bullet- Taking Back Sunday
~Fire Burning- Sean Kingston
~Shoulder To The Wheel- Saves The Day
~Drugs or Me (Styrofoam Remix)- Jimmy Eat World
~Always- Blink-182

Obviously wayyyy  longer than the 20-ish min. I'm actually going to be racing,  but I never know exactly what is gonna get me going on a given day.  This 1 1/2 hour playlist should cover whatever I need :D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Race Attire Preview

Here is what I am most likely wearing if Matt will let me out of the house in it, I was inspired to go a little over the top by my co-workers (below).  Well actually, I've planned to wear these socks for a week now. . . if it is too cold for my shorts, I'll wear them over tights.  

Run For the Bikini. . .or the Thanksgiving wine :D

Obviously, I missed my calling as a model :P

Non-blurry face, I'm attractive!

Ok I had wayyy too much fun taking pics, for everyone's sake the rest are under the cut:

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Co-workers are Ree-dic-you-lous

Some of my fellow lifeguards ran the Toughmudder (it is a 12 mile course w/ numerous obstacles along the way) in NJ on Sunday and I thought these pictures were too comical not to share:




Individual photos below:

Race Scheduling Thoughts

~ Today is 2 months of blogging :D  I truly believe I've accomplished somethings I otherwise would not have if I hadn't started this little bloggy.  Furthermore I've been inspired to pursue some other goals that I hadn't considered in the past, but are now taking up a good amount of my thought stream.

~ Things like should I train for a 1/2 marathon, a full, do I want to  work towards an ironman or maybe a 70.3??  I'm taking it slow for now and  enjoying my 5k racing and training, because I like doing short, fast interval workouts and improving my speed.  Maybe I will throw in a 10k?  Since my last planned race is on Thursday, I've started looking for some races to compete in over the next few months.  It is going to be cold, but I don't want that to stop me from racing until it gets warm again.

~ I've found 4- 5ks that I definitely want to participate in, actually it is a winter run series.  For the month of January they have  a 5k race every Sunday at a different Long Island NY State park .  They have a summer run series as well, which I did one year and it was great, the one thing i'm nervous about with these races is the cold!  I still need to find a race for December, possibly my 10k.  I am also thinking about the LI Half Marathon (or maybe, but probably not the full marathon) on May1st.  We shall see...

~ I'm feeling great about Thursday's race.  I got in a good interval/pacing workout on Saturday and yesterday I ran 4 miles at 7:30 pace with the last mile being around 6:50.  I've felt very strong, comfortable and confident at 6:50 pace and I am ready to rock it.  Plus I got my new headphones yesterday and they are awesome :D   I went for the in-ear ones this time bc while the iPod ones don't fit in my ears right, these skull candy ones come w/ 3 different sizes and are made w/ flexible rubber.  I tried them today on my short leg stretching run, perfect!
Love the color!

~ Possible earlier triathlon (my current planned one is at the very end of August)- Great South Bay Sprint Triathlon, on June 5th.  Actually I just found this whole calendar of Long Island Triathlon events that are all a possibility.  This 70.3 at the beginning of October, in Montauk (love it there!), looks very promising :)  And I am definitely liking this Duathlon in May to prepare for my first tri.  It is a run-bike-run (1.8-10.5-1.8) and it is 5 minutes from my house. I am really looking forward to the coming spring/summer, I have BIG plans!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Luck Joca!

  Tomorrow my friend Jovica aka Joca (yow-tza) is competing in Ironman Arizona!  He qualified and competed in Kona 2008, with a 9:54 qualifying time at Lake Placid 2008.  This is his first IM since then as he took some time off to spend with his new baby girl :)
   Joca rowed for the same college as me, but graduated before I was on the team.  I met him while working the summer rowing club at the college in 2004.  He came to row a few times a week and we started running together whenever we were both there.  We lost touch for a while after that summer but then we caught up last November at the annual alumni boat race.   I messaged him a few weeks ago on Facebook to see if he would be at the alumni race this year and to let him know that I've started training for my first triathlon.  He couldn't make the alumni race because he had to get in his final training for IMAZ, but he told me that he'd help me with my training when he returns from AZ.

Joca at Kona 2008

I'll definitely be tracking and cheering him on from home with ironmanlive.com  :D

Update:  ~1:13:21 for the swim 
               ~5:15:47 for the bike - 6:34:25 total time after bike.   Also, Chrissie Wellington is a beast in the best possible way.
               ~ 3:22:02 for the run
9:57:40 Finishing Time!!

Way to go Joca :D  97th overall/ 16th age group

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Run, Baby, Run, Don't Ever Look Back"

    I was in a completely lousy mood this morning for a number of reasons (all of which shall go unspoken :p), fortunately Fridays are my usual stair running day and stairs are the best way I know to get out of a mood.  With my music blasting I busted my ass for 22 1/2  minutes and felt much, much better afterwards :D  I consider running stairs free therapy(as well as any kind of sprint/incline workout.)

My playlist:
One Eight Seven~ Senses Fail
Check Yes Juliet~ We the Kings
All Over You~ The Spill Canvas
Down~ Blink-182
Playing For Keeps~ Matchbook Romance
Promise~ Matchbook Romance  (Love them! Might constitute the majority of my race playlist)

  I realized during the past two days that I totally need to get new headphones before Thursday.  I always get the cheaper ones that go over your head because they stay in my ears better than the ipod phones.  The only problem is that the wire wears out fast-ish and then the music goes in and out depending on the cord placement, but since they are cheap I don't remind replacing them every year.  I will not have another music malfunction this race!

  Tomorrow starts the "Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge" hosted by Run To The Finish.  It already has 300+ participants and is such an awesome way to stay motivated through the winter holidays!

Couldn't get this to post the right way so the link is here

I'm also participating in the "Thankful Healthy Blogger 5k" hosted by A Journey to Thin, with my planned 5k race on Thanksgiving morning

Blogger 5K

~Who can name the source of my title quote? There's a hint in my post ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Virtual 10k with the Black Knights

  Today is usually my stat update, but I am exactly the same as last week and those measurements are only 4 posts down so I'm going to skip the update this week.  I will say though that I was worried during the week because my weight was up a bit due to birthday meals and drinking, but this morning 121 on the dot :)  Next Thursday is my 5k race and Thanksgiving, maybe I will move my weigh-in to Friday, that is some motivation to not stuff myself right there.

Instead today I am going to post about the virtual 10k race I ran this morning.  The 10k is being hosted by the wonderful Stefano from Run With the Black Knights, who I found through Julie's Running Blog. The rules are to run 10k (it does not have to be a race) between Nov.8 -Nov. 28 while wearing something black.  Today was my distance day so I figured I would try to push it and run a decent time as well.  My course was 1.5 miles from my house to the local NYS park, 3.2 miles in the park and 1.5 m back to my house.

All Blacked Out
 (PhotoBooth pics are always so blurry from a distance, I need to start using my real camera more)

Except for my colorful shoes and socks.

10k's are scary, I'm more of a 5k person :P

Heading out the door.



Thank you Stefano for hosting this 10k, it helped me push myself more on my distance day.  I often tend to zone out on my longer runs and end up running some slow miles especially in the middle.  Now I have to look for a real 10k to participate in!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My First Interview as a Blogger :D

   A few weeks ago I received a request for an interview from a writer at the website TruthinSlimming.com.   At first the name sounded a little gimmicky and I was skeptical, but I checked out the site and was surprised to find it was a very respectable site with lots of helpful advice.  So I went for it :)  I have to admit it was difficult trying to clearly express everything I wanted to say.  I discussed somethings that I have not had the concentration to write as full posts here yet.  Topics like my early weight loss, my PCOS diagnosis, and my goal of pursuing a career in the fitness industry.  Obviously since the interview touched on many topics I did not go into detail with most of them, but I did get more in depth then I have on here thus far.
      The difficulty I had came in trying to include all these important issues while not going on for too long and sounding somewhat literate.  They are all things I plan to expand on in this blog,  but for instance, the emotionality involved in losing 50 lbs as a 13-yr-old and the effects it had on my life is hard (for me) to express in writing the way I wish.  I have a million thoughts about it in my head, but organizing them coherently is not my strong point.
   At first I did what I have always done best and procrastinated.   I kept thinking about the things  I wanted to say and it overwhelmed me a bit.  Finally I decided I had to get it done, I toughed through it and sent it (including a video demonstrating a few of my favorite resistance moves.)
     I hope it reads all right, I'm afraid to read it word for word again, I skimmed it and it looks good :D.  Thank you Sunil for the opportunity and for putting it all together so nicely.  Hopefully soon I can find time (aka the mental capacity) to delve deeper into these areas of my life.  Especially PCOS because I know there are many women out there struggling with it and I would love to be of some help to them.

Soooo after that long, drawn out introduction here is my first interview:  Katie McGrath: Blogging to a Better Body :D  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Hills are speed work in disguise."

Quote by Frank Shorter :)

Today's Incline Interval Workout:
0-3 ~ Warm-up
Brought it up to 12% incline for the next 10 min
3-4    6.1
4-5    3.0
5-6    6.2
6-7    3.0
7-8    6.3
8-9    3.0
9-10  6.4
10-11 3.0
11-12 6.5
12-13 3.0
Back down to 1% incline
13-14      3.0
14-17:30 6.0
17:30-19 9.0
19-21      3.0

     The days that I do incline running I consider as my speed days. I actually have a pace chart that tells you what your equivalent pace is on inclines, but it only goes up to 10% incline.  I just found this pace calculator  to figure out what my pace was today and it puts 6.5 mph at 12% incline equivalent to running 10 mph  (6:00 min mile), 6.1 at 12% is equivalent to 9.4 (6:22).  No wonder why my legs burned so much :D
   When I threw in the 9.0 at 1% incline in the end it felt super easy compared to the rest of the workout.  My goal pace for next Thursday is 8.7mph (6:55), I'm feeling very ready after today.  I needed to get in a good workout like this  since I kinda slacked on the running over the weekend and was getting down on myself thinking I wouldn't be able to run sub-22 in 10 days.   Well . . . i'm back to feeling confident!

I also found this great article on hill/incline workouts from active.com while searching for my title quote (I knew the quote already but I forgot who said it.) :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Good and The Bad~ Eating and Exercise

 Good~ Since Thursday was my birthday, I've gone out to eat a few times over the past week to celebrate.  I was very happy to find out that most restaurants now include calorie counts on their menus.  I don't know if this is only on Long Island, all of NY, or the whole country.  I know a few years ago NYC was required to have calorie counts for everything, but this is the first time I've seen it in all the restaurants here.  The places I dined and saw calorie counts were, Applebee's, California Pizza Kitchen, and Starbucks.  I know seeing the calories helped me make healthier choices.  Do the restaurants near you have calorie counts now?

Good~ Tuscan Panzanella  
 Bad~ On that same note, although I ate healthy, I ended up drinking my calories instead.    At Applebee's I had a half salad and then only ate half of it, but I had two large pomegranate martinis.  Each one came in a shaker which filled my glass two and a half times.  Matt did share some of it with me, still each one had around 300 calories.  At CPK I had the Tuscan Panzanella salad from the small cravings menu, two Avocado Egg Rolls (not the most healthy but limiting myself to two kept the calories down) and the Harvest Punch drink, which once again has around 300 calories.  I am a sucker for super sweet mixed drinks :/
Bad~ Harvest Punch (but oh soo good!)

Good~ I ran a mile for time on Thursday and I finished in 6:30, I am pretty happy with that.  I also took a new push-up max test after 2 weeks following the 100 push-up program, I can now do 20 consecutive push-ups.  That is more than double my starting max of 8 :D

Bad~ I've been giving myself serious anxiety before hard workouts.  On Thursday I had planned to do mile repeats, I felt like I was going to be sick before hand just thinking about it.  I told myself to go out and do one and see what happens.  So I went ahead, gave my all and ran the 6:30 mile.  And yeah, it hurt, actually It really hurt my chest because of the cold air, but it also felt really good to run my hardest.  I felt very accomplished after even though I didn't do anymore after the first one, instead I ran easy for another 15 minutes.  
     With my push-ups, now that I'm progressing to week 3, the amount of push-ups is kinda scary to me.  Well, what really scares me is the thought that I won't be able to complete the whole workout as written.  I consider skipping them and doing them the next day instead, but I know if I do that eventually I will stop doing them all together.  So far I have stuck to my M,W, F schedule and as you can see by my max test results it's been working.  If I can't complete one of the weeks as rx'ed, I can just stay on that week until I improve and then progress to the next one.  I just have to stop working myself up with thoughts of not being able to complete my workouts the way I want.  The only thing I can do is give my all and stick with it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

End of Week #7~ Birthday Stats

    I turn 26 today!  I have mixed feelings on this, but ultimately I am excited to make this the best year of my life thus far :D  My first wonderful present today was my weigh-in: I'm down 1 1/2 lbs from last week, as well as a 1/2 in from my waist and 1/4 from each thigh :) 
   I'm psyched to be so close to under 120, that's my happy zone.  I got to around 117 last year when I was trying to look my best for a friends party in NYC.   Then two days after the party I left for vacation in Florida and you know how that goes. . .  Sangria, wine, appetizers. . . I came back at 125.   Now I am almost at goal again and holiday season is fast approaching,  I'm determined to maintain my hard work straight through.

                       Height   ~ 5'4"
                     Starting  ~ 125.5
                 Last Week   ~ 122.5
                      Current  ~ 121  
                         Goal   ~ 116-118ish
                            First Week      Last Week     This Week
              Chest ~           -                    -                35 in
              Waist ~          27 in             25.5 in         25 in
                Hips ~         36 in             35.5 in       35.5 in 
             Thighs ~     20.75 in            20.5 in      20.25 in 

No pictures this week, sorry to all those who come here just for them,  j/k ;)  But if you really are here for the pics, well last weeks bikini progress pics are here (this is "Run For the Bikini!" after all.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Assisted Pull-up and Chin-up Sets

 Here is a video of my pull-up/chin-ups from today, i'm using a jump stretch band for assistance.  My goal is to get at least one good pull-up, but I think I'll aim for one good chin-up first.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sprint Interval Workout~11/8

Today's speed workout:

0- 5  Started at  .5 to 3.0 for the 1st minute, 6.0 for most increasing to 7.0
5-6      9.0
6-7      6.0
7-8      9.1
8-9      6.0
9-10    9.2
10-11  6.0
11-12  9.1
12-13  6.0
13-14  9.0
14-15  6.0
15-16  8.8
16-20  6.0
20-22  3.0 12% incline
22-25  6.0
25-26  8.7
26-27  6.0
27-28  8.8
28-29  6.0
29- 30 8.7
30-40  6.0-6.4

     The hardest part was min 5 - min 16, that was were the real sprint intervals were.  It was hard to relay this workout accurately, because I was going a lot by how I felt during it, and so some of the minute rests where it says 6.0 were partially done at 3.0 to recover (I increased to 6.0 when I felt ready.)  At the end I put in some 8.7-8.8, I wanted to see how that pace would feel when I was already tired out.  The first 8.7 (6:54 pace aka what I want to race my next 5k at) pace felt great and I actually held it for more than a minute (1:15) even though I listed it as a min. up top.   I could have held it a bit longer, but I was just experimenting with how it felt to run that pace with tired legs.  It is strange to me that at 8.7 I could feel strong and in control, but at 8.8 I was barely holding on (although again this was done near the end of the workout where I already felt trashed.)
     I don't think I have been doing enough speed work lately and I am going to try to get a few more sprint workouts (at least one longer interval)  in during this week and a half before mini tapering.  We will see how it works out on Thanksgiving :)

Upcoming Race Goal

    I woke up this morning to a mix of rain, hail, and snow.  I think this might be a record early arrival for snow on Long Island.   I am not a cold weather person,  I may need to relocate in the near future.  Anyway this post is supposed to be about how motivated I got while watching the NYC Marathon yesterday.  It's a good thing the weather held off till today, these would have been nasty conditions for the race.  
    So I was watching the race all morning and realizing, like most runners who were watching I'm sure , that these elite women run 26.2 miles a hell of a lot faster than my 5k pace. They ran the 23rd mile in 4:58, that is insane!  I mentioned to Matt, at some point during the first few miles, that they made my 5k time look embarrassing.  His response, "No, look at that group of elite runners, it is minuscule  compared to the 45,000 people running the race."  He did have a point, especially since this group was made up of women from all over the world.   
    I did decide though, that if they could run that fast for that long, then I could absolutely lower my 5k time.  I am entirely motivated and determined!  I originally wanted sub-22 for my Thanksgiving race, but I am now aiming for 21:30.  Just about a minute faster than my last race and equal to a 6:55 pace.    Completely for fun I checked out what my marathon time would be if I could actually hold that pace ~ 3:01:26 :D  For now I'll concentrate on the 5k ;)  My ultimate goal is sub- 20, hopefully by June, I want to finish my sprint triathlon strong!

    Also, I loved watching Shalane rock that race!  I remember following her when she was in H.S. and college,  she graduated 2 years ahead of me.  Her mom also runs this great site PrettySporty, were she publishes photos from many college cross-country races.  I was also rooting for Dathan Ritzenhien, whom I had a major H.S. crush on :)  He came in 8th, not bad against all those Kenyans and Ethiopians.

'99 + '00 HS Footlocker National Champion Ritz

Shalane Rocks! (Not a NYC pic)

  So there you have it, I have 17 days to prepare for my upcoming race and I am not holding back!  21:30 or bust :D  I need to get a few speed days in this week, maybe some mile repeats (scared face).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Incline workout 11/4

Incline workout from yesterday, it was too detailed to post under daily workouts.   The last two intervals of 6.5 and 6.3 were killer, I haven't been going this fast on my incline workouts and this one hurt.

Min. 0-3 Warm-up jog 6.0
Increased incline to 12% for intervals
3-4- 6.0
4-5- 3.0
5-6- 6.1
6-7- 3.0
7-8- 6.2
8-9- 3.0
9-10-  6.3
10-11- 3.0
11-12- 6.4
12-13- 3.0
13-14- 6.5
14-15- 3.0
15-16- 6.3
16-17- 3.0
Brought it back down to 1% incline and jogged at 6.0 for minutes -17-20

Lowered speed to about .5-.8 and did walking lunges (thanks, Melissa!) minutes 20-23
Jogged 6.0 for last 2 minutes

Total~ 25 min.

Triathletes: I Need Bike Advice!

  This post is going out to all my amazing triathlete readers.  I need help!!  I want to start training learning to ride a road bike as soon as possible, like yesterday.  Only problem is my current bike looks like this:

     Not very conducive to racing, I would think.  So I've started looking into purchasing a road bike, my birthday is in a week-ish and I have already talked to Matt about considering it my birthday present.  It doesn't matter if how we split the cost, it is all "our money."  
     I have looked at some bikes online, but I don't know what I am looking for, how cheap I can go and still get decent quality, if there are sites that have cheaper prices/ used bikes.   Yesterday I stopped in a local bike store so that I could talk to someone who knows about bikes in person.  The older gentleman that I talked to pretty much tried to sell me a brand new 2011 $1,000+ road bike.  The bike was beautiful, but I am not ready to drop a grand for my first sprint triathlon.  The other option he had for me was another brand new-not even out of the box yet $800 road bike which "had the same quality as the more expensive bikes."  Still a little steep for my first bike.  
      I decided to stop in Sport's Authority and see what they had as far as road bikes.  They had one women's bike for $450, I just tried to find it online right but I don't see it.  They do however have this one online for $209!
Is this doable for getting started?  I still plan to be competitive and go for time, as opposed to just completing it.  

I also found this site: BikesDirect.com, which seems to have some nice bikes for discount prices.

For example this bike:

Originally $1595, Now $600

Questions for all you experienced tri-ers out there:

What are the best sites for good bike deals?
What should I be looking for in a bike?
How will it effect me if I go for a cheaper bike?
Best brands?
What other bike equipment do I need?
Anything else I need to know?

Help! Please :D

Note: The tri that I have scheduled to be my first is at the very end of August, but I have been contemplating strongly leaning towards entering one in June/July in order to gain some experience.   I really want to kick ass in the August one and I doubt things will go smoothly without any prior tri experience.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

End of Week #6 Stats-

Another week of maintaining my weight, but I also took measurements this week and I lost a bit from my waist :) and a bit from my hips :(  I am going to try for that last few lbs of weight lose over the next month, only around 3-4 lbs.   Then I will completely focus on training to get stronger and faster!  I took some bikini progress pics today and I am mostly happy with what I see.   My main complaint is I'm holding extra fat on my lower back/ love handle area, which is why I still want to drop a few lbs of excess fat.  Also my arms and especially the back of my arms still need a lot of work (which I am doing right now),  I hope to lose a little fat from that area and put on some muscle.

                       Height   ~ 5'4"
                     Starting  ~ 125.5
                 Last Week   ~ 122.5
                      Current  ~ 122.5   
                         Goal   ~ 116-118

                          First Week     Last Week     This Week
              Waist ~      27 in             25.75 in        25.5 in
                Hips ~      36 in             36 in            35.5 in 
              Thigh ~  20.75 in          20.5 in            20.5 in 

The 100 push-up program is going well and you can see my updated progress under the fitness goals page, I'm finishing week one and have already improved my max by a few.  I'm going to tape my push-ups again to make sure I am going low enough.

Progress Pics:

The rest are under the cut:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Post (I promise) on the Halloween Race

     I've already written plenty about Sunday's race, but I could not omit this last part :)  If you read the first post  on the race, then you know that  I  lost my iPod shuffle at some point while running from the car into my house to grab our camera.  After I had searched all around my seat (I was on the passenger side), I had decided that I must have had it in my hand when I went inside and then put it down and forgot it when I grabbed the camera.  Also you may know that Matt and I were not on the best of terms on this morning, he did not so much as glance around for the iPod.
      I can honestly say that when I realized it was missing I though about just going home and forgetting about the race, that is how upset I was about not having my music.  But I sucked up and ran, thankfully, because it ended up being a great race.  Anyway all that is already recap-ed below, the best (sarcasm) part of the morning happened when I got home.
     When I got home from the race I checked the spot where I thought I might have put my iPod down, it's not there.   My immediate thought is that it must have fallen on the road when I got out of the car to get my camera, I had it on my lap at the time so this is definitely a plausible situation.  I run outside to the road, we had stopped right in front of our house towards the side of the road. Nope not there, now I am assuming it was there, but a pedestrian found it during the two hrs we were away.
      I'm not ready to give up on it yet though, I make one final search of the car.  I conclude that it is definitely not anywhere around my side of the seat.  I decide why not check by the driver's seat,  I'm sure you can see what is coming...   there in plain sight, right next to the seatbelt buckle is MY iPod!!  I couldn't see it earlier because my view was blocked by the center console.  At this point I am both really happy (that it's not lost) and really, really mad.  If Matt had made any attempt at all to help me look for it on the drive there, even just a glance to his side, it would have saved me a load of anxiety and stress.  
     Being the bigger person that I am :D,  I did not make a big deal of it when I came back inside.  I mentioned where it was and how any effort into helping me would have found it, but it was Halloween, the rest of the time at the race was very enjoyable and I didn't want to hold a grudge while trick-or-treating.  Although, I am still getting over the fact that it was there, in the car, the whole time  :/

Despite all of my issues, Nolan had a great time there and Matt enjoyed it with him.  Some of the things they did while I raced:

The race started and finished at an Environmental Center which had this amazing decorated mansion on it's property