Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm Off

To my first day of this:

A little update on things before I go:

1) Today is day 7 with no added sugars/refined flours, I have not caved once :)  The hardest part (for me) is not giving into cravings, but figuring out what to eat, there is added sugar in EVERYTHING!  I even survived AppleBees yesterday.

2) I have pretty easily lost the 2lbs I have been fighting with for a while and my cal intake is approx the same., but I actually have to make sure that I am getting enough calories everyday now.

3) Some foods that I've been relying on: Mixed nuts, boiled eggs, olives, string cheese, chick peas, lots of fruit and veg (esp, apples, blueberries, bananas, baby carrots, broc, romaine, red pep, cuc and I finally made kale chips) :D, tuna, chicken, natural PB.

4) I'm actually enjoying my coffee black, this is a welcome surprise :)

5) I have felt a little less energy on my runs, but otherwise I feel great :D I

6) I've been drinking less, but my new sugar free drink of choice is Vodka with Ice water and squeezed lime.  Also when I'm home I throw a few frozen cherries in.  I discovered this even before I decided to go sugar free because I wanted a lower cal drink option for the summer.  Last summer I gained 5 + lbs drinking sugar laden, 700 calorie per can 4Loko. O. M. G! I just looked that up: 60 g! of sugar in one can.  

7) The training plan has not exactly gone accordingly (not getting into details right now), nonetheless I am still happy with my training.

   Time to get moving.  

   Hope everyone is having the best MDW :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going Sugar Free

 Some fitness related things I've done over the past few days:

1) Scheduled my ACE exam for June 13th!
2) Got my BF % tested at Bally's for free this morning~ 19.8%, lower than I thought so I am happy with that.  I think I'd like to get it to 18-18.5% 
3) Went to a nutrition seminar with my dad at his gym last night, which solidified a decision I made on Monday morning:

4) That decision: To Go Added Sugar Free :D 

   I've seen a few blogger's over the past few months take-on sugar free challenges and my thought was always, "I think I'm okay with having it in moderation, I don't like to make anything completely off limits and I don't know if I want to/ can give up my morning coffee with hazelnut creamer."

   When I saw Amanda at Run To The Finish's Sugar Free Challenge, I considered it more, "It's only 10 days, I can definitely do that for 10 days."  Then I saw the dates were June 1-10th and decided maybe I didn't want to start something like that 4 days before my race when I didn't know how it would effect my running energy.  Plus I still didn't want to give up creamer in my coffee (which I only ever sipped 3-4oz of at a time).

   But recently I have been reading (like here) and understanding more and more about added sugars and its effect on the body.  While shopping this weekend although I still hadn't planned to go completely sug-free, I was more conscious of avoiding added sugars.  For example: I picked up natural PB, since most PB has some added sugar.  Still I wasn't completely sold on banning it.

   Then Monday morning I was reading The Great Fitness Experiment and in her post she had this quote,

     It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. [... This is] the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.” ~ which came from the Whole 9 site (I used to read Byers Gets Diesel [and then Urban Gets Diesel], before Melissa started The Whole 9 Life site). 

      I checked out the Whole30 concept and it's a little intense for me, no dairy, legumes, alcohol, grains and of course added sugar and processed foods.  I'm not looking to do that, but the sugar and processed foods I think are worth cutting out.

    After reading that quote and knowing that the #1 thing holding me back it was my morning coffee (although of course I indulged in other sugary things),  I went ahead and had my coffee black.  And I decided that it wasn't awful and I could deal with it.  So since that black coffee on Monday morning I have been sugar free (except for natural occurring sugars aka fruits and veg).  I've also cut out most processed/packaged foods, for ex: pretzels don't have any sugar, but they are made with refined flour.

   I have never been one to ban any foods, I've always gone by the everything in moderation/ calories in-calories out school of thought.  I've never followed any particular diet program as I think they are mostly money making schemes.  But when I ask myself if I am getting any nutritional benefit from added sugars the answer is a resolute, "NO."    I can get whatever glucose my body needs from fruits and vegetables.

   One of the harder parts for me is not taking bites from my son's plate :D.  I didn't eat a load of sugar before hand, but I would take a bite of this here, a bite there, a hershey kiss or two or. . .    so all those nibbles through out the day are out.  It actually gives me a  good excuse not to rationalize mindless snacking ("I'm only having a little" X going back for a little more 5 times ).  

  Now on the 3rd day I am actually enjoying my morning black coffee, I've even been almost finishing a whole 6 oz of it now.  

   Last night at the nutrition seminar, the speaker talked a lot about sugars effects on our body and I was definitely happy that I made the decision to cut it out.  I don't have a set time on how long I plan to do this, I am considering it more of a lifestyle change.  And of course I don't plan to never have a piece of cake, cookie, candy again, just much much less.  

   For me especially, with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome which puts me at increased risk for insulin resistance and type II diabetes, it is important that I fueling my body with the appropriate nutrients.

Have you ever gone sugar free? 

If not would you consider it?  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tough Love

 Post 7 mile run in the rain today (it down-poured on miles 4-6):
For some reason when I am running in a down pour I can't help but have an ear to ear smile on :)

    While I was running in the rain I was thinking about my plan of action for the week.  Many commenters suggested increasing my number of intervals which I 100% agree with, it will not be easy, but it is not supposed to be easy.  The only way I am going to get past this mid 20's hump that I have always stalled on and never moved beyond, is to push myself further than I think I can possibly go.  I also need to slow down just a bit in the beginning so I have enough to make it through with out quitting; if I have more to give in the ending reps  I'll pick it up.

   So with that said and the help of a few commenters, namley Tri-James and Coach Dion whose advice I've used  in formulating my 2 interval workouts for the week, here is the Tough Love plan:

   Also note this is the first time I have  actually planned out a week of training as opposed to just taking it day by day.

5/23~ Easy distance- 7 miles/ 1 hour- I went garmin-less on this today to make sure I concentrated on getting the miles in and feeling good, not on going faster and faster.

5/24~ Mile Repeats- 4x1 mile repeats at 6:20-6:30/ 90 second rest

5/25~ 3-4 mile easy run

5/26~ 400 Repeats- 14x 400 at 1:32-1:34 (slowing it down from last weeks 400's so I can do all 14 of 'em :D)/ 60 second rest

5/27~ 3-ish mile easy/ or off?

5/28~ Tempo- 1 mile easy/ 3.5 6:55 pace?/ 1 mile easy = 5.5

5/29~ This will be my first day of work at the beach so I will probably take a nice easy run on the beach just for the enjoyment.

   I will also be doing some bodyrock workouts (not sure which days), along with other resistance training (push-ups, pull-ups, core, resistance bands) and I'd like to get a stair session in on one of the easy days, maybe Sunday?

  Any input on this schedule is welcome.  It's pretty much focused on getting 2 very quality interval workouts in.

* I've already converted Dales to a BodyRock lovaa :) She was hating me after the first workout on Friday, then we did TWO BR workouts on Sunday (the 6 minute one again/ 1 mile walk around the block/ Cut The Cheese workout [14 min])

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Will Run For Beer

Yesterday I ran the Blue Point Brewery 5k run for BULA (Better Understanding of Life in Africa).   Let's face it. . .I pretty much ran for the beer :D

I'm actually not a big beer person; I prefer wine, margaritas, all that jazz.

But after a race, I love it :)

So when I was looking up a 5k for last weekend and I saw this one I figured I might as well do it, even if it was mostly just for the "refreshments" afterwards.

Blue Point Brewery and their microbrews are kind of a big deal on Long Island (they distribute to most of the east coast, any of my east coast readers tried a Blue Point Beer?)

Some of the brews have fun names and designs like:

Hoptical Illusion



Getting back to the actual race, yesterday morning I wasn't sure if I was up for another 5k (I hadn't pre registered), but I decided to just do it for fun and not pressure myself for a PR.

My final time was 21:07 (6:48 pace) 
11/ 142 overall, 4/ 58 F, 3/ 16 Age group

This was still a hard effort for me, and it is the first time I haven't PR'ed since I began racing again in September.  It is also the first time that I've raced on back to back weekends, all my other races were at least a month apart.

My first mile was 6:30 and it felt really good, that is right around the pace I need to hold for a Sub-20 (6:27).  Then at the 2 mile I was just below 13:30 which was a little disappointing to me.  I haven't been wearing my Garmin in the 5ks yet, but I think I will in my next race so I can work on keeping the pace up in that 2nd mile.

Let's get back to the good stuff :D

Afterwards they had 2 tap beers; Toasted Lager and Blueberry Ale

I went for the Blueberry and it was amazing :)
Repp'in a Met's tee in honor of the Subway Series 
and that little orange bracelet meant you could refill as much as you'd like :D

This week I'm going all out in training, most likely two speed sessions and I am going to up the amount of intervals.  I realize I am dying out a bit at the end of these races.   I think I held on pretty good last weekend and I also came into yesterday's race a little fatigued, but I still need to be finishing stronger.  

Since I plan on going all out and hopefully PR'ing on June 5th, I am going to take it easier on that lead up week as a taper.

Any suggestions on what my interval workouts should be this week in order to improve my speed stamina and finish strong?  I've really been making up my training as I go along, but at this point (my body has always liked to hang around the 20:30-21:00 range when in good shape), I need to be extra smart about it to get past this time plateau that I always seem to get stuck at.

 And since this post is half about beer: Have you ever tried a Blue Point Brewery Beer? Have you ever entered a race mostly for the free beer at the end ;)? or if not, would you? :D

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quality Over Quantity

  I started to write a post yesterday on my 400 workout, it got long and ramble-y and didn't get  a chance to finish it.

  I went back to it this morning and decided against putting up a long ramble-y post that discussed how scary and hard 400's are. (95% of the time, if I don't finish and publish a post in one sitting it never gets posted.  It's my impulsiveness; I think, I type, I publish.  There is no saving drafts and going back later.)

So instead the synopsis:

400's are scary

400's are hard

I gave an all out effort on each one.

65° (nice) 92% humidity (not so nice)

1 mile warm-up
1- 1:27 (5:50)
2- 1:26 (5:46)
3- 1:26 (5:46)
4- 1:27 (5:50)
5- 1:29 (5:58)
1 mile cool down

  Despite once again not doing a large number of repeats, I was 100% satisfied with this workout because I know I gave everything I had on all 5.  I didn't have a set number starting the workout, pretty much my thought was, "as many as you can do at max effort."

   Speaking of going all out for a short period of time: I made my best, I'll call her Dales from here on out, do Zuzana's 6 minute workout today and she is no longer speaking to me :D

6 minutes of jump squat, pike jump, mountain climber intervals. No rest.

Pike Jump

  She thought a 6 minute workout sounded delightful. . . sorry Dales!!  She'll be thanking me soon enough though ;)

Question to the Op-Man: What was so unbelievable about my last post, that it led you to believe I was, "making this stuff up?" ;)

  Question to all: Do you prefer to go for quality or quantity in your workouts? I don't think one is better than the other, it just depends on what works for you and what you are working for. Some work better on high volume/lower intensity, and others lower volume/higher intensity.  And of course if you are training for longer events you're going to be doing longer workouts.   I'm a short intense kinda girl, which is probably why I love the 5k so much :D  But I also make sure to get in some long runs and I enjoy the calmness of them.

  Also I'm not in any way saying that longer workouts are less quality, by quality (in this question) I am more referring to high intensity.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun Beach Workout To Try

   I've had difficulty sitting down to write posts lately, I have things to say, but my mind is so focused on my upcoming 5ks and the very quickly (10 days!) approaching beach season that I can't concentrate on post writing.

       I've been killing it with my workouts, yesterday I did this 15 minute Bodyrock workout, my entire body was so exahusted that within 5 minutes of finishing I passed out on the couch.  And then I did separate parts of the workout agin throughout the day; 4 minutes (30s on/10s off) of Plank Jump & Reptile + 4 minutes (Same 30/10) of Leg Lift & Toe Touch. . .Oww + Owww.  My abs are feeling it today which I love :D   I also felt the effects of yesterday's workout during my 3 mile run today, I was dra-gingg.

  I found another 5k for this Saturday :)  It starts and ends at a local brewery and there are "refreshments" after the race :D  Using it as a tempo again and of course I'd like to see if I can get a new PR.

  Since I'm so excited about the beach starting again I figured I would outline a fun workout we do at Tobay.

Coworkers like this make everyday the bestest :)

  For the first few weeks of full time (end of june, till then it's just weekends) we all workout together first thing in the morning.  During these workouts we practice rescue procedure, which looks like this:

We also do 400 meter ocean swims, practice using the rescue boards and some various other things, one being a workout that we call "stands" (which will make sense in a sec).

The bro with one of our new rescue boards
 (Which come in handy for surfing as well, except there is no leash so if you lose it you're swimming all the way back to shore)

This workout involves:

~ Running from one lifeguard stand to the next (100-150 ish meters)
~Once you reach the stand you sprint to the water and dive in
~ Swim out a set amount of strokes, we usually do 20
~ Swim back in
~ Sprint up towards dry sand
~ Perform 1-2 bodyweight exercise for 15-20 reps (we usually do push-ups followed by crunches, but have also included mountain climbers, planks, and jumping lunges. Some other good ones would be burpees, jump squats, plus I'mma introduce BodyRock moves this year :D)
~Get up and run/sprint to the next stand and repeat.
  We do this for the length of the beach (11 stands/ 800 meters).  If you are at a beach that has no stands you could just estimate 100-200 meters or go by 30 second intervals.

   I wish I had pictures of us doing this from past years;  I'll make sure to take some this year :) And if you happen to be at a beach this summer try it out!

    I'm off to do some major house cleaning, my best friend is moving in with us for a little and she arrives tonight :D  She just got a job at one of the restaurants located at my beach (yes my beach ;) and is moving here from 4 hours upstate.  She's staying with us till she can find her own place and I am very happy to have her :D And I'm going to be her personal bootcamp instructor! 

I'll leave you with a little What I Ate Wednesday:

Yesterday for lunch I departed a little from my basic grilled chicken salad, I instead paired my chicken with roasted red peppers, vine tomatoes and fresh mozz. 
The Best.

Still rolling with the phone camera, not pretty I know, but you get the idea :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Keep On Running Till The World Ends (Aka Race Recap)

   I had to use that in the title because Britney's "Till The World Ends" was the only song I listened to for my whole 5k this morning.  I had lots of great running songs on my playlist but I got into a groove with that one and didn't want to mess with it :D  I love how Nikki Minaj says, "Friiieeddd."

On to the deets:
    I decided a few days ago that I was itching to do a 5k, my last one was at the beginning of March and I didn't want to wait till my June 5th to do another.    I was using today's race mostly as a tempo workout since I've pushed myself really hard this week and I did workouts on Friday (stairs and bodyrock) that I would not normally do 2 days before a race. Being that I have high hopes for my race in 3 weeks,  I didn't want to skimp on my training just to run a decent time today, more of use today's race to help me get a sick time on June 5th :D

   Anywayss when I decided I wanted to run a 5k this weekend I hoped on Long Island Running and searched for the nearest 5k.  Score! Found a race 10 minutes from my house :)  I had no idea how big the race was going to be, but the fact that it had no online registration kinda tipped me off that it wouldn't be a huge race.

   I woke up this morning to rain and had a few second thoughts, especially since I hadn't registered yet, but I kinda enjoy running in the rain and the low 60's temp was perfect for racing.  So off I went, of course I had some nerves because even though I didn't put pressure on myself for a certain time, I knew I would be disappointed if I didn't run close to 21 flat.

   I arrived and quickly realized this race was going to be small.  I was a little early (wanted to make sure I could register), but this was not the typical race atmosphere, there was maybe 20 people scattered around and half of them were volunteers.   While registering I found out there were no bibs, no chips, they just handed you a card at the end of the race which you then brought to a table with your time.

  As I warmed up people started to file in, still not a large amount, but I was kind of enjoying the low key-ness of this race.  The race was held to raise money for Sarcoma and before the start a High Schooler who had survived sarcoma spoke and honored another woman in their community who was battling a relapse.  I got all teary eyed.

  On to the start (a few cones), we lined up, the director said go, and we were off :D  Two college runner boys took off straight to the front, I think the lead truck wasn't even moving fast enough for them.  I started out in around 6th place behind a few other guys.  And then, within 400 meters of the start, I was in 3rd.  I felt strong and had a great pace going, one that I felt I could hold without dying right at the start of the 2nd mile.  There were HS volunteers out on the roads directing, but I was still nervous about making a wrong turn as the lead truck and 2 lead boys were out of sight and I was leading the rest of the race.  I was pretty much on my own, although up until around the 3rd mile I had a guy hanging right behind me.

     Running truly is half mental because I've found that when I've got a strong lead in a race it just feels easier.  I'm not one to give a lot of details from each mile during the race, I am in my own world while racing and have difficulty recalling specific aspects of each mile.  What I do know is I felt strong and in control the whole race, my legs felt amazing and never tired (although my calves are feeling it now).  I didn't have a point (which I often do in 5ks) when I slowed up in the middle just to make it through (the fact that I was being chased by the pack 1 minute back may have helped :D) .  I would say it even felt easier than some of my past slower races.

  I wasn't sure of my mile splits, I figured it was right around the water tables and my stopwatch (I'm still afraid to wear my Garmin in a 5k, actually I think it would be a really bad idea for me) had me at around 6:40 miles.  Someone told me after that they had people reading mile splits but they weren't very noticeable or very loud (and I had music.)

Soooo the good stuff:
  3rd Overall (out of ?), 1st Female. . . 20:35 (6:37 pace) :D  25 second PR!
                                 and the best part

Winners got cookies and cash!
For a small race they sure didn't skimp on the awards ;)
Actually I'm happiest about my time and how amazing it felt, but the money is nice too :)

One of the best parts of today's race was that it helped me realize that, yes, 19:xx IS within my reach.

   Thank You all who have expressed this sentiment in recent comments, now I need to believe in myself, bust my boot-ay the next 2.5 weeks and get 'er done!

This was from last post, but it didn't post to most blog link lists, so repost of the race attiyah:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Two Weeks! Two Weeks! Two Weeks!

   Until Memorial Day Weekend and my first day back at the beach :D  Yaayyyy. 

   MDW is a very significant date to this little bloggy :)  I started Run For the B! in September when I had just finished my last weekend at the beach and was already planning for next (this) summer.

My reasons for starting this blog were:
 1) To keep my self accountable over the winter months so that I was in the best shape possible come MDW '11. 
 2) Accomplish lots of the things that I always said I was going to do.
     So how did I do so far with #1, well I had made big goals for this summer because last summer I didn't think I was at my peak physically and it kinda impacted my self-esteem.  After drinking/partying a bit too much  I ended the summer at 128 lbs which for me is no bueno :/   I've worked hard for the past 8 months and I am at 121 right now. I also think that I gained some muscle, so besides a 7lb loss I'm pretty sure there was some body composition changes :D  I measured my waist this morning and it was 24.75. I've never seen my waist below 25 inches despite weighing under 120  in the past so that's a thumbs up for the less fat, more muscle theory.

    I don't start working everyday till end of June (the beginning is just weekends) so I have over a month to keep hitting it hard and lean up a bit more.  I've been bodyrocking even more lately and I've noticed some changes in the mirror :D

#2 Things I've said I was going to do:  I've said I was going to do the Tobay triathlon for about 8 (or more?) years now.  At the end of the summer I decided that next summer I was definitely going to do it. Well I am registered, I've got a brand new road bike and have been getting used to riding it now that it is nice out (haven't done any serious training yet, just getting used to the feel and switching gears and stuff) and I cannot wait to start swimming at work!  The tri is a definite go!  I can't wait to swim, bike, run all summer :D

  I also said that I was going to do the Long Island Half (this was discussed with 2 other female guards, one being my sister) and I did it!  But they didn't :(  Next year girls!!

I'm also going to do a Tough Mudder (in Novemeber) with these clowns (my co-workers):
This is from Tough Mudder '10.  More pics of them here

    I've wanted to be a personal trainer since HS and that is in the works.  Cert test in a few weeks :D

And I've wanted to break 20 in the 5k since HS and that will be done (I'm kinda sad my speedwork post is gone, I greatly appreciated all your comments expressing confidence in my ability to do this.)

  I honestly don't think I would have made this much progress or accomplished some of these goals without this blog and the amazing blogging community.  I really had now idea how rededicated to racing I was going to become.  I am really happy to be entering the summer in such good physical shape so that I can hop into any races that come up and be competitive in them (my co-workers are always doing various races throughout the summer, there is a run-swim-run on the beach in particular, that I've always wanted to do and this summer it's on!)  I usually always find out about these races like 2 weeks in advance and then don't feel like I am in good enough shape to compete to my standards.

   As of right now I am racing on Sunday, but I'm not setting any expectations.  Of course I'd love to PR, but I've been working really hard this week and wearing myself down a bit.  I was going to rest today, then thought about the fact that Sunday is not meant to be a peak race, more of a tempo workout and if I've got a PR in me, awesome :D   So today I ran 15 minutes of stairs (I did cut it a little shorter than usual due to overall fatigue) and I did Zuz's Killer 4 minute interval workout (before the stairs which explains why my quads where kinda dead on them).  Tomorrow I will rest.

Some outfit pics for Sunday:

Yes I think I am ready to strut it on the beach ;)
Boo-tayy a product of countless: squats, lunges, hill sprints, stair running, jump squats, burpees and on and on. . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Psyching Myself Out Over Speedwork

   Yesterday I decided that today HAD to be a speed work day.  I was actually gonna do it yesterday but then I did a 20 min bodyrock workout that was all sumo squats, KB swings, and one leg squats and could barely hobble through 2 miles after.  So I knew my legs where going to be a little sore today, but I should be able to handle some intervals, plus it would make me feel that much faster when running on fresh legs in a race.  June 5th is fast approaching and I need to get some good workouts in if I want to even think about sub-20.  

  My plan was 3x1600's and of course I started psyching myself out about it the moment I made the decision.

  I freak out about not being able to hit the times I want, my goal was 6:20 pace for each mile.  If I can't hit 6:20 pace for 1 mile how can I expect to run 6:26 pace for a full 5k? Total mind trip.

  I think especially because I'm in unknown territory (I've run 21 min 5ks [a few sub 21] in H.S.& college, but never Sub 20)  I am questioning whether it is even possible for me to do this.  What if a 19 min 5k is just not in me? Then again I have run 2 miles at 6 min pace, so logic would say that yes I can hold 6:27 pace for one more mile.  In fact I just put it into the Macmillan Calc and it spit out a 19:35 5k, now that 12 min- 2 mile was back in the day, but I did do it once upon a time.  And I dreaded speed workouts back then too.

  This morning I was mildly sore but definitely able to handle some fast running, albeit still having some major anxiety about it.

I finally got out there and decided to just get it done.

The result was half fail, half quality speed work.

Warmed up with an easy 8:10 mile

I started the first mile repeat; saw my Garmin start at 6:20 pace and drop to 5:58 nearing the half mile.

And I changed the game plan.


I stopped at the half mile: 2:59 

Jog/walked the remaining .35 around to get to my start point (my driveway)

#2 This time, knowing it was going to be an 800, I started out too fast.  Started at 5:58 pace ended at 6:06 pace: 3:03

   And then things got a little shaky.  I was really feeling the first 2 reps, but knew 2- 800's didn't make for much of a interval workout.  I started another one and then quit .15 in.  Tried to recollect myself, gave myself a little more rest and decided to try the next 800 in a different direction, maybe a change of scenery would help? No :(   Cut it short at .20

Was I really gonna call it a day at 2?

Determined to gut one more out (and I seriously mean gut, why is my stomach the thing that holds me back the most, like it feels ready to burst)  I lined up next to my driveway and was off.

#3 3:10

  And I'm spent, it would have been nice to get one more in, 4x 800's sounds a lot nicer than 3X800's, but I gave my all and hit some decent times.

I didn't look at the Macmillan Calc times before my workout, but looking at it now I was in the range for 800 repeat times if aiming for a 19:50 ish 5k.

I'm thinking about jumping in a 5k this Sunday and if I do my goal is anything below 21 :)

I'm also gonna jump into What I Ate Wednesday:

With the beach starting in just over 2 weeks this salad is on the lunch menu everyday :)

It is so awesome that I'm 100% okay with that.

Hiding under the chicken are some green olives and cucs and those red peppers are sweet peppers from a jar, love them!

And of course some avocado.

But the best part of this salad may be the dressing, it is only 10 calories and I could drink it (actually I DO drink what is left at the bottom of the bowl) :D 

Dressing= Rice Vinegar and Fresh Squeezed Lemon

Linking up here:

Come join the fun and check out some amazing food!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Race Photos that Don't Make Me Want to Become a Hermit

Confession: I almost did not look at my Half Marathon race proofs.

I got the email saying they were online on Thursday and my first thought was, "Helllllllll No!"   I did not see the value in crushing my fragile self-esteem; I was still riding the confidence boost from some dude asking me out 10 minutes post race, why ruin it?  I think 98% of  my race photos have made me want to hide away for the rest of my life so as not to subject anyone to my hideousness (not even exaggerating a tiny little bit.)

I got another email this morning saying that they would only be available for a limited time.

"Maybe I should just take a peek"
"NO don't do it!"
"I can't not know what they look like"
"Ignorance is Bliss"
" I have to. . . for blog's sake"
"You were wearing itty bitty spandex shorts that creeped into bikini briefs" = unflattering leg photos
"But. . . but. . . but, I've been working out."

Also I am challenging myself to do one thing that scares me everyday, and yup, scared.

So with much anxiety (yes I have issues), I clicked on the link, took a deep breath, said a prayer. . . 

hmmm these aren't soo bad.
But I am gonna pretend like didn't see that one.

Here they are, they're no glamour shots but I think I'll allow myself to leave the house today.

I don't think I'll ever be one to have an awesome smiling finish line photo.

And I think I'm okay with that.

     *After going through Penn Station on my way upstate this past week  I decide I'm going to take a trip to the city and do a little gym research.  It will be nice to wander around the city now that it is nice out and I thought I would accomplish something at the same time by stopping into some gyms and inquiring about what they look for in trainers.  I figured I could ask what qualifications they are looking for (I'm getting ACE certified right now, but I can work on some other certs over the summer as well) and other things I can work on to make myself more marketable.  I think it will also be good experience for me to communicate with prospective employers, because hey, there's another thing I'm scared of.

  So I'm requesting any suggestions you may have on what to ask while I am there. The plan is to venture in sometime this week, I'm going to figure out which gyms I want to hit up today :D

     Plus you should all check out my old college XC teammate Steph's brand new blog!  She got into the NYC Marathon and it'll be her first Full Mary :D 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Impromptu Hill Sprints

      On Wednesday I took a little trip  upstate (NY) to see my best friend for some Cino De Mayo celebrations.  She works at a Mexican restaurant and they were having a big DJ'ed party, plus I desperately needed some time w/ her (even though she is moving down to me in 2 weeks!).  So I hoped on the LIRR to Penn Sta. and from Penn I took the Amtrack, first time using Amtrack and I loved it!

   I did plan to run while I was there since she had to work during the day and I would need to occupy myself.  But the plan was just to run for enjoyment and stress relief, I didn't take my Garmin because I didn't want to worry about time or distance.  I didn't even take a stopwatch.  

And then on the drive from the station to her apt. I saw. . . HILLS!

Duhh it is Upstate NY, I should have realized there would be hills beforehand.  

I could not, NOT take this opportunity from some kick ass hill training :D

My bf Dales pointed me in the direction of the steepest hill and I was off.
6 x Sprints up this baby!!

     I, of course, regretted not having my Garmin to get the distance and even more importantly the elevation.  I couldn't even time it, but I estimated from my music that it took me about a minute each time.  I just focused on giving max effort each time and I felt completely DONE at the top of every one. So regardless of knowing time, speed, and elevation, I know I gave it my all and it felt great!

  When I got home I Map My Run-ed the distance and it is about .15 mi long, sounds about right with my 1 minute up estimate.  I'd love to know the elevation but Cest La Vie.

  On the way down I slow jogged the top half and then walked the steeper bottom half.

  The view on the way down wasn't too shabby:

Post workout high might be an understatement for how I felt afterwards.

I celebrated later with short shorts, high heels and tri-colored frozen margaritas :D
  I was trying to run out of the picture frame which is why I look completely awkward, I should really start embracing the candid shots instead of getting caught in my, "OMG, no pictures!" pose.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bikini Body Moves # 9 & 10~ Ab Busters

   You're getting a two-fer today since these are both Ab moves that I learned from BodyRock and am obsessed with.  Plus summer is so close, everyone wants to get their abs bikini (or speedo :D) ready, right ;)

   I've been doing these two moves along with my planks, push-ups, and whatever other moves I'm feeling each night.  I even bust them out throughout the day :)

  This first move is one I showed a pic of Zuz doing a few posts ago and then a few people asked me to demo.  You could go to her site to see it, but sometimes it is nice to see an average human being performing it, this way you know that it is doable and not just a move for superhumans :D

Thus I present #9~ Crab Toe Touches

   Pretty self-explanitory (from the video) I think?  If you're more flexible than me (pretty much everybody :/)  your legs will probably be straighter than mine.  Do your best to push your hips up each time.  The hardest part of this exercise for me is keeping my balance, I probably should have included a blooper of me falling over. . . cause it definitely happens. Often.  But the trying to keep your balance also makes it fun (to me at least, I am a little crazy though :D)

   I'm really challenging your coordination giving you these two moves at the same time because this next one takes even more balance. Muahahaha :)

#10 Knee Tuck w/ Push Up (on exercise ball)

    If you can't do push-ups off the exercise ball you can skip that part, the knee tucks themselves are still really super good for the abs.  The push-ups do help to bring more muscles into the move, so if you can do them try it out!

   Don't worry if you fall over during these moves, I do all the time :D  Maybe if enough of you promise to try them out I'll post a blooper reel of me falling repeatedly ;)  Also it's really fun to do these with friends cause you can just laugh at each other the whole time and laughing is a great Ab workout too. 

      Ohhh I have a great video to share with you about that too, but I think 2 videos is enough for one post so I will save that one for a Funny Friday (anybody else know the laughing ab workout video I'm talking about :D)  If you really want to see it NOW, it is here, I think her look at the end is the best part.

  If you have any questions about these moves feel free to ask below and thank you all for your wonderful comments on my race report :)

   And let me know if you try them and how you liked them.   You can send pics of your amazing abs at the end of May after you've been doing these everyday (paired with a healthy diet of course, because great Abs are made in the kitchen ;)  Don't forget your planks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

LI Half Marathon Race Report :)

  Ugghh just typed half this up and then lost it :(  Here we go again.

   Let me preface my report with this: I was not in the best emotional state this weekend, I had some personal issues (which I would love to get out on here, but I realize some things should stay personal.)  I cried off and on all day Saturday and almost started bawling at the starting line (a few tears may have escaped).  Saturday night I kept telling my self just to use the race as an emotional release and that maybe my feelings would help me dig deeper during it.  Whether or not any of this effected my race, I have no clue, but I had to mention it because this stuff was on my mind through out the run and I couldn't imagine completely ignoring it in my write up.

   Saturday night I barely slept, par for the course I suppose. Up at 4:30, english muffin w/ PB and coffee for breakfast, out the door by 6, my dad drove.

   Originally my sister was supposed to run this with me, but she had a lot going on for work this weekend so she withdrew.

Goal going in: 1:45.
Game plan going in: Start out at 8 minute pace and [hopefully] finish strong with a few sub 8's at the end.
This all went out the window once the race started.

   I have a really hard time slowing myself down when a certain pace feels "easy."  And even though I knew I would most likely not be able to hold it, I couldn't help milking those first few miles when they were coming so easy to me.

Here are my splits, yea I crashed and burned at the end ;)
Official chip time: 1:43:40 7:56 pace
467/ 4065 oa   87/ 1892 sex   19/ 323 div

 I have mixed feelings about my time/performance:
  ~ On the one hand I beat my goal time, on the other hand during the race I had thoughts that maybe I could go sub 1:40.  
  ~ Going into the race and even now, I know that I did not specifically train to run my best half.  I got in a few long runs so that I knew I could finish and wouldn't die, but overall my mileage was low and a few longer tempo runs would have been helpful.  Being extra cautious when I was having knee pain stalled my training a bit.  On the brightside, the knee issue seems to have subsided :D
 ~ At 8 miles I was at almost exactly 1 hour.  At this point I knew that as long as I wasn't doing close to 9 min miles I had my 1:45.  I also thought if I could do 8 or just below I'd be right near 1:40, but in the end I just wanted to get those last few miles done and didn't care so much about pace.
 ~  During the last few miles and for a while after I was swearing that I would stick to 5/10ks and that these longer races were not my thing.  Of course now I am thinking about how I could improve my time and when my next half will be.  Definitely no thoughts of a full mary though!

Some other issues during the race:
~  I always make myself so nervous before races and I was freaking out before this one.  I tried to tell myself just finishing would be great, but in my heart I knew I wouldn't be happy with that.  I had so much anxiety that I caused my stomach to be very acidic and was burping up acid during the first few miles, fun.
~ I didn't drink or eat anything during the race.  I am used to skipping all the water stops in 5ks and I did the same in this race.  I did take a cup at one stop and had maybe a drop or 2 of water and then just threw it aside.  I also grabbed a GU at, actually I don't even remember what mile, held it for a while, finally decided to try it, struggled to open it, finally did, squeezed a drop into my mouth, threw the rest aside.  I'm not sure I was too fond of the taste it left in my mouth for the rest of the race either.

  After the race I hung out for a little, it was a gorgeous sunny day, drank a michelob, talked to some people I've met at recent races.  There was one booth that set up a TRX, but I was to tired to do anything other then plop myself in the shade.

   And then I had my cousins baby shower where I refueled with an amazing Italian buffet.  Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, tomato and mozz, eggplant, wine, it was amazing.

Now it is time to focus my training on that sub 20 in June :D and begin some tri training too!

  I don't have any pictures from the race yet.  Here is a family pic from my dad's retirement party Thursday night instead:

Ooopps almost forgot, thanks to all new followers who helped me get above and beyond 300 :) As  I said I'm not so concerned with getting more and more followers, just that I write stuff that is at least semi interesting/ sometimes informative lol.   But seeing 299 and then 298, and then 299 again. . . well it drove me a little crazy, sooo Thank You :D