Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Motivation for My Runs

Running with the Original 3 1/2

Last night, Amy finally (after all these months) planned to join us on our weekday runs. With the uncertainty of the storms, we decided to just run at Bear Creek. I made the final decision, because I would rather be stuck closer to our homes if the storms came than at Memorial Park where it floods pretty bad. So, at 6:30 p.m., we all met for our big run. Only suprise, Amy brought Zaney with her. I didn't know at first how this was going to work since I've only walked with Amy, Zaney, and the stroller. But in the end, it worked out somewhat okay with a few lot of protests from Zaney.

Our plan was to run 6 miles (3 laps around Bear Creek) and 6 miles we did. We actually did 4 miles without stopping (Amy had to stop a few times to get Zaney back in the stroller). When we hit the first mile, I even did the monkey bars again. I couldn't do anymore after that, because my hands were so sweaty. But hey, I DID 4 MILES WITHOUT STOPPING!!! Wow! I'm super excited. In fact, we only did 2 very short breaks mainly because I thought my legs were going to give out (they didn't in case you are wondering). All in all, we did the 6 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not bad for us.

Our goal is to get that down to 1 hour and maybe 5 minutes (probably 10 minutes).

My body ached by the time I got home. I was limping around looking like death. Todd had a great meal ready for me to go with some good protein (chicken) and some pasta. I just wish my bird stomach would have been able to eat it all. I see this as a problem in the future. I'm still super sore this morning, but I can't help checking out my bootay in these pants. Running has really giving me something to look at!

Next up, the Cemetary Run on Thursday. Hopefully, the weather keeps up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chevron Houston Marathon Registration Opens Today

Well, I officially registered for the half marathon in January 2011. We decided to sign up as a group so that we all can get in or we all don't. There are other options as to what we will do if we don't get in. As usual, I signed our group as Skydive Houston. Let me know if you want to join us. The instructions are below.

This is a followup on your Lottery Group registration for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon - Lottery Group: Skydive Houston. Your Lottery Group members will be able to sign-up individually, and be placed directly into your Lottery Group by using the link below:
Please pass this link and instructions to individuals wishing to register for your Lottery Group. Please note that even without this link, Lottery Group members may join your Lottery Group by using the search for a Lottery Group/join a Lottery Group link on the main registration page and choosing the Lottery Group from the list of Lottery Groups displayed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday Morning Running

I'm starting this post out with an explanation of why there was no post about Friday. In my Exercise TV Workouts post, I bragged about how I wasn't that sore from my ab workout on Wednesday, blah blah blah. Yeah, I woke up on Friday morning barely able to move. I couldn't even stand up straight, because my stomach hurt so much. It took 5 minutes to get one cough out. So, I pretty much said I wasn't running. I decided drinking was much better. My husband and Jodi were begging me to just run down the runway, but I just couldn't.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post...
In a twist of events, I was able to run on Saturday morning. Jodi unusually stayed at the dropzone on Friday evening so that she can get ready for her first competition. I woke up early enough and we decided to just go for it, but we would make it short since she needed to be back and ready to go by 8 a.m.

We did some quick stretching before we started our warm-up walk. Since both Jodi and I haven't been running as much these last couple of weeks, she was ansy to go (and admittedly so was I). When she started running, I did, too and without arguments, complaints, or hissing. Our plan was to just run to the stopsign and turn around, but when we got to the stopsign, we decided to keep on going for the whole 2.2 miles around the dropzone (Jodi is convinced that the run is 3 miles). During this run, we managed to do 5 Farkleks or whatever they are called. She would start running faster and I would follow like a stupid sheep. However, I managed to yell out, "FARKLEK" once and made her follow me. It only happened once.

After we got to that 2 mile marker spray painted on the road, we started our cool down walk. I felt so good afterwards.

I wanted to run on Sunday, but I didn't have anyone to run with since Mal didn't wake up early enough before she left for South Africa and Jodi didn't even show up to the dropzone on Sunday (6 jumps is no joke). Next, we are for sure running tomorrow, but I don't know where.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lunchtime Afternoon Run Delight


Jodi and I met at Bear Creek park for an afternoon lunchtime run since I have plans for dinner at 7 p.m. and she can't get off work early enough for me. We haven't ran since last Wednesday and I was feeling icky, boingy, and all around gross. I welcomed the run in any conditions and it looked like it would be stormy, lightening, know hurricane wind conditions. Okay, not really. In fact, we wanted that, but instead we got floody, hot, muggy, humid, smelly, and any other gross adjective you can fit in here.

To start things off, it was raining and we were discussing through our car windows (with the windows rolled up) about not doing the run. She was on the phone and couldn't call me. After about five minutes, it calmed and I wasn't too worried about it. I did some leg stretches, while she was on the call. We then started off with a walk, while she was still on the call and planned to run after the huge flooded part. I thought I cleared it, but then I hit a huge unavoidable puddle that was ankle deep. I completely forgot my computerized keys were on my shoes. Whoopsy Daisy. I immmediately tried to dry them off and then put them into my sports bra for safe keeping. Finally, Jodi got off the phone and then we started running long before the 1 mile marker where we usually start running. The storms were scary, but still stayed to the side of us. As we rounded the corner, the sun came out and in full force. It was hot and humid. It's not like other Northern or Western states where storms cool down. In Texas, it's the oppposite. It turns WAY MORE humid and 20 times more mosquitos come out after a rainstorm. It's actually worse than a summer hot day in the middle of the afternoon. By the 1/2 mile marker, I was feeling it. I even noticed that Jodi was breathing heavier than usual. In fact, sometimes I think she is a robot, because she doesn't ever sound like she's breathing heavy or even feeling it. Not today. Today, I found out she was human.

When we got to the bathrooms by the marker showing that we did 1 mile, we hit a wall of heat and humidity. It's like when you are standing behind a muffler when a car has been riding around in the heat all day. It's like right before you get on the plane and you get that heat coming off of the fuel. It's that kind of heat and that disgusting. And I felt about 3 walls that we hit before Jodi had to stop to use the restroom. While I waited, I did some chair ups (not sure what to call them, but you work your arms) and I hit the monkey bars. I didn't know what to expect; I haven't been on monkey bars since I was a kid. It was fun and a nice little exercise. Jodi came out right when I was finishing and did the same thing (only she's tiny and it was hard for her to reach up).

After our little monkey bar exercise, we started running again. At this point, the heat is bad and we had already decided to not even go to 2 miles. We decided to just make it back to our cars (about 1 1/2- 1 3/4 miles total). We started out good, but quickly deterioted in a puddle of mud. I could barely keep going and said that we would start walking (and continue walking back to the car) at this driveway point. We also decided to add the monkey bars and possible pullups to our running when we are out here again.

Now, this run was by far the worst that I have ever done and I ran during the 5 O'Clock African Heat time period. But on this run, I could barely make the mileage that we did and I know that I can run more than 1 1/2 miles before I feel like dying. Even though this run was awful, it still proved to be the most rewarding yet, because we got to see things that aren't normally out (smarter people weren't running). A normally noctornal racoon was digging through the trash and we got some pictures. However, the best part of all was seeing a family of deers (called a herd, I checked) running through the park. Normally, you would just see 1, maybe 2, but not a whole herd. We actually stopped and watched them, because you could tell that something was up since they kept looking back. After about 5 minutes, the stoner deer came running out to meet the others. It was really cool. Hopefully, Jodi's cameraphone pictures turned out somewhat decently.

Exercise TV Workouts

I'm sorry that it's been awhile since my last post. I haven't really done anything. I trained with the Outlaws on Saturday and we did a total of 10 jumps. It's obvious that I'm using my legs more, because my legs were super sore for two days afterwards. Yipppeeee! Not only is that great for my flying abilities, but it's also great for toning my legs so that they compare to the legs of say super hot model Gisele Bundchen.

Gisele showing off the leg

This week has been a dud when it comes to running. Sunday, we were supposed to run, but I was so sore and a wee bit hungover, I really couldn't muster up the strength to run. I didn't even jump the rest of the day since my body was just so tired. Jodi has been super busy and we just couldn't get a run in on Monday (generally don't do anyways), Tuesday or Wednesday. Now, yes, I could have been awesome and ran on my own, but I wasn't in the mood. I think it's the weather we have been having. It's been storming every single day.

Well, yesterday evening, I was feeling the excess of my eating and drinking, but not working out. I felt...bouncy and not in a good way. So, on my way home (even though I was yawning something fierce), I decided to at least do something in the form of exercise. I pretty much ixnayed the running since the weather looked awful and got pumped up to do those free workouts on OnDemand. I bought some new awesome jeans from Lucky Brand (on sale...even better) that look great on me. However, they are lower and show my fatrolls coming off the edge of the waistline. I deem it the muffin top. As a result, I thought that my abs needed a serious workout.

I hit up the Beach Bikini Abs something or other. Phew! What a quick and intense ab workout. I didn't have a dumbbell, but I just went without it. I never did so many situps. There was one move that I really just couldn't do right; I looked like a sloppy mess. I got done with that and started another one, but it was all about the dumbbell that I just didn't have. So, I moved on to another one. I don't even remember the name, but it was pretty decent. The girl annoyed me, but it felt good and it had similar moves to the Beach Bikini one. Basically, I was a sit up, bicycle ab machine. After that one finished (these were all about 10 minutes long), I went to my favorite, YogaFit Abs. I forgot how hard this one actually is on the abs, but at the same time, you are stretching.

When I survived all of three of those ab workouts, I thought, why not put on a yoga video? I mean, I have my mat already out. I chose Zen in the Den, which was 15 minutes long. I guess I thought it was going to be more on the zen side, but it was not. It started off pretty easy going with the stretching and breathing nonsense, but then she would pick up the speed as she repeated the moves. Each time got faster and faster. She would be on downward dog, while I'm still in cobra trying to figure out where she went. Towards the end, I was getting closer, but not what I was wanting. I wanted a slow moving, serious yoga calming experience, which I undertand is hard anyways in my house since my demon Spawn dog, Cali either wanted to help me or wanted to fight my other dog loudly. I did make it all the way through and really got some great stretching.

And you know what's even better about all that stretching I did, I don't feel like my insides are going to cave in if I laugh or cough. I can feel they got worked, but I can breath normally without dying just alittle bit inside. I need to do that more often, at least once a week.

Next up, my first lunchtime run at Bear Creek Park with Mal and Jodi. I hope it's not storming.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm Not Ready to Run Just Yet

That's my new mantra for this post and probably for future runs. It was the first time that I have ever said that and I meant it. In the past when we ran at Memorial Park, I'm usually barely making it to the 1 mile marker. Now, this could be due to the heat (we started after 7 p.m. last night) or other factors, but man, I wasn't even read to start walking when we blew past that first mile marker. It wasn't until we got to the 2 mile marker when I started having issues. My back inflamed with pain. The crappiest part out of all of this, I wasn't ready to walk then either. However, my back was getting worse and I had to stop (full stop), which was fine, because Mal had to tighten her shoes. From them on out, I could make it a mile before having to stop to rest my back (although, not full stops).

So, let me tell you about the run. Jodi got their late, but that gave Mal and I time to stretch, strength train, and people watch and boy was there some people watching. That weird guy was sitting in the exact same spot just stretching away. I finally saw him run today. Good looking guys and cute dogs were all around.

Jodi had already mentioned to me that her plan was for us to run 6 miles on this run, but this was the time that I decided to break the news to Mal. She was not happy by far and we came up with a compromise to run 5 miles and then walk the last mile for a big cool down. I was okay with that for sure.

When Jodi finally got there and was ready to go, we started our warmup walk. When we began to run,my right knee (different than the one sore from last week) started to hurt at first, but it went away. Thank God. What I love about Memorial Park is that the runs are really good on the knees (just not the back). At each walking point, we gave eachother a big high-five since it's the sound of friendship. Spread the clap!

I'm proud to say that we did at least 4.5 to 4.75 miles of actual running. If it wasn't for my back, I would have done more and we would have finished in a quicker time. It's okay, because I'm still so proud of all of us, especially Mal and I for not only hitting 4 miles last week for the first time, but jumping up to 6 miles this week. What a great accomplishment. And I'm proud of Mal, because she rarely whined and begged for us to stop like on other runs. She was really getting in to it.

What I learned on this run: 1.) Stretch my back before any future runs. 2.) Bring mosquito repellant of any kind. As soon as we hit this woodsy area on the second lap, I was like chocolate to a bunch of PMSing women (i.e., mosquitos). 3.) I'm getting thinner, because my hubby bit my shoulder and it just pierced me instantly. He complained that I was getting too skinny.

We aren't running today, because I have family obligations. But we are running those weird fartlicks or fartleks or whatever they are called with the word fart in them at Bear Creek Park. See ya there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Official, Warrior Dash and Run with Crabs or whatever is on

Jodi and I sent out feelers about doing the Warrior Dash to Josh and Cassie (the ones that have done it before). They were so excited to not only do it again, but that it is in Austin. So, all 3 of us bought our tickets yesterday. Jodi was supposed to do it last night. And I think she's inviting Lucky. If you want to join us, let us know. But you can't be a wuss. This is a physical event.

I also purchased my registration for Run in the Galveston Sand Crab 10K Night Time Run for August 14, 2010.

I'm super excited for both events.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Warrior Dash

Jodi finds these great events sometimes. I particularly loved this one, Warrior Dash. It's 3-4 miles of obstacle hell, but costumes are encouraged. Plus, there's beer afterwards. I'm a sucker for free stuff and beer. I can't wait to get my Viking Helmet. I think we are gonna ask a few of our skydiving buddies (I think they did it before) to do this with us.

Dropzones, Walking, and Kids

Saturday, I didn't do any running or walking, because I was still nursing my knee ready for training. When my teammates got there, we were on a load and in the air. Normally, we do 10 jumps, but this day, we could only plan to do 8 since Jon and Shannon were leaving early. We ended up doing only 7 since I messed up the loads. Our first 2 jumps went awesome and then we just hit a wall. However, our last jump was awesome. Even though we didn't do all the jumps we normally do, we still ended up on a high note and I had fun. And I got some cross training in that included lots of strength training. Downwind landings going super fast really toughens you up.

I had told Amy that I was going to run/walk with her on Sunday morning. When I saw her, I had completely forgotten. She wasn't planning to run since she had Zaney with her in the stroller and it was going to be a short walk. So, I said that I would join her anyways. I decided to go in my fitflops instead of my tennis shoes. I wished that I was wearing my sneakers. The walk was a nice little mile walk and it was hot. But it was worth it for the exercise. I felt good!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shopping is Exercise

Since I had a little bit of a knee issue from Wednesday's workout, I wanted to take it easy so that I don't miss out on Outlaw training on Saturday. MaloRee agreed to just walk on Friday, but she also had to shop for her Africa trip. So, I came up with the idea to walk to the Outlet Mall, shop, and then walk back home. The total roundtrip walk is 1.4 miles from my house to the stop sign. Therefore, this would probably be close to 1.75 miles, not including all the walking we would do inside the mall.

Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I have had a love/hate/hate relationship with this Outlet Mall. I boycotted it for many months when it was first built, because it was built in my neighborhood. Not to the side, not on the outskirts, no, directly in it. But then Hurricane Ike hit and it changed my views completely. We were on the same power grid as the Outlet Mall and we got our electricity within 48 hours. The rest of the neighborhood got power back a week later. I love you Outlet Mall.

We walked up to the mall and wouldn't you know, it started raining. It hadn't rained all day, but as soon as we started walking, it hit us hard. And it was all in the direct path of where we had to walk. We made it through the monsoon and up to the mall. It was hot and I was wearing jean capris, which made it much more stickier. Bad idea. Mal and I quickly got to the shopping as soon as we got there. We shopped literally until we dropped. Everything Mal bought, I bought in a different color. I justified it by buying things for Todd.

Two things I learned: 1.) Mal is not the best person to go with when you need to shop. She's a bad influence. 2.) Bring your ID to the Outlet Mall, because everywhere wanted to see it. 3.) If you walk to the Outlet Mall, it's not a good idea to shop til drop. You need to remember that you have to carry all this stuff back. At least I got some strength training in on the long walk back home. And boy was it a long walk back.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shake Weight For Men™ - OFFICIAL VIDEO AD

Okay, I saw this last night and thought that this was the funniest thing ever. Maybe it was the fact that they have the weight placed in a way that is somewhat suggestive or maybe it's the german guy saying, "oh that's it." I'm not sure. You be the judge.

Girls Just Wanna...Kill Jillian

Well, Texas has been hit with a hurricane, tropical storm development, and rain weather for the last two weeks. Yesterday was no different. The rain actually started earlier in the day. So, by 2 p.m., I was texting the girls (by now my wolfpack has grown to three with Mal and Jodi) to tell them that I will text them when I get home to see what weather was like in my area and possibly think about making alternative plans to running (I'm not in to running in the rain like Jodi). I would still be cooking dinner and we could do one of my workout videos. The girls decided to not waste a day and well, by 7 something p.m., we were in our workout clothes in front of the TV ready to start.

Oh Jillian Michaels (if you don't know her, she's the drill sergeant wannabe from Biggest Loser)...I love you and I hate you. I would pay gobs of money to have you train me for a week, but I might just kill you in the end. Doing one of your video workouts is just a taste of how much you will torture me live. I remembered using this video when I first started working out (long before I decided to run a half marathon). It took me three times to actually complete this 40 Minute Fat Burning Metabolism DVD. It's a hard workout. Her stretches and warmup are just...well, I was already heaving after the first set. Oh and you do two sets of each section (usually about four moves). She also talks alot and she just moves on to the next exercise without a thought, without a break. Her idea of a break is doing crunches, because you get to lay on the floor. I see you looking at me with those beady eyes and saying in your manly voice, "Good job." You don't know that I'm doing a good job.

So, the three of us girls huddle in my living room and sweated it up to as much as we could do. The only thing that sucked was the fact that the dog hair was all over the floor and when our sweaty bodies touched the carpet, the hair stuck to everything. UGH! Normally, I would use my new yoga mat (birthday present from Mal), but I only had one. I would take one for the team and just suffer. I believe there were six total workouts, but we only made it to four. When we started the cross country skier, I heard my knee pop. It was not a pretty sound and the girls heard it, too. I stopped all moves from then on out and the girls said that they were okay with a break. I believe Mal was the most excited to get this workout done as quick as possible. When I went to pause it, I accidentally turned it off (seriously, I did) and that was a sign that it was time to just end it. My knee was sore. I still felt out of breath and like my body got a full workout. I was happy and the girls were, too. This is by far the best workout video I have done. If you want something that will kick your butt all the way to Canada and leave you totally sore in the morning (and maybe the next three days), then by God, pick up a copy. Jillian gets paid the big bucks for a reason.

Afterwards, I made spaghetti. I was supposed to make healthy chicken with steamed rice and veggies, but I didn't have time. Work and life gets in the way. So, I made the spaghetti as healthy as I could, which I do anyways. For the main part, I used whole grain pasta, EVOO, carrots, tomato paste, spaghetti seasoning packets, and other spices. I made a salad with spinach, pecans, apples, cucumbers, carrots, and strawberry basalmic (new for me and oh so decilicious). Todd made some french bread with only a teaspoon of light butter. Yummm....Top that!

Next time we do the exercise and meal, it will be at Jodi's house.

I'm not sure if we are going to run today, because of my knee and the weather is already ugly out there. Go away rain!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Running from the Rain

Jodi and I once again tried to go to Terry-Hershey Park and we thought that bringing MaloRee along would change our luck. Not so much. It was clear all day until the end of the day. As soon as we got to the park (we decided to park somewhere new this time), the sky got darker. Then, the thunder roared. Jodi called me on the phone and I made the decision to move back to Bear Creek Park. However, the dark skies followed us there, but this time, it just gave us a hole/clearing above the park. Everywhere around was getting hammered with hard rain. We were lucky.

And it's good to be home...where we started. I missed our runs here. We didn't do much stretching since the storms were headed our way and we didn't know if we could actually complete a full lap. Mal and I fortunately did some stretching at Terry-Hershey Park parking lot, while waiting for Jodi. We did a quick warmup walk and started our run. Jodi has been conspiring to get me to do more than three miles for the first time ever in my life. And you know what, I did it. We did two laps around the track to make it a total of four miles (and a little extra). Yay to me! Mal still needs to work on just allowing herself to let the run take her and not give in to the tiredness. If you can talk normally, then you are okay. Well, unless you are injured or have some kind of bowel issues (both times for me).

We probably ran a total of three miles, but that's a rough estimate. At the end of our run, I was just planning to walk the rest of the way for the cool down, but Jodi wanted to sprint. Since I can't let her go on her own, I went and Mal followed, too. Proud of us all for completing two laps even when it was hot.

Tonight, Jodi, Mal, and I run in my neighborhood. I have to map out two miles since I'm normally doing 1.4 miles. Also, it's my turn to cook dinner. What to cook?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Nice Run with Friends

This week, Jodi and I changed it up a bit with locales and types of running (weathered running with inclines). Last night, Jodi and I decided to go to MaloRee's house for a neighborhood run and then have a healthy dinner afterwards (cooked by Mal herself). I only wished I had brought my camera to take pictures.

We met over at her new place about 6 p.m. Okay, really it was closer to 6:30. I was running late, but so was Jodi. Mal realized that she forgot her shoes at the dropzone, so I gave her my Vans to wear (oh those can suck to run in for long distances). She didn't seem to mind, so we did some quick stretching in the house and then set on our way. The two girls tried to immediately start running, but the cardinal rule with me is to do a warm up walk. We decided not to run on the sidewalk, because Mal's neighborhood designer decided that the sidewalks would be made for just one person to comfortably walk on it. Well, we may be three small ladies, but we are still three ladies. That sidewalk barely fit my foot. So, we opted to run on the street. Normally, this can be dangerous, but there was hardly any traffic.

The run ended up being a nice 2 mile run around the neighborhood. There was bumping of arm to chest (Jodi to all of us) happening, but we laughed it away and continued our run. We only stopped one time to walk, which was awesome for Mal. I was very proud of her. Now, we are working on her to do the half marathon with us, but so far, she is resistent. Most of the time during the run, I had to tell the girls to go to the other side of the street so that we can run against oncoming traffic. It's nice to see what's barreling at you instead of getting the surprise hit from behind. Towards the end of the run, we came to the street that we needed to take a left and conveniently, there was a sign with an arrow pointing in the correct direction. Unfortunately, Mal didn't put that sign up! I told her for that for next time, we will need signs up and maybe some mile markers spray painted on the road. When we got back to the house, Jodi and I sprinted the rest of the distance. I also like to do a cool down walk and we did a quick trip around Mal's block. So, at least we added some more mileage to the run.

Afterwards, we sat down to watch (I wanted to watch Hurricane Alex news) The Ugly Truth as we munched on a delicious dinner, which included salmon tacos with mango salsa, roasted rosemary potatoes, and salad (I used Olive Garden yummy dressing). Oh and lots of water. It was such a great meal and I think we are going to add a run and a meal option to almost every week (just at different houses).