Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Weekend of Running

It's been awhile since I dedicated a whole weekend to running. After tweaking my ankle the day after my half marathon and then just being so unmotivated, I haven't ran all that much. I have taken Remi to Hermann Park a few times to run, but didn't feel it was necessary to write about it. There was nothing interesting that really happened. I have started doing planks (2 sets of 30 seconds) each morning to help with my walrus like tummy. I want to do ab work, but I have a pinched nerve in my neck right now preventing me from doing crunches. I swear, I feel like an old person where you just have constant things going wrong with your body inside and out. I sound like my mother, only not so dramatic.

So, this weekend and well this week, I decided to change all that, mainly because I have an all important ankle surgery that will take me out of exercising for awhile (well, at least running). I have decided that no matter what (while I'm down), I will do ab work as much as possible.

Saturday was cold, but beautiful and the park was calling me towards it. I almost didn't go, but I said, "Screw it. I'm going running at Memorial Park." I haven't been there since I ran that epic 9 mile run right before I left for England (OMG! I just went through my posts and realized that I never posted about that run).

When I got there, I immediately noticed the construction. Part of the trail was closed, but that was okay. I parked and then got out to stretch using the tree. I got my ipod Nike + Sensor thing ready to play and then began to run. I selected the Distance:  5K, because I know this run is a 3 mile loop. My starting point was actually before the 3 mile marker, but a 5K is 3.1 miles anyway...so that would take me to the adult playground where I could finish with a good, strong workout.

My run started out pretty good. I was just poking along, not going too fast or too slow, just keeping a steady pace. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to shuffle the songs in my running playlist when you start it from the Nike app and I can't go straight to my ipod running playlist, because it will end my workout on the Nike app. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know! So, I had to endure my playlist going in order and of course, the first 10 songs are all the songs that I have used in running for so many months now (kind of wanted something fresh to start the new year).

I ran all 3 miles without stopping and used my mindfulness of breathing to move me along the loop without getting too tired or antsy to finish. And every so often, I know I busted out a tune (which I'm sure sounded like a dying dog trying to speak human). The weather was just beautiful without a cloud in the sky and it wasn't too hot or too cold (just perfect as Goldilocks would say). Although, I forgot to put on sunscreen and therefore, my cheeks were burned when I got home. I finished my 3 mile run (it was more like 3.25) in less than 40 minutes, which is pretty good considering I haven't ran 3 miles in a long time. Hell, I have barely run at all.

So, now on to the bad and why I ran 3.25 miles. My Nike app told me that I had 400 km to go when I reached the spot that should have been 3.1 miles. When I got passed the 3.25 mile marker, I finally got to 100 km left to go. Oh and to top it off, my Nike app told me that I had a pace of 13 minutes per mile the entire time and I know I was no more than 11 minutes. Then, when I reached 400 km, I sped up. So, my Nike app told me that I was now increased to 14 minutes per mile. When I reached 100 km, I sped up even more and then it told me that I finished with 17-18 minutes per mile. I walked back to the adult playground and then stopped the workout, which I finished with 12 minutes per mile. Something is definitely wrong with my Nike app and reminds me of my Neptune altimeter I used for skydiving. Now, I have to figure out how to fix it or I can't use it.

At the adult playground, I did 2 sets of 20 situps, 2 sets of 30 second planks, and 2 sets of 25 scissor kicks. I tried to do crunches, but it hurt my neck. During my planks, I noticed this guy standing on the opposite of the playground, just smiling and watching me. It was really creepy, because he wasn't doing anything exercise wise. He was just standing there. I would say a serial killer, but they tend to not be noticed. He definitely stuck out like a sore thumb around all these fitness junkies. I moved to behind the signs so I could do my squats without knowing that he's watching me. When I got finished with my one set of 30 squats, the guy moved to the other side. Now, he was directly behind me watching me do my squats (a very butt infused exercise). I took that as a que to get out of there. So, very creepy.

But I was so happy with my run and can't wait to get on that track again. I missed Memorial Park even if it had some weird creepy guy just staring at me, smiling, laughing to himself.

I don't know what happened this Sunday morning, but I got up before the sun peaked out (roughly 7 a.m.) with a desire to run. I knew it was cold outside, but I guess I didn't care. I knew that I wouldn't feel like running later on with the Texans playoff game at noon (so, sad that we lost and it wasn't the prettiest of games). So, I laced up my shoes and got Remi ready to head to the park. Did I mention it was cold? I didn't? Well, it was cold. Maybe for my Colorado or Canadian or English readers, it's not that cold to you guys, but it's cold for us tropical people. When I can see my breath, it's cold. But I remembered the mistake that Haley and I made last time about dressing too warm on runs and only brought my half marathon long shirt and a light sweater (can easily wrap around my waist if it gets too hot).

I set up the Nike +Sensor (giving it another try), but this time, I selected just the run...no distance or time. I also switched to a song later on in my playlist. Remi did his business and we walked to a starting point for the run. We were a go and then a stop and then a go and then a stop and then a go and so on. I have noticed in my early morning walks that my dogs like to sniff, eat, sniff, stop every few feet (sometimes less). This time was no different. And I didn't bring enough bags with me. Thankfully, I had a plastic grocery sack in my car and I found a paper bag on the ground (albeit wet, but useable) to pick up his second round. It was a struggle getting him to move and not eat something. Most of the time, he didn't do anything, but smell. This can be very annoying when you are just trying to run. He's typically not this bad during our evening runs.

We finally made it around the 1.98 mile loop in probably close to 30 minutes. We had one issue where 2 people ran by and he got confused when a second set immediately followed. He just kind of stopped in the middle looking around, not knowing what to do. Poor thing. And I think this is when I dropped the bag of poop. I had it tied to the leash and when I got to the last turn heading back to the car, I noticed it was gone. I didn't go back to find it and that's my bad. However, I will make up for it and clean up extra poop that's not from my dog or some trash.

When I got home, I took my shower and did my 2 sets of 30 second planks and have been doing that everyday since. Tomorrow, I leave for Grand Junction and plan to do hotel running again. I was just informed that it's below 0 there...so no outside running for me. Also, Haley and I are FINALLY going kayaking on Saturday. Let's hope it's not raining.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goals for 2012, Looking Up

I have to say that I stole Up from another blog. It was just so good and it applied to what I wanted from this new year. It was a hard year and I had some awful things happen, but I also had some really great things happen. So, I want to look up for 2012 whether it's part of my professional or personal life. With that, I have some goals for this year (screw resolutions) even though some are not exercise related:
  • Run a marathon (unless injury happens) possibly in November or December.
  • Organize my personal life, including getting a new file cabinet and really fixing it up where I have my documents in one spot.
  • Organize my professional life, because I have gotten lazy with document organization. I managed to organize my own folders on my computer, but not the company folders like I'm suppose to be doing.
  • Make it to 2013 without an injury, PLEASE. Although, I am having a scope done on my ankle putting me out for a max 6 weeks, but that's an old injury.
  • Make it to 2013 without losing a camera or other tool.
  • Start my new Houston blog and really get it out there.
  • Post my running blog everywhere instead of just to my family and friends.
  • Run in the El Chupacabra race (hopefully with Sara and Kris).
  • Join the Houston Hash (hopefully this Sunday with Sara and Kris).
  • Drink all 200 beers at the Flying Saucer and get my plate.
  • Pick up learning Spanish again.
  • Travel somewhere new internationally. I'm so thankful for going to England (twice), because I learned to travel on my own and I met a special someone who also helped me check Ireland off my list of places to visit.
  • Travel somewhere new domestically. My grandmother has wanted forever to go to Mt. Rushmore and this year, we are going to make that happen.
  • Hike a bigger mountain with Ashley either in Colorado or in California, putting our books to good use.
  • Kayak with Haley in Seabrook using the groupon deals, because they expire in February.
  • See Hiroko's new baby girl, Emma. I see a pattern of going to California alot this year.
  • Realize that I'm not at the dropzone and I can't just be dumping the f bomb anywhere I go now.
  • Go back to the racetrack and get Franz up to high speeds.
  • Learn to make a sushi roll.
  • Learn to drink and possibly like wine. Yes, this was a big one for me and one I bragged about alot.
Does anybody have any goals for this year?

I will like to add that I have done three runs at Hermann Park with Remington. Most of them were good and I did the full loop at roughly 2 miles. However, my new ipod thinks it's almost 3 miles. I calibrated it finally and hopefully, that will fix the issue. They weren't the greatest of runs, because I have to stop for Remi, but I was out there running. And I'm a walrus right now. I need all the help I can get.

I have to mention one run, because I was given a compliment. I just got done picking up Remi's poop and this guy was yelling at me. He flagged me down and came over to thank me for cleaning up after my dog. He was so appreciative and I felt happy that a stranger noticed.