Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summertime Running with Mal

I have had very little posts this summer, but I have done quite a bit of exercising and running. I just didn't really feel like writing about every single run. In fact, I came up with the idea to do a collaborative post of all Mal and I's summer exercising that we did at the end...when she left. And sadly, she left on Monday for good. It's been interesting and freaking awesome having her as my roommate (and well live-in maid, dog walker, and cat helper). I mean it was nice to actually not have to worry about leftovers. We have done so many things this summer like running, shopping, vet stuff, dog parks, healthy eating, smoothies, swimming, male stripper movies, Pichachuli, BINGO, boot camp, karaoke, wine, sushi, and more. So, this post is my ode to her and how much fun I had with her this summer before she went back to that dismal place they call Grenada.

Mal said at the beginning of our Summer, "We are going to exercise alot and get skinny and eat lots of healthy food." Well, we did try our best, but that girl traveled too much; I lost only a few lbs. As soon as she came back, the following song immediately popped in to my head. Although, he raps about the summer heat...at 88! Wow, that's like Springtime for us down here in Texas.

Mal and I reunited for our first run, she picked me up when I was too tired to make it home, and you can't really forget the infamous run in our underwear.

Hermann Park #1

First off, we did a lot of running at Hermann Park. For our second run, I wanted to go 3 miles and decided to finally tackle the loop around Rice University. I knew it would be over 3 miles, but that was okay with us...well, really  me. When we parked, we decided to just go around the park instead of Rice. I calculated it to be very close to 3 miles. However, I forgot that it takes out a very big chunk that I usually run. It ended up being about 2.25-2.5 miles. The debate is still up on how much it actually is in miles.

We did some quick stretches and headed out. I mostly tried to keep up with her, but she runs fast (faster than I care to run). At first, I kept the ear phones low and only on one ear. Halfway through the run, I saw that I wasn't going to run next to her and fixed the music. I stayed pretty much behind her the whole way only catching up sometimes when we hit pavement. I noticed on this run that I run faster on the pavement than normal. Whenever a turn would come up, she would throw out a hang signal to indicate which way to go. I just yelled at her if she was wrong. She went down the stairs (the ones that I usually hit) just to wait on me; however, I wanted to do it, too. This did wear me out and I had to stop for another walk by the driving range. I planned to start running again when the new song came on, but I decided just to go for it. We ran all the way to the other side of where the car was so that we could run up and down the hill. Anyone that has ever been to Miller Outdoor Theater knows which hill I'm talking about. I had done exercises on it when I participated in the Mean Green Boot Camp, but never added it in my runs. It is now a staple in all of my runs even though I hate it when I'm running up it.

Hermann Park #2

It was a Sunday the next time we ran. I had to do a long Skype with Jim, while she took a nap. When I got done, I went to wake her up in which she assumed I was just joking about the run. I was not. I took her statement to get healthy and skinny seriously. Actually, I just really got in the mood to run and made her go with me. I think I even kicked her awake or yelled at her. We decided to do the same route again as before, but this time, I didn't expect her to run with me. She went off with both of us listening to our music. Again, we kept in a line with her in front. I caught up a few times mainly because she allowed me to catch up. We had only one quick walk stop, but I got back on the run again. We also did another hill climb and stair climb. The hill hurts, but I feel good after doing it. After the run, Mal commented on how she thought this run was more like 2.5 miles instead of closer to 2 miles. I kind of felt the same way. When we got home, Mal made a delicious tilapia dinner that was so healthy.


Mal also said to me that she wanted to do a bootcamp while she was here. So, my job was to scout out any livingsocial or groupon deals that I coud find. I did eventually find one for Silverback Elite Fitness Bootcamp (5 weeks for 2 people at $55). This was a really great deal. We did actually do the classes and have gotten some killer workouts. I like Mean Green better, because they are all about motivation whereas Silverback is all about the Marine style bootcamp. There isn't any yelling, but if we stop, we all suffer. I feel like that doesn't help the group at all. Plus, Mean Green makes a point to stretch before and after as a class. I know we have an hour, but Silverback should really try to make an effort to stretch.

The workouts are far superior to Mean Green. I have never done so many squats and lunges in my life. Some of the squats I had never even heard of before. We even did what I call suicides and line drills and side stepping. I had to do those in basketball and they were awful. Although, these line drills didn't compare to the toughness during high school. Even though the workouts are great, they take longer to recover. This has been a problem for me since I'm slowly starting my marathon training. I can't do any running the day after, because I'm far too sore. I can barely walk.

I ended up missing 4 classes, because I traveled to Denver for a week and then immediately got sick on my return home. I have since made up for those classes. Although, one of the classes I missed was pretty cool. They took pictures for the website (Mal was in them) and My Fit Foods was there with coupons (I did get a coupon last Tuesday that he had leftover). All in all, this was a great bootcamp and I'm trying to decide if I want to do it again. They are cheap and it's toughening me up, while losing some pounds. However, I can't be missing days when my marathon training gets in to full bloom, because I'm sore.

On a side note, I have learned that my viral infection weakened my immune system, which is why I'm getting sick a lot more than usual in a year. I'm taking more Vitamin C and eating other superfoods to boost my immunity levels. Let's hope it works.

Memorial Park

Then came the big one...the run of all runs at Memorial Park. Finally, we would run 3 miles only with a new person, Pier. After all this time, he joined me on a run. We met up with him on a Saturday evening at the adult playground. We stretched and got on our way. Again, Mal was off and I'm not talking a little bit like our normal runs. She was gone. Pier stayed with me, but I told him he could catch up with Mal if he wanted. He didn't.

Houston was basically flooded from the monsoon rainstorms every single day for the months of June and July (part of it anyways). The park itself had many little ponds. In the beginning, I could see Mal trying to get around this very large mass of water and this weird guy was jumping back and forth over it. Mal told us later that he was creeping her out, because he kept staying right by her. I guess maybe she should have stayed with us.

Pier and I kept a steady pace (I'm sure it was too slow for him) throughout, with various punchings and pushings of eachother. I had just spent hours the night before updating my ipod playlist, but as luck would have it, I didn't start hearing any of my new songs for the first half of the run. Yes, I complained. Yes, Pier made fun of me later.

We just ran along side of eachother taking in the scenery; one would overtake the other when we got to a pond. I get a little to in to the music, moving my arms around. He took this as a chance to make fun of me. He likes to do that. We had to go single file on this narrow stretch since there was a big puddle. We ran on the edge of it giving enough space for other people. However, this girl decided that she was that special and could only run in the middle of the narrow passageway forcing all of us (2 people behind us) to go in to the water or even closer to the water. I yelled out something like Thanks Lady. I really wish people would be less selfish or at least more spacially aware of their surroundings. I get so annoyed with people at the grocery store or on my runs that don't move out of the way. They just stand there in the middle of the only passageway that everyone needs to go through looking at a newspaper ad. It pains me how some people can just be disrespectful to other human beings. Don't we have enough going on in our world? Okay, I digress.

Anyways, the run was pretty good. I told Pier that I was probably going to stop a lot, because I was sore from bootcamp and slightly hungover. But as we ran, I didn't stop. I just kept going until we saw Mal again at the adult playground. According to her, we ran it in like 35 minutes. I haven't done that in so long. Pier says that I do competitive style running. If there is someone there running just a bit faster, I will run faster, too. I can't lie, that's what I do.

Mal, Pier, and I acting goofy after our run.
After our run, we went to Pachuigo Italian Gelato & Caffe where we had delicious gelato. We also got our picture taken for the wall, but sadly, it's not up yet.

Last Run in Hermann Park

Going out on our last run.

I have ran a couple of times, while Mal was gone. But for our last day together, we had a plan to run one last run together at Hermann Park. It was our signature route. We did a quick stretch and started our run.

My run was slow, so very slow. Unfortunately, bootcamp punished us for a weak Thursday the week before (I wasn't even there). There were so many lunges and it took me until probably about Sunday after Yoga For Athletes to make me feel less sore. That class kicked my butt and I knew it heading in to the run. I told Mal that I was going to be slow and I was. Everything that jiggled...hurt...so...bad. Several times, Mal had to slow down just so I could get close. She ended up making the executive decision to turn right at the zoo instead of going the full length (roughly 2.5 miles). And she stayed with me the whole time. I was thankful, because I just couldn't push myself any harder than I was going and we had a long day ahead of us. We did round back at the hill and did one final run up and down it. It hurt so bad and I was close to just crawling up there. I didn't though.

Yay! We survived the run and the hill.

Even though I was slow and it was a shorter distance then usual, it was still a run that I got to share with my friend. Afterwards, we went straight to the pool and got in with our sports bras and shorts. We didn't care.

Yeah, we're in matching sports bra in the pool. Don't judge us.
At the beginning of the Summer, Mal asked me to make her a photo presentation of our time together like I did when she left the first time. We have been photo hounds making sure to capture every moment as possible. The video is below and I hope you enjoy it like I did.


  1. Yeah right . . . poor ole Mal has to go back to that beautiful wind swept island in the Caribbean while we have so much fun here in HOT, Houston, TX. Really? We will miss her.

    Great post. I especially loved the part on "Boot Camp" and the video at the end. Nice tribute to Mal.

  2. Okay! You're MARATHON training?!!! That's so intense :)
    And I didn't know you were in Texas! Ha - I only wanted to go there to laugh at all the accents :)

    Whenever I get ANY kind of sick-like symptom (usually sore throat first) I eat SO MUCH garlic. You could say it's the Romanian in me, but I put it on toast, in stir frys, in soups, ANYTHING. I'm usually lucky enough that it catches it... I also try to get extra sleep and more tea than usual :D

    And that hill! I am so impressed - hills are crazy awesome in workouts. I live in a flatflatflat place and we have ONE hill. Actually I ran a trail 5k that was called the 'Hillbilly' race and they mapped it so that you go up&down up&down up&down the same hill, otherwise the race wouldn't exist.

  3. I'm visiting my sister in December, and saving up from now until that trip (we're planning an all-out ski trip!). So another time? I could visit you in England - that would be so neat. But they always have shitty weather.
    I'm also stuck in Canada, haha, as my work permit came in, but my visa expired. So if I were to leave I can't come back! I'll spend tomorrow's office day researching how long the process is though! I've never met a blogger in real life before!!!!!!!


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