Oh, hi.

I’ve found it REALLY REALLY difficult to get back on track since my miscarriage. I have never really ever hit my stride as far as workout consistency goes (but I bet you like my running puns, huh? DO YOU? stride? track? Bueller?)

Anyway, yeah. I had a miscarriage, got really depressed, and took a raincheck on a lot of things I normally love. I just had no desire or strength to do anything, really.

I painted a little; something sort of modern with triangles and pinks, blues and yellows that I had been planning on painting for the nursery, and a painting of gladiolus. I wanted to do a flower painting sort of in memory of the baby we lost, and the gladiolus is the birthday flower for August. The baby was due August 6. Painting really helped with the pain.

I’m trying to get back into running and it’s really hard. My body is totally rebelling. It got used to sitting on the couch playing videogames and now it just wants Cheez-its. I want my clothes to fit again. Body and I… we’re in negotiations.

I’ve tried to hop on the treadmill, and for like three days, I was sticking with a beginner’s running program. Then I got my period and got really depressed again because.. I wasn’t pregnant. Fast forward to two weeks later, I decide to try the treadmill again, and it’s SO HARD. I couldn’t even run for five minutes. I was SHOCKED. It was so discouraging.

After my two minute attempt, I’m sitting on the couch crying because I’ve gotten so out of shape and my husband realizes he set the incline on the treadmill to like, 4. Of course I couldn’t run for five minutes.

One week later, I hop on, hoping I will be able to run for just five minutes. Nope. Still too hard. I ran for three minutes, a whole quarter of a mile. Woo-hoo.

Tell me this is going to get easier again.







Ramble On

I am just getting over a cold- my second this year! I just don’t get it. I never get sick like this. At least I had Thursday and today off to recuperate a little.

I tried to keep running during my quarantine but it’s so hard to run when you can’t breathe. We just started a Biggest Loser competition at work, and it was the tail end of a February Fitness Challenge I was doing through my friend’s coaching page on Facebook, so I felt a bit guilty but sometimes you just have to cut yourself some slack!

In other news, at my first weigh-in for the Biggest Loser challenge, I determined I had lost six pounds since my doctor’s appt the week before. Score! Take that, doctor!

I ran on Thursday and Saturday on the treadmill with Netflix keeping me company. My current running must-have is Murder, She Wrote.

I also found this amazing website: neilarey.com. Awesome workout programs. Saturday, I did the “Hunger Games” workout.

I could only do one set before I got too lightheaded. Today, I found a Hero workout program on that site – four workouts, 100 reps. It was so tough! I took many breaks. I did 50 and was about to call it a day … But I had to push myself! Managed to do the whole thing but I can barely lift my legs now!

11.5 miles / 458 miles on the road to Rivendell. According to the Eowyn Challenge website, I had a frugal supper in a birch grove, and am on my way to Stock Road. Dammit, I knew I should have tracked my mileage through IKEA to add to the total.

Feelin’ Good

One of my oldest friends is hosting a fitness challenge via Facebook. She was probably one of my first friends ever! For February, it’s about heart health and we’re checking in each day with our heart rates both resting and during exercise. I’ve not been able to work out every day, but the challenge is giving me great motivation to try to do at least half an hour of some kind of activity each day.

Wednesday: I wanted to work out, and I was just itching to run, so I geared up and drove to the nearby borough at about 9 PM to go for a quick run. There’s free parking, it’s quiet, and there’s not a lot of traffic so I can run on the road if I have to, which I did, because I guess some people don’t clear their sidewalks too well. Only had to misstep once to feel that slippery feeling under my feet, and I took to the street. Once around the block is .84 miles. I don’t know the neighborhood too well and it wasn’t the right time for exploring, so .84 miles was good enough for me. My lower back really started to bother me towards the end. Not sure what’s been going on with that, although I am guessing it’s because I put some weight on in the past few months since Gary’s dad was really sick.

I had a physical yesterday and lots of work to do, so no workout for me. I saw a different doctor than last time, who was much more awesome. I had an EKG, which was super weird, since I’ve never had one before, but they said all was normal, so that’s good. Apparently, I have strong lungs and a strong heartbeat. The doctor told me I had gained a little weight in the past two years, and I told her that I do work out regularly but the routine had gone a little haywire in the past few months since my father-in-law passed away. She was like, “why did you stop running? are you depressed? do you need medication?” …um, nope, I’m good. She also said she would give me a referral to a nutritionist, and I told her I didn’t want it. I said, “I know what I would need to do to lose weight, sometimes I’m better at eating healthy, sometimes I’m not. If I gave up soda and switched to water, that would probably make a big difference, but I run and I like it, and I don’t want to change.” She seemed shocked. In the end, I told her she could give me the referral so if I changed my mind I could call. While I was checking out, the receptionist was gathering the doctor’s notes, and I could see pages with information about “OBESITY” and I was like, “you can keep them.”

I went into this appointment telling myself, “I am going to stand up for myself and be strong and tell them that there is nothing wrong with the way I am. I will not let them bully me.” See, they checked my vitals and everything was totally normal, and if there is nothing medically wrong with me, don’t tell me to change anything. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I understand that there could be problems in the future due to being overweight, but I am fully aware of how my decisions affect me and I am happy with who I am.

I got home from work later that night to find that my husband had bought a treadmill! As the winter drags on and ice covers the world, I become so despIMG_3255erate to run that I consider going back to the treadmill.  and the one he got is WONDERFUL. We set it up tonight, threw on Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring) and I ran a mile and a half. I am in love. I can see this totally changing my workout game.

 < Me with the new treadmill after its inaugural run!

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve decided to walk (& run) to Mordor. Yes, the choice of workout entertainment might have slightly influenced that decision. Thanks to Eowyn Challenge, I’ve got my road map. The whole trip is 1779 miles from Hobbiton to Mount Doom, but I’ll start with the 458 mile path from Hobbiton to Rivendell. It’s kind of a tall order for me but I’m going to pad my mileage with long walks on the treadmill watching Lord of the Rings, and I’ll start tracking mileage hiked while geocaching. So far, 7.08/458.

Merry Christmas, internet!

Hello again and Merry Christmas to everyone! Christmas really snuck up on me this year (but doesn’t it always?). I was all prepared with Christmas cards and presents, we got a real tree and decorated the house- and then all of a sudden, it was here and gone. We always try to make time for all our family and friends, which is tough when you have a lot of family and friends who live all over NJ, so you’re really trying to jam a lot of activities into a few days. Gary and I are planning our annual holiday get-together and now housewarming party for January! Can’t wait to have people over to see the place! We should probably finish our bathroom reno before they come though….

Gary and I went for a run on Christmas Eve before going to our first stop, my parents. It was cold and rainy. Much rainier than I expected. We went to a new park and ran one of the sidewalk loops and then decided to give it a rest because it was really rainy and my windbreaker wasn’t doing much to keep me dry.

24 running in the rain

Went out for a run this morning and then came back and lifted weights. Getting some use out of the weight bench! I pulled out the running plan I was using before we bought the house and went back to the beginning to start with some easier runs. The first one in the plan is a 1 min run/4 min walk X 5. I pushed a little harder during the 1 minute because a 4 min walk seems like a long time between intervals so I’d have more time to recover. Not a bad run, I figure it was between 1.5 – 2 miles. Cold and dreary out on the canal today, but at least I had some solitude! During the summer this park is hopping – hard to even find a parking spot.

28 running on the canal

Then back to lift some weights. I did bench presses, bicep curls, dumbbell rows, tricep dips and shoulder presses, 3 sets of 10 reps each. I still need cinder blocks or something because my feet aren’t even close to touching the ground when I lay on the bench! Today I just brought my feet up onto the bench. Today, I am relaxing and enjoying some of my Christmas presents before we have to go back to work tomorrow!

Duo Workouts!

Gary and I have been taking a lot of time to get our house together. So far, we’ve made some minor changes around the house; new locks, new faucet, new bathroom light etc, and we’re getting the hang of the trash & recycling schedule, which I equate with being awesome at home ownership… although we don’t actually have a ladder, so the gutters are full of leaves. Gutters: “OM NOM NOM LEAVES”

We’ve painted some swatches on the walls to see how we like them. We haven’t gotten much farther than that.

There are several areas of the house that have become the depository for stuff we don’t know what to do with yet. The living room, kitchen & bathroom look pretty good (I think this is because we spend the most time in these rooms so we’re more anxious to make them look the way we want. Also, laziness.)

Last Monday I went for a run… before work. Yes, I went for a MORNING RUN. This is totally not my style, but now I live close enough to work that I can go for a quick run an hour before work and not be late!

I also ran on Sunday, which was my 30th birthday. Other than that, I haven’t run since my 5K. I took it easy on Sunday with a 1 min run/1 min walk for about twenty minutes. I drove down to the canal to run because it was flat and I wouldn’t encounter cars. While walking down my driveway I see a runner actually running on my road. I can’t tell if she’s insane or awesome. It does make me feel better about possibly running on the road. Also, she was wearing all black, which I know is crazy. My mom bought me hi-vis gloves for my birthday, so I know I’ll be better off then Maybe-Crazy-Running-Lady. I also chased a deer down the canal on my birthday run, which is my favorite thing that’s ever happened on a run so far.

We set up our weights and workout machines in the den in the basement and tonight we got a chance to come downstairs and work out together. I’m trying to incorporate more strength training into my routine for the winter with barbells and dumbells. Gary switched back and forth between the stationary bike and elliptical. I hopped on the elliptical first but could only muster about 3 minutes. Seriously, that thing separates the kittens from the cats. (our gender-neutral version of that one about the men and the boys, being separated and whatnot.)

God, I’m Starving.

Just felt like sharing.

I finished the third week of my running plan and I was like, ON TO WEEK 4! but the plan directs you to take a hard look at how you actually did. The hardest workout started with a fifteen minute run, which at first seemed entirely impossible. I promised myself I would not walk until at least 8 minutes in, but once I got close to 8 minutes, I changed it to 10 minutes, and then once I got there, I decided to challenge myself to run the whole 15 minutes. I reached the first mile at about 14 minutes, which is a little slower than it has been the past few weeks but much faster than that six-month 16 minute/mile plateau I was stuck on for a while. Seeing 14 minutes makes me start to worry that I’m backsliding, but I quickly tell myself to cut the crap, because it’s actually completely fantastic.

This plan doesn’t call for any speed training, but focuses rather on getting you to go the distance with long runs. Basically, the first plan wants you to be able to run for 30 minutes at whatever pace you run, and the harder version tosses some speed workouts at you to help you better your time.  Maybe I’ll switch things up a little in the next level and switch out a distance run for speed intervals. I want to crush my 5K PR and I know, for me, run/walk intervals is the way to go.

I took a really good look at how I ran: there were three running workouts and I cross-trained once or twice. The cross training was good – coach/husband made one workout intense, and the other I kind of phoned in so I’ll have to dial that up a little. Each run consisted of walk/run intervals, starting with a longer run then walk/run/walk of varying times. I kicked butt on the runs that started with 5 minutes and 10 minutes. When I finished the 15 minute run I was shocked and I wondered how I would ever do it again. That was a sign that I wasn’t really ready to move on, because the runs are only going to get longer and harder.

So, I started the third level over again. I did the 15 minute run on Wednesday and I was surprised by how confident I was when I approached it this time. I never doubted I would be able to run the whole time. It was tough around the end, for sure, I didn’t have to bribe myself with the relief of a mid-run walk. I almost can’t believe that I can run a straight mile without walking and it’s, like, no big deal. I’m not sure that I’m beating my times from the prior week, but to be fair, it’s been really hot and humid, and I’ve been trying out some route with different terrain. I just hope this mugginess breaks soon.

I really do love this plan; it’s pushed me and given me attainable goals and it never makes me focus on running a certain distance. My aunt Kara is also running the 5K in October with me (!!!!) and she started trying to run with the Couch to 5K (which was my first training plan, and the first training plan that I scrapped, because I hated it.) It’s not working for her either – she found something else which is great because she can change the length of the intervals to fit her better. It’s really important to find what works for you. I’m really excited to move up to the next level next week!

We’re gearing up for another busy weekend: running tonight, seeing friends, birthdays, BBQs, cleaning, packing, going to the movies to see Guardians of the Galaxy (again), reading & studying. Cue me taking a long nap on Sunday.

Creative Workouts and More Fun Surprises

Things have been very hectic for the past few weeks, and I haven’t been able to keep up my normal running schedule, so I have had to get a little creative.

I am finally back on track with my running plan. I emailed back and forth with a very nice guy at Run the Edge who hooked me up with the Running Start plan. I looked it over and decided I would start myself off about three weeks into the plan, on Level 3.

Over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I drove down to Maryland to stay at my friend’s summer house with a bunch of people. I was planning to bring my running gear and run the first workout of my training plan the next morning, but I wound up not bringing it partly out of a lack of space in the car, but mostly because I forgot to put it in the car and didn’t want to turn around to get it once I realized it wasn’t there. We got to the house around noon, started in on the hard cider and beer, then got to cooking and hanging out. Gary and I had a great time, but we were worn out by 9:00 PM from all the day-drinking and drove 4.5 hours home. We aren’t used to day-drinking, and we’ve had (and continue to have on a daily basis) so many family-related stresses, that being around people takes a lot out of us both. Introverts of the world, unite, and then go home and recharge your social batteries. So, no fun run for me that day (although I almost had running buddies who would have probably left me in their dust!)

Most of our time has been spent at Gary’s mom’s house, cleaning, sorting, and tossing stuff into a dumpster. Creative Workout #1: Super Strength Training. It’s not just nails, bolts, sawdust: We’ve been going through years of collected miscellany. Furniture was sledgehammered into bits. Items were carefully stacked to maximize dumpster space. Mostly, garbage cans full of junk and other heavy items have been carried to and thrown into the dumpster. Hello, killer arms. While wielding the sledgehammer, someone joked, “You swing like a girl.” And I said, “Yes, I do, because I am a girl, and there is nothing wrong with the way I swing this sledgehammer,” and my husband soberly warned the guy, “Watch out, she’ll come after you with that thing,” and I said, “Yes, I will,” and I took a swing.

Creative Workout #2: No time to run because you’re supposed to go to your Mother In Law’s to help clean? Have your husband drop you off on the side of the road a mile and a half from their house and hoof it all the way there. This was the day after our long drive to and from Maryland, and we got very little sleep but I managed to get in a great run. It was incredibly hot, but I made incredible time. Like, really unbelievably incredible. My first mile was 15:19. My first running interval was ten minutes, and I was going to have to climb this really long hill on the way to the in-law’s, and I was hoping to finish my ten minutes at the bottom of the hill so I could walk up it. Nope – hit the ten minute mark at the actual crest of the hill. Well, it was all downhill from there! Knee-slap, cymbal rimshot, something else to indicate that was a corny joke. But still, it’s weird – this is my best mile time not running speed intervals, and I somehow managed it while running up a hill.

Creative Workout #3: Have your husband be your personal trainer. I had to cross-train to fulfill another day of my training plan, and normally I’d do a video or lift weights, but I was so not motivated. I told my husband and he started barking orders. Step-ups, squatty things, sit-ups, planks, dumbell rows… It was a truly great, short, powerful workout. I just sneezed and my abs hurt, so I know it worked.

And finally, not in the realm of creative workouts, but in the realm of awesome news: Today, my husband ran with me! (YAY!) I love when he goes out with me, it doesn’t feel so much like work. He is much faster than me, and I’m sure I would hurt myself trying to keep up, so I just told him to turn where he wants to turn, take whichever path he wants, and I’ll just follow. He did an awesome job – I can’t wait to see how he finishes in the 5K. He’s got speed and I’ve got endurance, but speed kind of wins out when your walking pace is the same as my jogging pace. He can pull ahead by a mile and then just walk the rest of the way and I’ll never catch up with him!

Also in awesome news: I ran something like a 13:18 mile today. OK, now it’s getting weird: how did I go from 16-17 minute miles to a 13 minute mile? I mean, I’ll take it and I’ll appreciate it, but it’s kind of a shock. How on earth did I sit at that 16 minute plateau for so long and then suddenly just shave off two whole minutes? I’m trying to think back to the past few weeks, but I can’t remember being bitten by any radioactive insects or drinking any kind of weird potions.

oh, and we are buying a house.