My Pledge

So I’ve obviously been taking some time off from my blog, and likewise, some time off from running. I have run two 5Ks in the past few months, neither with stellar times, but not far off from where I have been in the past. The first was the Ocean City Seaside 5K & 10 miler with my family – we normally run together but none of us had been training, for separate reasons, so we just decided to run it at our own paces. The second was the Castaway Cay 5K, on Disney’s private island, which is only accessible when you’re on a Disney Cruise, which is where I just came back from! It was WICKED HOT. Like, so hot that I started questioning my sanity. Like I really considered quitting early but I pushed on. I walked a lot of it and stopped at every water station, but I found some ounce of mental strength to push through- I even ran the last quarter mile of the race. Even with the awful intense heat and brutal sun my time was under 1 hour. My husband bought me a cool shirt, and I got a sweet commemorative medallion (not a medal) and new bib.

I ran a lot on the cruise ship, I hit the gym three times (in addition to the 5K). We danced a lot and swam a lot and walked A LOT – we did a bike tour in Key West. I did Pilates in the stateroom. Even with all that working out, I can tell that I’ve gained a bit of weight, I’m not really comfortable in my clothes right now. I’m aggravated with that, so it’s fueling the fire to get back into a training plan. Luckily, I have a great running plan to help me jump back in, and tons of awesome strength workouts to choose from. I can’t wait to get started today.

My pledge is to take my current dedication level and turn the dial up a notch. Let’s shake things up! Now that vacation is over, we are going to keep cooking at home (although there’s currently no food in the house because we emptied everything before we went away, and as Thursday is Thanksgiving, there is no way in hell that I’m going near a supermarket, so we are making do with whatever we can until Friday), but I want to increase the intensity in my strength workouts and run and walk more often.  The holidays are coming up, but I am usually really good with food choices and portion control during those holiday dinners – it’s the desserts that I need to avoid. I’m going to start trying to alternate between soda and water.  Ok, let’s check back in one week and see how things are going. ❤

I CAN COOK

Pretty good night last night, I got A LOT done.

I am not a chef. Like, it’s ingrained in the depths of my soul that I hate cooking. I hate standing in front of the stove for an hour and making a mess just to watch the results disappear in fifteen minutes. But last night, my husband was going out to test drive a car, and I told him I would start dinner.

It was Taco night. All I had to cook was ground beef. Ground beef is easy, right?

Not when it’s frozen in a three pound chunk and you only need one pound.

Cut to one full hour of Sarah fighting with the frozen meat with knives and spatulas and finally ripping off the one pound I needed for tacos. OK! So I have now made an awful mess, which I HATE because I can’t clean it right away because I’m cooking (I’m usually puttering around cleaning while my husband cooks). Once my beef was done, cheese and lettuce shredded, and my taco was waiting for me, I started chopping veggies! I made an omelette in a Ziploc bag! I put all my omelette ingredients in a Ziploc bag (two eggs, green peppers, cheddar cheese, onions, and one slice of bacon), threw it in a pot of boiling water, and let it go for fifteen minutes, and ta-da, my breakfast for today was ready! OK, so my breakfast AND lunch for tomorrow are already prepared…. this is unprecedented. Oh, and this omelette? Delish.

I did 10 x 3 pushups yesterday, 10 against a wall, 10 at the edge of my desk, and 10 knee pushups.

I also did a bodyweight strength workout, squats and leg lifts and mountain climbers and hopping and a ton of reps. Like, maybe too many reps to be effective. By the end, I knew my form was suffering a bit.

Went for a run last night at the park so I could tackle some hills. I had trouble getting my music to play on my phone, so I just listened to Zombies! Run and ran while playing songs over in my head. Beautiful weather for it!

Tonight, my mom is driving down to have dinner with me, and I’m planning a 1 mile run. Maybe yoga.

The Brody Hydock 5K: Killer Hill & other musings

Yesterday my sister and I ran the Brody Hydock 5K in a little park in Morristown, NJ. The weather was clear and cool, a blessing in comparison to the hot, sticky days we had last week. Finally feels like the heat is going to break and fall will be here soon.

We got there about an hour early and picked up our shirts and bibs, walked and stretched a bit. I was sore from a really tough workout at the beginning of the week – a really fast run and lots of lunges and squats and what the hell was I thinking, five days before a race?

I hate that time right before a race is starting, those ten-fifteen minutes when you’re sort of chomping at the bit to get going. Not enough time to really do anything, but too much time to do nothing. This race was a little weird – they had a 5K run and a 1 mile family walk. They only gave race bibs to the runners, however… if you were walking the 5K, you didn’t get a bib. We all started at the same time. We’re all lined up, and the guy on the microphone is like, “OK, I’ll give you the race directions.” and I’m like….This is different. Are you expecting us to keep track of where we have to go? Actually, I was ok with that because I’m good with directions and I really don’t want to get lost. The race started in the park, ran on a few roads, then looped back to the beginning. There were cops riding up and down the race route on motorcycles, a cop parked at every intersection, and cones with the directions on them, so there was really no risk of getting lost.

There were only 96 runners. It was probably the smallest 5K I’ve ever been to. It was for a good charity and it’s a pretty good course, so I might do it again next year.

There was this one hill though…. in Mile Two.

Wendi has the speed and I have the endurance. She would run ahead and then walk while I caught up to her, then we’d walk for a bit and start the whole thing up again. We went out of the gate at a pretty good pace and our first mile was 15 minutes and change. We must have been running pretty quickly, because we walked a few times and still managed a fairly decent time for that first mile, and that is probably why my foot started falling asleep in mile two. Damn, you foot. Damn you. In my mind, I am climbing a ladder in a warehouse to a chalkboard that says “Days Without Accidents”, wiping clean the number there and sadly drawing out a 0. Everyone in the warehouse hangs their heads in shame.

The hill came in mile two, and it took a little of our momentum. Our second mile was 17 minutes and change, which is still not too bad. It was all downhill after that, but it wasn’t enough to make up for lost time. I kept trying to shake my foot to get some feeling back into it, because I know it slows me down. Mile 3 was almost 16 minutes, and I crossed the finish line at 50:17. Wendi ran ahead of me at the finish line and I just tried to drag my numb foot along. I had regained a bit of feeling, but I just didn’t have it in me to run any faster. Legs were just tired and there was just no more oomph in me. The hill took it all.

Yes, I am disappointed in my time. I am happy to have finished and I wasn’t last like I thought I was…not that it matters, I know, but… you know. Not that I cared about being last yesterday, when I was just so proud of my sister for pushing through and running a great race. She told me that she never seems to get better, whenever she runs a mile or a 5K, it’s usually about the same time. I told her that it takes a long time to see improvement, but it does get better, that I’ve looked at blogs from months ago when I whined about the same thing, and now I can run a lot faster and longer, and then I come up with a 5K time like this? *insert grumpy noise* Serves me right for doing a tough workout at the beginning of the week and not tapering properly. Lesson learned, I guess.

Um, fastest mile EVER WHAT

My new goals for the next few weeks are:

  1. at least three short runs during the week (under 2 miles)
  2. one longer run on the weekend (2+ miles)
  3. two strength workouts a week
  4. one yoga session a week
  5. TALK TO PEOPLE more.

Last night we had a big old rainstorm, so I hopped on the treadmill. I decided to see how fast I could run a mile and a half. If I ran at 4 mph the whole time, maybe throw in a little walking, I could probably run it in 23 minutes. I started out at 4 mph and felt pretty good so I kicked it up to 4.2, and I ran almost the whole mile at 4.2 mph. I sped up a bit towards the end, up to maybe 4.6 mph, and I hit that first mile in 14:22. 14:22! WHAT. and to be honest, I wasn’t even super tired from it. If I really pushed, I bet I could run a mile under 14 minutes.

Instead of walking after the first mile, I kept it up, running at about 4- 4.2 mph. I reached 1.5 miles around 21:30. Man, I felt good. Lungs didn’t fail me, legs didn’t fail me. It was pretty sweet. Also completed a warm-up, strength workout, and cool down afterwards.

My friend Susan is doing an Ironman this weekend, and asked us to declare our dreams, and she would dedicate a portion of her run to it. I told her my epic goal is to run a marathon, so she dedicated miles 6.2-10 to my future marathon. I think her event is on Sunday, so I’ll also be running 3.8 miles on Sunday.

Running with My Sister

Man, she’s quick! We’ve been doing long-ish runs on the weekends, and I just cannot keep up with her nimble feet. On the flip side, she says that she can’t run for as long as I can. That’s the trade-off, I guess. We aren’t really doing much running anyway, mostly chit-chatting about running and stuff while we walk, and picking up the pace in intervals. I think it’s just important that we’re racking up some mileage.

On Monday, we went to Duke Farms, a park that used to be the estate of the Duke family. They were a serious bunch of eccentric rich folk, and their estate is incredible. Lots of trails, statues, fountains, an orchid garden, A PET CEMETERY WHERE THEY BURIED THEIR PET CAMEL.

We covered 3.5 miles, probably a little more. It was quite sunny and there were a lot of people there, especially bicyclists – bikers, if you’re zooming up behind a runner, just give a shout: “on your left!” or “right!” Don’t ding your bell at me. I’m not going to turn around and look at you, because, trust me, I would trip and fall. and then you’ll run me over. The park is famous for biking, they have a great bike-share program.

My sister and I have a 5K coming up on Sunday! Ack! We talked game plan; Instead of just running/ walking intervals like we are doing now, I told her I was going to put on my headphones and run like I normally run when I’m alone. I haven’t really had a chance to run a 5K by myself in a long time- I think I want to stick near her in case they don’t mark the 5K route well. I got lost during a race when I did track for a brief period of time in like, fifth grade, and the thought of getting separated from the group still makes me a bit panicky.

Upping the mileage

I’ve been working on a 15 K program for a few weeks. I was hoping to run a 10 mile race in October, but I was just notified that their cut-off is 2 1/2 hours, which is way out of my league. I do NOT think I’ll be able to attain that in two months. So, maybe I’ll switch to a 10K program or go back to a 5K program to work on my speed. Bummer… I kind of just wanted a medal! Seriously, why don’t more 5Ks offer medals? Charge me 5$ more, I don’t care – take my money!

My sister and I went for a 3 mile run/ walk last week… it was mostly walking and talking, so I didn’t really care about the time, just getting the mileage in. It was a great day and a great run.

I did 1 mile on the treadmill on Wednesday. Trying to squeeze in more strength workouts. I’ve been logging my food for about two weeks, not trying to cut anything, just looking at my eating habits and trying to figure out where I can make some changes. To be honest, I think I just eat a bit too much. I never used to eat as much food for breakfast and lunch as some nutrition plans or recipes call for, so I’m going to sit down tonight, look over my log. I think I’m going to start eating when I’m hungry and not eating for flavor. Good luck with that, amirite?

I’m also starting some new medication and I’m a little anxious to see how it’s going to affect my body – will I gain weight? I started it today, and obviously, it’s too soon to tell if there are any changes. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.