Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crunch Time!

1 mile - 11:25
2 mile - 22:40 (fastest time yet)
3 mile - 34:43 (fastest time yet)

I did all of my runs outside last week to prepare for the Phillies 5k. I was wondering how my body would react to being back on the treadmill and man did I get my answer. No joke - I was a laser beam!

Since my run on Saturday, I have: a) not worked out at all, b) eaten food from Chickie and Pete's, a local Italian restaurant, McDonald's, Mikimoto's, and the cafeteria at my work, along with several incidences involving chocolate, and c) not had any motivation to continue my training.

This work out was exactly what I needed. My overall frustration with this whole thing is that I have not lost the weight I wanted, which was my number one goal. Prior to this weekend/week, I was eating a 1600 calorie diet and working out at least 3 times a week, so that lack of weight loss progress is hard to overlook. However, if I can keep having results like this, the motivation will be here to get me through April.

To hold myself accountable, I was supposed to do 4 miles today but a long trip to the DMV and a 9:00pm fantasy baseball draft I needed to be home for did not allow for the entire 4 miles. I did 3.5 miles in 41:24. Tomorrow will be cross-training at lunch, with 3 miles to follow on Friday and 6 miles on Saturday.

My motivation and diligence in getting in my workouts decreased when I stopped writing these blogs on a consistent basis, so more blogs will be forthright.

37:11 in the Phillies 5K

37 minutes, 11 seconds.

The following paragraph was brought to you by Pessimist Bethany. Pessimist Bethany is a new individual which surfaced once running became a part of Optimistically Cynical Bethany's life. She will hopefully be available for comments for a limited time only:

My goal was to finish the Inaugural Phillies 5k in under 36 minutes. Finishing the race at 37:11 was almost bittersweet. I had to walk a little bit - the first time was just after I passed the first mile marker. I almost passed out at the end of the race from pushing myself over the last quarter mile. And as I crossed the finish line, there was a 37, not a 36.

BUT WE WILL NOT DWELL ON THE NEGATIVE. Man, it took me awhile to get over the bittersweet feeling, but there are so many good things that came out of this 5k.

The following list was brought to you by Optimist Bethany. Also a new individual which surfaced to combat Pessimist Bethany (she will most likely fade after the Broad Street Run as well):

1) First mile time: 11:17!!!
I've NEVER run that fast in my life. I felt like I normally do after running at a 12-minute-mile pace, so I definitely needed to walk for a while to catch my breath. At one point I looked at Ped and gasped "We've run a mile already, right?" to which he told me "Of course! We'll be at the mile and half water table soon." To which I looked up and saw the mile marker about 100 yards ahead of me. He was wrong. So very wrong. It was okay though because of that glorious 11:17 on the screen. (I will also say that was based on gun time. By chip time, I would probably have been at around 11:07.)

2) Average mile time: 12:02!!!
I always forget a 5k is actually 3.1 miles. My goal for 36 minutes was based on my goal for a 12-minute-mile. Since the total race was actually a little over 3 miles, I did meet my goal of 12 minute miles. I don't know why it took so long for my brain to understand this, but this morning was the first time I honestly looked at that time and felt proud.

3) Improved 5k time of 2:35 (2 minutes, 35 seconds). I went from 39:46 to 37:11. Apparently, that's not too bad for 2 months.

4) Another amazing running partner that offered constant encouragement and motivation.
I conned Ped into doing this race with me. When you tell your baseball-obsessed boyfriend in January that all he has to do is run a few miles in March and he would get to walk on the field, get free baseball tickets, and possibly meet Phillies, it's a no-brainer that I would win him over. Ped has been so supportive throughout this whole thing. It hasn't always been in the way that I like, but it's been in a way that was motivating and encouraging. Finishing this race with him was such a wonderful experience. He may not be running Broad Street with me, but I'll be able to picture him next to me.

The race itself was a nice path, but it was frigid. I'm pretty sure everyone who signed up for the race expected spring weather since it was held on March 26, but that was not what we got. The cold was bad enough, but the wind chill was horrendous. The "cool down lap" on the field was actually an hour long line to get your picture taken at home plate. Not all it was promised to be, but I would recommend this race to anyone for next year. It was open to 3,000 runners and sold out within a day. Hopefully next year, they will open it up to a few more people. Ped and I will definitely be on that list.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preparing for the Phillies 5k....

One of my work colleagues asked me how my training was going for the Broad Street Run. This week I fell back to 2 miles for my 3 days, and next week will rev me back up to 6 miles. You would think a week full of 2 mile runs would be great, but my response to him was not so. I told him that I was having a hard time getting through the 2 miles, which was freaking me out and leading to an extreme lack of motivation.

He must of been sent to ask me that question for a purpose, because he said exactly what I needed to hear. As an avid runner, this gentleman has run marathons in every continent except Africa. While training for his races, he would run 18 miles BEFORE work. This man looked at me and said that I was no different than every other runner. He said he often struggles through the first mile, with his breathing completely off and he wonders how he can make it another 25 miles (an actual marathon is 26 miles...that ain't happening for me).

My whole life is spent trying to be different. I hate being put into a box. I don't want to be normal. And yet, when he told me I wasn't different and nothing I was going through was anything special....I had me'self an ah-ha moment.

The last time I posted was last Tuesday with my 5 miles. Here's what I've done since:

Wednesday, 3/16 - 25 minutes of cardio at lunch
Thursday, 3/17 - 1.75 miles at lunch
Sunday, 3/20 - 4 miles outside
Tuesday, 3/22 - 2 miles outside
Wednesday, 3/23 - no official cardio, but spent the day painting the bathroom

I've been running outside these days to try and prepare for my next 5k which is (duh duh DUH) on Saturday. It's sooo much harder than a treadmill and the breathing during the first mile is definitely getting to me. Which is why my colleague's words were such an ah-ha moment. If he needs some time to get his breathing down, but can complete a 26 mile run, than I can conquer 3 miles.

I didn't get out of work until close to dark, so I will be running tomorrow after work in preparation for Saturday. Picked up mine and Ped's race packets so I'll be ready to go.

My goal was in under 36 minutes, which I'm not sure will happen. If I can hit that, I will eating a big ol' greasy cheeseburger in celebration. However, I kind of have a sub-goal. If I can get through this race by running as much as I can without pooping out on myself, I will be proud. No greasy cheeseburger, but pride.

GO NUMBER 2835!!! That's my bib number.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unbelievable Feeling

2 miles - 23:36 (Fastest yet)
3 miles - 36:22 (Fastest yet)
4 miles - 49:38 (Fastest yet)
5 miles - 63:38 (Fastest yet - obviously)

Things I did today that I've never done before:
  • Completed 5 miles. And would have been able to keep going.
  • Ran my fastest 2 mile time...and my fastest 3 mile time...and my fastest 4 mile time.
  • Decreased my 3 mile time by a minute and a half, and closer to my 36 minute goal for next weekend's 5k.
  • Ran the first 2 miles - RAN IT. NO WALKING FOR THE ENTIRE 2 MILES!!!
What did you do today?

I need to throw another shout out here. This one is to the power of prayer.

For someone who has lived a privileged life (great family, solid education, food always on the table), I've been through some rough stuff. I've experienced death a lot, heartbreak one couldn't begin to understand, financial crisis, and physical pain. But when I look back, in between the bouts of loneliness and fear and anxiety, there was always a belief that things would be okay. Hope.

I know there is always Someone looking out for me, protecting me, loving me. I take that for granted though until things get tough. I have been going about my training feeling so disheartened leading up to my workouts. When I had a good one, the euphoria would last 10 minutes after I got off the treadmill and then I would fall back into hating this whole thing.

Today was my day I finally fell back on prayer because I knew I couldn't do it alone anymore. I prayed for strength. I prayed for patience. I prayed for endurance. My 5 mile run today was a testament to the power of prayer. I feel amazing, my euphoria has not gone away, and I thank God that He will be with me every single step I take on this running journey because I obviously am incapable of doing it on my own.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Holla at Me!!!!!

2 miles - 24:33
3 miles - 37:52
4 miles - 51:21

That's right. I said 4 miles. 4 MILES!!!! Boo-ya!!

I felt so good after I completed this run, but I can't help but wonder - who actually does this just for fun? I know people do, but I can't imagine running for that long without having an ultimate goal in using it as a stepping stone to be able to finish a 10 mile race. Maybe that will change once I've gotten up to 6 or 7 miles. Maybe 4 miles won't seem that much. I look back to when I started and remember how moving from 1 mile to 1.25 miles was huge and felt like such a task. Now it wouldn't make sense to get off the treadmill unless I got in at least 2 miles, if not 3. But 4 miles???

To be honest, I had to sit down once I was done. I was really proud of myself, and felt great, but wooooooo, was my body reeling. If my body could talk, it would have said, "Giirrrllll...." and then it would have slapped me.

I didn't write a blog post after my run on Sunday because I was really down on myself. The training schedule for last week was 3 miles on Tuesday, 2 miles on Thursday, and 4 miles on the weekend with strength and cross training in between. Well I did the Tuesday and Thursday runs, didn't do any of the strength or cross training and only got another 3 miles in on Sunday. That was a lot of statistics, but basically, I sucked last week. I had hit a plateau at 3 miles and felt like I would never be able to forge past it.

Ok, so that was a little dramatic, but I was a drama queen last week. Don't judge.

Well, I'm redoing last week. When I started the training schedule, I began a week earlier than necessary, which gave me some leeway if I couldn't get my workouts in. Maybe that subconsciously made me not push as hard. Well that leeway is gone.

I'm also switching up the days within the week. I am always able to get in my Tuesday run, so for the next few weeks, my long run will be on Tuesdays, my shortest run will stay on Thursdays (which I will be doing during my lunch hour) and my mid-run will be on the weekend. Trust me, it works out to the same amount of days separating everything. I will be able to get in Wednesday's cross-training during lunch too.

I've had a few weeks of trial and error, trying to find what will work for me, but this may be it. Tomorrow is my 2 mile run at lunch, with a 3 miler on Sunday. Next step up will be 5 miles next Tuesday.


One shout out to my family: I'm so proud of my sister and brother-in-law for getting on a healthy kick too. Kim actually called me while she was walking on the treadmill today! Kudos to her because I can hardly breathe while I'm on the darn thing much less talk. Not only did they start eating better and working out, they're sticking to it. Hearing from her today about that was such a motivation to me!!

Note to self: Eating healthy during the day doesn't mean much if you allow your boyfriend to convince you a Chinese Buffet is an excellent dinner choice. It was sooooooooo good though.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fastest 3 miles yet!!!!

1 mile - 11:56
2 mile - 24:38
3 mile - 38:02 (fastest time yet)

I, of course, did not get to the gym last night after happy hour. Who plans to go to the gym after happy hour? Running after nachos es no bueno, so I went to Marshalls instead.

Anyway, I've gotten into this weird.......thing. It's like everything I've dealt with over the past few weeks has culminated into one source of worry for me and I'm numb.

That was confusing. Better explanation - I'm stressed and tired, but I've made time for about 75% of the exercise I'm supposed to be doing along with doing other things in my life that make me happy. I'm worried that I'm not very good at running and upset that I'm not able to run without struggling, but I'm proud of myself for what I have accomplished and realizing that every time I do it better.

Wait! That's it!!!! Everything is falling into place and I am so completely confused that I'm having a hard time enjoying it. what?

The 3 miles seemed to go really quick today, which was nice. I arrived at work a little early, left a little early and got out of the gym by 6:15. It really was awesome to be able to have an evening that didn't involve me coming home and crashing sometime after 7:30. I took the initiative to discuss some different options for my lunch schedule, so I'm also going to try and get to the gym once or twice a week at lunch time to give me another evening free.

We're getting there people. Only 2 months til Broad Street! Oh Lord help me....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Karma is a .....

1 mile - 11:42
2 miles - 24:17

Hellooooo Blog!

So of course my weekend in NJ did not include the amount of running that I was supposed to complete.

Supposed to run: 2 miles on Saturday, 3 miles on Sunday.
Actual run: 1.4 miles on Saturday.

But whatever, you know what? After a week of running well and eating extremely healthy by sticking to my diet, I had a good weekend. I indulged in a little bit of Mexican food and seafood chowder while spending some quality time with a really cool guy and my family. Another positive: My 1.4 miles on Saturday were outside in really cold weather with ocean wind and I did it better than the last time I could hardly make it a mile.

This is the second week that I have been documenting my weekly menu and sticking to it. (THANK YOU AMANDA) I had a brain fart last week and tried my best to get under the standard 1500 calorie diet on a daily basis - which of course is SO wrong because the standard diet is 2000 calories. No wonder I was so hungry!!!! It made it easier for this week though. I've been eating a standard 1600 calorie or less diet Monday through Friday, and a week and a half into it - I feel wonderful!

It's been a tough week at work and it's only Tuesday. Thankfully I got out on time yesterday and got in a 2 mile run (which was my fastest time yet). Anyway, this morning, I put on my pencil skirt, my patterned tights and my 5 1/2 inch wedge heels and pranced my still-large butt out of my house to work with more confidence than I've felt in a long time. At work, we laughed, we cried, we created special moments.

Ok, not really all of that, but it was a good day which led to me clowning around a little longer at lunch than I should have. This is where karma comes in. I felt sooooooooo good about myself that by the end of the day my knees were killing me from those lovely heels I ran around in and I had a ton of stuff to do. I got out of work at 6:45 and didn't have enough in me to make it to the gym to do my 3 miles. Maybe that's a good thing though since the training schedule doesn't allow for 2 days of running in a row.

The diet and exercise is a good control in a life that is a little crazy right now. Who knew??? I'm getting excited guys and gals. It's the month of my next 5k - just 25 days away. My goal for that is under 36 minutes which is an average 12 minute mile. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm going to be pushing myself.

Happy hour tomorrow night so I'm going to try and get a run in at lunch, if I'm allowed to take a little extended time away. Updates to come....