My One Year Runniversary

It’s my anniversary! Okay, it was really six to eight weeks ago, but I am celebrating today. How am I celebrating? By reflecting on what I have learned over the last year.

In my first year of consistent running, I have run several 5ks, a 10k, a half marathon, and a triathlon! Now, here’s what I have learned.

1. The only person holding me back is myself.
2. I love running at night. The silence of the darkness is calming and relaxing.
3. I know what a Piriformis and IT band are.
4. Fartleks are not what you think they are.
5. Runners high exists and is an awesome feeling.
6. I can run a half marathon.
7. Gu is nasty.
8. Even the best and most experienced runners struggle to get out there sometimes.
9. It’s okay to have a “bad run.”
10. Any run is a good run. At least I am out there and not sitting on the couch.
11. The only person I need to compete with is myself.
12. I LOVE swimming. Especially when it’s too hot to run.
13. It is imperative to have a gait analysis done before buying running shoes.
14. Running in the rain makes me feel like a badass.
15. I LOVE triathlons.
16. I need to train on my bike more often. (I don’t ride it at all)
17. This is actually a lifestyle change for me.

I look forward to the challenges that I will face and the obstacles that I will shred over the next year. It has been a great year and I hope that year two is even better.

Posted in Running | 1 Comment

Sweet Swim

Today I am determined to get back on track with my training. I originally had a goal of running the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in October but I don’t know if I will be ready to run a half by then.

My training has been spotty. The heat is a biotch. My health issues are flaring up again.

I am full of excuses.

I don’t need anyone to point that out. I know. I am my own worst critic. Hopefully laying this out in black and white will get me past this excuses phase and moving on to a consistent training regimen.

The sad thing is that I love to run. I love to swim.

So why do I make excuses not to?

20120812-131844.jpg

As a reminder, I am posting a picture from my triathlon earlier this year. So. Much. Fun.

Today I hit the pool and got in about 1300 meters. It’s a great start and I feel so much better for it.

Maybe the key is that I don’t have any race entries on the books? I need to work on that this week.

Posted in Swimming | 1 Comment

Hi Sweaty Athlete

I am back! After a two month hiatus due to health problems (which I will discuss in a later post), I am back in the training groove.

Tonight’s training plan consisted of 4×400 intervals to work on speed but due to the heat, I only completed three of them before I felt like I could not breathe.

I gotta admit, though…

it felt good to sweat!

I have missed my sweaty self.

20120730-195636.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mom You’re Just Jealous…

it’s the Beastie Boys! Happy Mothers Day to me! I hope that you all treated your mothers with kindness today.

I had a great day and I am pumped. My run tonight was fantastic. After a torn calf scare and taking a couple of rest days to ice, the pain and swelling had subsided. I decided to go for a short run tonight to test it out.

Wow, what a run.

No pain. No issues whatsoever. I was feeling so great that i was running at a faster pace than my normal 10:30-11:00 mile. At one point I looked at my Garmin, and holycowIalmostpassedout, I was running at a 9:13 pace. I did a double take because I do not run that fast.

I did not KNOW I could run that fast.

And of course, once I saw that number, it was all over with. I started breathing so hard that I had to walk and catch my breath. I walked for a minute or so, and then I was back at it. Once again, I felt I was running at a fast pace but I was scared to look this time, so I just kept running.

Upon arriving home, I could not wait to upload my run and check out my statistics. I was feeling mighty nauseated but I chalked that up to the two cookies I ate before my run, not to mention all of the other junk I ate today.

Holidays were made for eating.

At certain points during my run, I was running at an 8:39 pace. Now, some of you are not impressed by these numbers, but for me, this is a huge accomplishment. I am a slow, endurance runner. I have been feeling pretty great about my 10:30 pace and I never imagined that I could run at less than a ten minute pace but less than 9?

Even though I can’t sustain a 9:00 pace for a very long distance, it still feels pretty damn incredible that I can even hit that pace.

Now I am wondering what I have been doing training or nutrition wise that may have contributed to this PR. Was it the rest? Maybe it was the sugar rush from the cookies? The new playlist on the iPod that included Beastie Boys?

All I know is that I will be listening to Beastie Boys on every run. And munching on cookies.

(Just kidding about the cookies.)

Time for new goals.

Posted in Running | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Conjunction Junction

What’s your function? Anyone remember that from Saturday mornings?

I have been reading alot of blog posts lately regarding nutrition. This prompted me to take a look at my own diet and how far I have come. I haven’t really paid a whole lot of attention to what I have been fueling my body with because once I was on my way to a healthier lifestyle, it just came naturally.

I listened to my body.

My normal diet consists of about 90% healthy foods and 10% not so healthy foods, give or take a little. I am the woman at work who gets teased for always eating so healthy.

I like eating healthy foods.

Two and a half years ago, that wasn’t the case. After routine bloodwork at my doctors office, I was told that my cholesterol and triglycerides were sky high and I was on track for heart disease. But there was a simple solution. A new diet, lose 35 pounds, and my numbers should come down.

My doctor scheduled me to return in a month for additional bloodwork. The dietary changes would last a week. My exercise plan would last a day. My cholesterol continued to rise and my weight was going in the wrong direction.

It became a vicious cycle. I promised my doc I would make the lifestyle changes on a monthly basis but the numbers didn’t lie.

It was time for medication.

After balling in his office because I felt like such a failure, I was placed in several medications. I have been pretty healthy my whole life and the thought of having to start taking daily medications made me feel old. I filled the medications and felt sorrier and sorrier for myself with every swallowed pill.

Then the side effects kicked in.

I began to suffer from joint pain and had difficulty getting out of bed. I couldn’t sleep at night because my joints felt like someone was hammering my knees and elbows all night. This was the last straw.

I got my sh!t together.

I made the decision to lose the weight and get off the medicine no matter what it took. I went on a popular fad diet and dropped the weight fairly quickly with no exercise.

Once I started eating regular foods again, I made healthier choices. Then I got the bright idea that I wanted to run a half marathon. I never ran a day in my life.

I found and began a training plan and well, here I am today, a runner, a swimmer,and a triathlete!

And I am medication free!

Plus, my weight keeps dropping and I don’t follow any strict diet rules. My body is changing in so many good ways. Running has done wonders for my legs. My doctor is astounded and loves to hear my stories about my latest athletic accomplishments. Sometimes I think he is more proud of how far I have come than I am!

My greatest hope in sharing my story is that I can inspire others to begin the same journey. It is possible. If I can do it, you can, too!

I have a family, a stressful job that requires long hours, and a dog that requires more effort sometimes than the kids.

Yet I make time for my running and swimming because it makes mama happy. If mama is happy, everybody’s happy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I Am One of Those People

Before I started this journey, (and actually after, too) I used to see or hear about people who would get up at 4 and 5 am to run, bike, or participate in any other type of early morning exercise. My thoughts at the time….

Crazy People.

Well, fast forward a year and here I am. It’s 6:30 am and I have just come back from my morning run.

3.5 miles in 40 minutes.

This was a slow run, even for me. The humidity this morning was at 93% and with a 72 degree temperature, it was like running through a brick wall. It’s been a long time since I sweated this much. I was sweating the minute I walked out of the door this morning.

But I digress.

Yesterday morning I was up at 4:30 and in the pool by 5:15 and proceeded to swim a total of 2,400 meters.

Yes, I am officially one of those people and loving every minute of it.

I now understand.

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Best Run All Week

Tonight’s run rocked!

Okay, okay….it’s the only run so far this week but it was a much needed stress relief!

Hale yeah!

That is all. We are off for frozen yogurt.

Posted in Running | Leave a comment

New Bike

I have the bug. The triathlon bug.

With little no time for training lately, all I can think about is registering for another triathlon. I have been putting in 13 hour days at work and dealing with stressful client situations. Throw in a virus and a sick dog and voila!

Triathlon bug.

But this time I won’t be entering the fat tire division.

I have been bike shopping and because I am a noob, I was trying to keep costs down. Well, for those of you who are bike connoisseurs, you know how expensive a new bike can be. I was in sticker shock at first, but finally resigned myself to just put up and shut up.

The family can live on ramen noodles for the next month, right?

Then, I found Penelope.

20120424-203434.jpg

The above picture is the after shot. I did not take a before shot because she was in very bad shape. A local recycled bicycle shop had just got her in and she had been sitting up for a long time. After working their magic on her, she is good as new!

I can’t wait to have the time to hit the roads and give her a good breaking in!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Saturated Saturday Run

This morning I had some motivation issues. Although I knew I needed to get a run in and stay on my training schedule, I just wasn’t feeling it. Plus, I knew I have a full weekend of work ahead of me so running was not my top priority.

Rain and thunderstorms.

Once the weather quieted down, I decided on a change of scenery for my 3 mile run. I am a creature of habit and run the same routes on a regular basis so running a new route was just what I needed to motivate me.

20120421-135408.jpg

I decided to run the walking track at Girard Park which was a muddy wet mess.

20120421-135525.jpg

Great training for the 10 mile trail run that is next in my agenda.

20120421-135644.jpg

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trying Triathlon Finish

Whew! I finally have a few minutes to write about my first triathlon experience.

I did it!

20120416-210009.jpg

It was by the hardest, but I crossed the finish line. I had issues on every leg of the triathlon. And, as you can see in my picture, I made the rookie mistake of putting on sunscreen after I got “numbered.” See the smear?

Swim.

I had a panic attack in the pool. Why? Good question. I have been training in a 25 meter pool and the swim yesterday was in a 50 meter pool. In addition, the pool I am training in has a shallow end (four feet). The triathlon pool? No. Shallow. End.

So halfway thru my first lap, I couldn’t breathe. This feeling of doom overcame me and I felt like the other end of the pool was getting farther and farther away instead of closer.

My breast stroke came in handy and I made it thru after resting a few seconds after every 50 meters. At this point I was thinking that I should have had the volunteers draw a big “L” for loser with the sharpie on my forehead.

Bike.

So, after my stellar swim performance, I transitioned to the bike. As I crossed the mount line, hopped on my bike, and started to pedal, my pedals spun and I went nowhere. Why? The chain was off.

By this point, I was almost ready to give up. I still had not caught my breath from hyperventilating in the pool and I was starting to feel very defeated. So I froze.

If it had not been for two volunteers who ran up and helped, I don’t know how long I would have just stood there staring at my bike in disbelief, while panting like a dog. It’s not like I don’t know how to put the chain back on, I just couldn’t move!

After the chain crisis was averted, I was on my merry way.

Run.

The run crisis was not too bad. Running is my strongest sport of the three and its just where I feel more comfortable. Perhaps because I have been running longer than swimming and biking.

My only issue with the run was wet, squishy socks. It was to the point of where I wanted to pull off my socks and shoes and run on the hot asphalt barefooted. But I didn’t.

I waved to Mike the Tiger (LSU’s mascot) as I ran by. He was not impressed.

Tomorrow morning it is back master’s swim class. I gotta do something about this swimming issue and overcome it before my next triathlon.

Next? Triathlon?

Did I really just type that?

20120416-213253.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments