Monday, June 30, 2008

HYC Check In

This was a great week. I finally ran a sub-40 5K, completed week 2 of 100 push ups/crunches challenge, showed a significant improvement in my push ups/crunches rank, and in most cases exceeded all of my goals.

Setting a goal to get all my fruit and veggie servings was a great move. I found myself eating less sugary snacks because I reached for the fruit or veggies first to make sure I got all my servings in and by then I didn't have room for the other snacks. I still had some ice cream/yogurt and teddy grahams here and there; but it was the exception, not the rule. I also had no red meat this week. In fact, it's been 10 days since the last time I had pork and over 3 weeks since I've had beef. I am not giving up meat entirely, but I like that it is not the focus of most of my meals anymore.

I've been hesitant to start a new running program because I will have to take a break from running in 2 weeks, for about 2 weeks, so I figured I'd start it after that. However, today I started Hal Higdon's Spring Training Novice training plan because I like structure and I figured I'll just repeat the last week once I get back into running. I've been doing my own thing similar to this and already had a 4 mile long run planned for this weekend, so I'm starting the program on week 4. It's funny, I visit his site on a regular basis and never noticed this program. I guess I am always focused on his 10K and 1/2 marathon programs, but I like the progression of this one much better than his 10K Novice program. I plan to extend it by continuing his pattern so I run 7+ miles before my first 10K in October.

Below is the full list of accomplishments from last week and a link to my goals for this week. By the way, I am hosting my own Virtual 5K in 2 weeks for the c25k_grads community, but you don't have to be part of it to participate. You don't even have to be a c25k graduate or even be doing the program. You can even walk it if you want or do the smaller 2 mile race. So check out the C25K Virtual Race Weekend and sign up today! Hope to see many of you on race day ;)

Accomplishments last week (6/22 - 6/28)
Goals for this week (6/28 - 7/5)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Push Ups/Crunches Exhaustion Test 2

I did my 2nd exhaustion test this morning and below are the results, compared to the initial test.

I feel like I cheated or something because these numbers seem too large. When I was doing the crunches, I lost count the first time at 30 or 40, so I rested and then tried again and pushed it to 60. For the push ups, I was tired and my arms hurt but I paused at the top for a second a few times and was able to keep going. I think that counts no because I could still physically do more. In fact, I physically could have probably done more of each, but whatever. I gotta tell you though, column 3 of week 3 looks very scary so we'll see tomorrow if I cheated myself for not.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Push Ups/Crunches Week 2 Update

I finished week 2 of the challenge today, instead of yesterday, because I was just too tired and sore from biking to do them yesterday. Of course, today I did it after my 5K run and I was tired, but not nearly as sore. Still, I managed to do at least the minimums each day and my weekly total is still growing! I plan to do the test tonight after I'm nice and rested.

Below are my stats. I'm playing with embedding Google spreadsheets, so let me know if you can't see this chart. View Chart

Race Report: Wee Little Virtual 5K in 38:15

WeeLittleVirtual5K (by Kitzzy)

I did it! I ran a sub-40 5K. Not only that, I ran at an average sub-12:30 pace. I have no idea how I did this (I have some thoughts--see below), but I feel great. Yes, I am tired, but I feel amazing. But seriously, look at these times. This is the fastest I've ever ran! I know it is still slow by some standards, but it's fast for me! :)

Ok, let's settle down and reflect on the whole race and what I did so right this time :)

I almost did not run this race this morning because I was feeling really sore last night after an exercise filled day: 45 min yoga in the AM, almost 10 miles of biking (to work, to the movie theater, then home), then some more yoga at night (I bought a new DVD on my way home: Yoga Conditioning for Athletes with Rodney Yee, my favorite yoga instructor). I didn't even have energy or strength to do the push ups and crunches (which I still need to do today). But it would have been a shame to skip this race seeing as how it was literally a few steps from my front door :)

I did my usual yoga warm up sequence and then the mini-workout for runners from the new DVD. I was really hungry for some reason, so I ate half a banana and drank about 8 oz of water, then headed out the door. There was a change of venue at the last minute. I planned to drive to a nearby park, but I didn't want to waste any more time or gas, so I just chose my familiar neighborhood route. The weather was great when we set off just before 7 a.m. See, the organizers of this race know better than to START a race at 7:30 a.m. during the Florida summer. Oh, and by "we" I mean me and my Garmin's Virtual Partner (henceforth known as GVP). This being a virtual race, I decide to give this feature a try and I loved it.

As it's to be expected, he started off too fast and I was behind for the first half of the race because I always start slower to conserve my energy for the end. I took a 30s walk break at about the half way point; I probably could have done without it, but that was all I needed to kick it into high gear. I quickly overtook GVP after this and never looked back. It felt great seeing him fall behind and seeing the gap between us increase at every step (I beat him by about a 1/10th of a mile and 1.75 minutes). And how cool was it that the watch told me I won when I finished! Too cool!

Part of what I think helped me greatly in this race is that I was very mindful of my form the entire time. By happenstance, I skimmed this post at the lj runners community yesterday and something must have sunk in. I made it a point to stand up straight, shoulders back and relaxed, arms relaxed close to my chest, and my pelvis tilted forward (this is key). I cannot believe how big of a difference this made. Clearly you can see it in my times, but I also felt better, more confident, and it did help propel me forward easier. Every time I felt tired or like I was slowing down, I simply checked my form, adjusted, and pushed on. I really felt like an elite runner!

I finished really strong and I didn't really feel like I was going to collapse. Even though I was eager for the race to end, and that last half mile felt grueling, not to mention the last .1 mile, I probably could have kept running (albeit slower) if my life depended on it :) Thankfully, it did not and I took a nice cool down walk for the next half mile or so.

So there you have it. My first Virtual 5K and the best race I've had yet! I can't wait to read everyone's reports!

PS - I am hosting my own Virtual 5K in 2 weeks for the c25k_grads community, but you don't have to be part of it to participate. You don't even have to be a c25k graduate or even be doing the program. You can even walk it if you want or do the smaller 2 mile race. So check out the C25K Virtual Race Weekend and sign up today! Hope to see many of you on race day ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You are a runner ...

I joined the Runner's Lounge and today is Take It and Run Thursday, where the moderators pose a challenge to the blogging community and we post our answer in our own blogs. Today's challenge is to complete the thought, "You are a runner...." in 13 words or less. Here is my contribution.
You are a runner when you see a trip as an opportunity to run someplace new.
When I first got into photography, I would look at anything as a photo opp. If I didn't want to partake in an event or trip or whatever, I would just think of the photos I would be missing out on. Now I get that same feeling with running. I am so tired of my neighborhood and desperately need a new running location. I may have to join our local running group just for some variety, but I hate the idea of driving someplace to run.

I also joined the Virtual Run Club as another way to stay motivated and accountable, as well as connect with other runners, and send in a request to join Run Your City.

Running on consecutive days

I don't think I am ready to run 5 days a week, which means running 2-3 days in a row, or I need to lower my millage for the short runs. I only managed to run 1.5 miles this morning (+ .5 mile cool down walk). I was just really tired and didn't want to do any more. It could just be that I really stressed my body yesterday with the speed intervals and I need to take it even easier the day after, at least until my body gets used to that . I also bike an average of 4.5 miles a day (rountrip to work). I need to find some kind of balance or do more yoga or sleep more. Maybe I just need to adjust my schedule so I don't run the day after speed intervals or shorten my short run at the end of the week.

Here is what I am thinking for the next week or so (this is only the running schedule and does not include biking to/from work every weekday or the push ups/crunches on MWF).
  • Fri: rest/yoga
  • Sat: Virtual 5K (long run)
  • Sun: rest/yoga
  • Mon: 2 mi
  • Tue: speed intervals*
  • Wed: rest/yoga
  • Thu: 2 mi
  • Fri: 1.5 - 2 mi
  • Sat: rest/yoga
  • Sun: long run (4 miles?)
* speed intervals = .5 mi warm up jog; 3 x .25 mi hard/.25 mi walk; .5 mi cool down jog/walk

I think what it amounts to is taking it one day at a time to allow for flexibility as long as I follow the pattern below. This would ensure I am not running more than 2 days in a row and I have a rest day before and after the long run:
  • long run
  • rest
  • short run
  • speed intervals
  • rest
  • short run
  • short run
  • rest
At some point I'll probably start an actual 10K program or 1/2 marathon program, but I am having surgery July 14th to remove a benign cyst from my left shoulder blade that will mean no running for 2 weeks (I am dreading this so much). I figured I'll just keep doing this for now and start a new program once I am cleared to run again. This will help me build a good base before I officially start training for the 10K. I am also considering a duathlon at the end of August, but we'll see how badly that break from running affects me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1st Speed Interval Run

(HYC visitors, check out the previous post for my check in and update)
This morning I did my first speed interval run and worked up quite a sweat. Thank got that the runs were only 1/4 mile each, because I may have taken them too fast. I think I just need to get used to the speed and control my breathing more. I ran/walked a total of 2.51 miles with a full 1/2 mile warm up jog. I am definitely doing this once a week. It felt great.

Here is what I did:


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HYC Check In & Fitness Update

I keep forgetting to post these on Sunday. Oh well, better late than never :) Maybe is best that I post them on Tuesday so they coincide with my HYC Check In. I didn't meet all my goals last week because I went camping and didn't bike to work 2 days due to having to go to the doctor and camping. It was still a pretty good week though, and now I am ready to take on the new week at full force. I started off great with a 3.5 miles long run yesterday morning.

Accomplishments for week 6/15 - 6/21:
  • [9.66] Biked: 9.66 miles
  • [7] Run/walk: 7 miles
  • [pre/post run poses] Yoga: 45+ mins (20 or 45 min sessions)
  • [7] Meatless Meals: 3+ for lunch or dinner (breakfast is always meatless)
  • [4] Eat Out: <=5 (this means eating out AND leftovers)
  • [✔] Push Ups: Week 1 (3 days) of Push Ups Challenge
  • [✔] Crunches: Week 1 (3 days) of Crunches Challenge
  • [✔] Water: 64+ oz per day (averaged 90 oz/day)
Goals for this week (6/22 - 28)

Run/Walk10 miles4 miles
Bike16 miles5.58 miles
Meatless Meals50% of 3 main meals/day (10/21)5/6 = 83%
Home Cooked Meals75% of 3 main meals/day (15/21)7/9 = 78%
Push Ups18550
Veggies/Fruit Servings21 (3/day)6.5
Water448 oz (64+ per day)202 oz

I'll leave you with these before and after photos (so I can show off my new haircut and highlights ;)

Before: 12/18/07
I don't have an exact weight for this date, but I have a recorded weight of 157 lbs on 11/15/07 and 152 lbs on 1/29/08, so it was somewhere in there.

ahh ... that's better (by Kitzzy)

After: 6/22/08
My weight is currently hovering around 133 lbs. So this is what a 20+ loss looks like :)

day188: new hairdo (by Kitzzy)

Push Ups/Crunches Week 1 Update

Week 1 is done! (I finished it on Friday, but I was camping and couldn't post and then I got lazy =P). I think I will post my progress weekly with a nifty little chart like this instead of after every work out. I love seeing the comparison and seeing the total numbers grow, so I'll probably just keep adding rows at the bottom of the table.

Modified push ups / Rank 3 / Column 3

Max Total Diff
w1d1c310 (+3)44
w1d3c320 (+5)68+14
Week 1
40 (+8)

Crunches / Rank 3 / Column 3 (doubled)

Max Total Diff
w3d1c120 (+5)69
w1d3c340 (+10)136+28
Week 1
80 (+15)

Long Run: 3.5 Miles

I ran 3.5 miles yesterday morning! This was my longest run yet.I've decided to take a page from Jeff Galloway's book and incorporate walking breaks into my long runs. Here is an excerpt from the page in his site about walking breaks:

Why do walk breaks work?
By using muscles in different ways from the beginning, your legs keep their bounce as they conserve resources. [...] By shifting back and forth between walking and running muscles, you distribute the workload among a variety of muscles, increasing your overall performance capacity. [...]

Walk breaks will significantly speed up recovery because there is less damage to repair. The early walk breaks erase fatigue, and the later walk breaks will reduce or eliminate overuse muscle breakdown.

My 1st mile was a warm up at a very slow pace, so I ran that whole time, then walked briskly for 1 minute. I then ran the rest 2.5 miles with 1 minute breaks after each 1/2 mile. It took me 51 minutes and I only walked a total of 5 minutes (that's about 1/10th of the distance, or just over 1/4 mile, so it is pretty insignificant). I may try it every mile next time, but I think this worked really well. I still got the same workout as if I ran the whole time, and I was able to easily increase my distance. The walk breaks allowed me to catch my breath, give my legs a quick rest, and even run a little faster knowing that I had a walking break coming up in less than 1/2 a mile. I also seemed to recover faster during my cool down walk.

Since I have the Wee Little Virtual 5K this weekend, I'll use that as my long run and try for 4 miles next week. The plan is to run 2 miles 4 days a week and long runs on Sundays. I may switch the long run to Saturdays since that is when most races are held or if things come up. I want to stay flexible with this schedule. I also want to incorporate a bit of interval speed training once a week. I think I may try that tomorrow morning and see how it goes. I am not quite sure when I want to increase the distance of the short runs. I may keep them short for now and continue increasing the long runs until 2 miles seems too easy. At some point I'll start to seriously train for that 10K in October, but I have a feeling I'll already be running that distance long before then.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Morning Run & Wee Little Virtual 5K Questionnaire

I do not know how I did it, but I got up just after 6 this morning and was out the door and running by 6:40 a.m. I took it really easy and didn't set any pace alerts or goals. I just ran. That was great. I did 2 miles in 28:40. I know I can do more if I push it, but I wanted to enjoy this and I think 2 miles will be my standard runs (3-4 times a week) with 3 miles long runs once a week. Once my long runs reach 3.5 or 4 (in about 2-4 weeks or so), I'll up the daily runs by 1/4-1/2 mile.


I am running the Wee Little Virtual 5K next weekend. Here is a little Questionnaire the organizer put together.
  1. When did you start running?
    I completed day 1 of the C25K running program on April 4, 2008.

  2. Did you follow a plan (C25K etc.) to get you started running? If so, what plan did you use? If not, how did you go about getting started?
    I used the Couch to 5K Running program, which I 100% recommend to everyone. It slowly helped me progress from walking to running and it was a huge confidence booster.

  3. Why did you start running?
    In February, I started slowly working out to get in shape and lose weight. I was mostly doing kickboxing and some walking. On March 29, I entered a 2 mile race as a way to keep me motivated that I planned to just walk. I jogged here and there then sprinted through the finish line. Running through that finish line with all those strangers cheering me on was so exhilarating that I decided then and there that I wanted to become a runner. About a week later, I started C25K.

  4. Now that you are running regularly, what do you find to be the biggest benefits?
    I have a lot more energy and I feel fit. I used to get winding going up stairs, but now I run 2-3 miles 3-4 days a week and bike 4 miles at least 4 days a week. I never thought I could run a mile, let alone 3, and that feels fantastic.

  5. What are your future plans for running? Short-term and Long-range.
    I plan to continue running regularly 4-5 times a week, slowly increasing my millage and pace. My current pace is 13-13:50 if I push myself. I would love to get down to a 10 minute mile, but I also want 2-3 miles to feel easy :) I am aiming to run Disney's Race for the Taste 10K in October and a Tampa's Half Marathon in March (or maybe the OUC 1/2 Marathon in December). I may train for a marathon in a year or 2, but I'll get through the 10K and 1/2 first before making that decision.

  6. What are your personal goals for the Virtual 5K?
    I've completed 4 5Ks so far, but only ran for the entire time during the last one and finished in 41:25. I want to increase my pace a little bit and run a sub-40 5K.

  7. Do you have a music “theme song” that you will use for this race?
    I usually have my ipod shuffle with a random selection of my "workout" music, but have a few songs I ensure always make it on there. As cliche as it is, "Eye of the Tiger" (and Weird Al's parody, "The Rye or The Keiser" ) really get me moving. There are a few other songs that do the trick too, such as "Not Gonna Get Us" by Tatu, "The Loco-Motion" by Kylie Minogue, "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol. I think there are a few others, but I can't recall what they are right now.

Goals Update
  • [9+/16] Bike: 16+ miles
  • [5+/10] Run/walk: 10+ miles
  • [0/45] Yoga: 45+ mins (20 or 45 min sessions)
  • [2/3] Meatless Meals: 3+ for lunch or dinner (breakfast is always meatless)
  • [4/5] Eat Out: <=5 (this means eating out AND leftovers)
  • [2/3] Strength: week 1 (3 days) of Push Ups & Crunches Challenge
  • [4/7] Water: 64+ oz per day

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm going to feel this tomorrow

Summary of today's activity
  • run/walk: 2.65 miles
  • bike: 4.58 miles
  • push ups: 54
  • crunches: 108
  • squats w/weights: 10
  • plank: 30s (modified)
Great Start
Today started great (except for the fact that I did not wake up in time to run). I was ecstatic that I weighed 131.4 this morning--finally showing a .6 loss since my 132 weigh-in on 5/30. Ever since then, it has either stayed the same or gone up and hovered near 133. We'll see if that holds tomorrow--I somehow doubt it. I drank 24 ounces of water, ate an oatmeal bar and banana for breakfast, and ate a tuna sandwich for lunch, all before noon. But, then ...

"Fried" Ice Cream, Yikes!
Jason said they were going to Maria Bonita (local mexican restaurant) with a friend of ours from Melbourne that is in town. I decide to go and just munch on some chips and salsa and maybe a bite of his food. I figured that since I had already eaten, and I am not a big fan on Mexican food anyway, it would be ok. WRONG! I got a free chicken soup (it comes with every meal--and apparently even if you don't order anything), which was actually really good. But then I spend the rest of the time eyeing the dessert menu and order "fried" ice cream. Is basically a ball of vanilla ice cream, covered in crumpled graham crackers and corn flakes (they supposedly then deep fry this but I had them skip that part). It was SOOO good. Thankfully, I had 3 guys to helped me eat it, but I should have just stayed in my office.

Running, Take I
I had every intention of running on my way home from work, but since we leave tomorrow after work to camp, I needed the bike at home to switch out my tires. So I rode my bike home and promptly went for a run before the rain started. The rain decided to just stay away and it was so hot that all I managed was 1 mile, but I also was running pretty fast (12:41).

Push Ups/Crunches
So I came home and did day 2 of the push ups/crunches challenge. I decided that it would bother me to be in different weeks for crunches, so I am going to do the same week/day for both and just double the numbers for crunches. This was tough, but totally doable. Last time we did the entire push up workout and then the crunches workout. This time I had the brilliant idea of alternative between the two so I would do the crunches during the push ups rest and vice versa. I also did a modified plank for 30 seconds. I was exhausted when I finished, and I could only do the minimum for the max level for a total of 54 push ups and 108 crunches. Not sure if the alternating thing was a bad idea, or if it was just that I had biked 2 miles and ran a mile before this workout.

Running, Take II
Once the sun disappeared, and my dinner settled a bit, I went for another mile run in a light drizzle. It was kind of nice running in the rain, but I don't think I could do it if it was any heavier. I just don't like being wet and cold. I ran this one a lot slower (14:35), but it felt great. Man I had missed running. This is the first time I run since Saturday. I am hoping to get up tomorrow morning and run some more since I've been a slacker lately. We'll see how that goes.

Goals Update
  • [9.66/16] Bike: 16+ miles
  • [3/10] Run/walk: 10+ miles
  • [0/45] Yoga: 45+ mins (20 or 45 min sessions)
  • [2/3] Meatless Meals: 3+ for lunch or dinner (breakfast is always meatless)
  • [4/5] Eat Out: <=5 (this means eating out AND leftovers)
  • [2/3] Strength: week 1 (3 days) of Push Ups & Crunches Challenge
  • [4/7] Water: 64+ oz per day

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

HYC Check In & Fitness Update

I just realized I never posted my update at the end of last week, so today's HYC post will serve as both. We won't talk about my weight because it is still yo-yoing and hovering around 133. I guess we just talked about it *lol* But I have plenty of accomplishments in the exercise front.

Accomplishments for week of 6/8 - 6/14
  • Ran the Race into Summer 5K without walking in 41:25
  • Ran 3.1 miles (5k) without walking (3 times)
  • Biked: 15+ miles
  • Ran/walked: 11+
  • Strength : 4
  • Yoga: 1-45 m Yoga for Weight Loss + 2-20m AM Yoga
  • Vegetarian meals: 10
  • Ate Out: Longhorn + CPK + leftovers
Goals for this week and progress so far:
  • Bike: 16+ miles [5 miles]
  • Run/walk: 10+ miles
  • Yoga: 45+ mins (20 or 45 min sessions)
  • Meatless Meals: 3+ for lunch or dinner (breakfast is always meatless)
  • Eat Out: <=5 (this means eating out AND leftovers) [3/5]
  • Strength: week 1 of 100 Push Ups & Crunches Challenge [1/3]
  • Water: 64+ oz per day (2/7)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 1 of Push Ups/Crunches Challenge

After much deliberation, I decided to do the push up challenge with modified push ups first so I could actually get through the program. I did another test this morning and managed 18 modified push ups. I probably could have pushed it to 20, but either way I would still be at rank 3.

So I did week 1-day 1-column 3 (w1d1c1) this afternoon and I made it. Jason and I alternated counting for each other so we could rest while the other did each level. The first 2 levels were easy enough (well, easy is relative). It definitely got harder at the end, and I didn't know where I was going to find the strength to do at least 7 for the last level. But after my boyfriend pushed his max to 20, I had to try for at least 10, and I did it!

I am using the same progression for crunches, but since I could do 25 in a row this morning, I started on week 3-day 1-column1 (w3d1c1). Jason thinks I may not be coming up far enough, but I think he was actually doing sit ups, while I was doing crunches. But it makes me wonder because I got through this fairly easily and managed a max of 20 at the end. Maybe I should have just started in column 2?

Below are my current stats for both. For the "Max" row, the number in parenthesis denotes how many of the total listed is above the minimum required for that day. I sure like seeing that total number at the end there. I think that is what will keep me going through this process. Regardless of how many we are doing in a row, that total number is going to go up every single day we do this and that is pretty damn empowering and encouraging.


VersionModified Push-UpsCrunches
Rank3 (18 in a row)3 (25 in a row)
Max10 (+3)20 (+5)
Total44 (+18=62)69 (+25=94)

If you are taking on the challenge, be sure to sign up and be listed on the site. Also, there is an LJ community for each to share your progress and stay motivated: [info]100_pushups and [info]100_crunches .

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Race Report: ORC Race into Summer 5K

Well, I made it. I ran the whole thing, minus the 2 tiny walk breaks (~ 5 sec ea) I took to drink some water. The race wasn't timed (except for the main clock) so I am grateful for my Garmin watch. According to the watch, I finished in 41:25. Jason, who says he walked most of the last mile, still managed to outrun me by 8 or 9 minutes.

I know that I started too fast, but to me it seemed like I was standing still. I simply could not get my legs to go slower than a 13:00 pace, but I eventually settled into a decent pace and finished mile 1 in 13:45. I sped up a tad to finish mile 2 in 13:19, but mile 3 was rough. My legs were really tired and it was HOT, yet I wasn't really too out of breath yet. I somehow managed to go just a tad faster and finish mile 3 in 13:01. I felt like I had nothing left in me to make my legs go faster, but somehow I muster one last bit of strength and crossed that last .1 mile (.12 by my watch) in 1:21, then promptly collapsed (figuratively speaking) =)

My time was about 30s slower than by best practice run this week, but about 20s faster than my fastest 5K race so far, so I'll take it. Honestly, it is a miracle I did this well after the fall from my bike on Wednesday. My hips, thighs and butt are still sore, and my right knee was bothering me a bit. It didn't really hurt while running, but I didn't want to push it. Not to mention that it was a lot hotter out this morning at 7:30 than during my 2 practice runs this week, which I happened to run at night after a rain storm. So all things considered, this was a great race.

I was exhausted when I finished and felt a bit sick to my stomach. The heat was really getting to me. Because this was a hand scored race, they handed us these cards to fill out at the finish line. Seriously, they should not have anything that requires you to stop moving for at least 1/2 mile after the finish line. I did not want to stop walking, so I shoved it at Jason to fill out for me while I went to get some water. Even though I felt really beat and kinda ill, it really did not take that long for me to recover this time. I just couldn't stop walking.

I was going to run in just my running skirt and sports bra, but it was cool when we left the house so I put on a running shirt. Then I didn't know where I'd put my bib, so I just kept the shirt on. I wish I'd taken it off because it may have helped me keep cooler during the race. This was my 3rd run in the skirt and I am simply not sold on it yet. Even with body glide, I don't like the feeling of my thighs rubbing together. It wasn't bad during the race itself, and I am not chaffed, but it was not really comfortable to walk around in it afterwards. So I think I'll stick to my biking shorts from now on.

The race was very low key. There was no timing chip and the start and finish lines were drawn on the grown with chalk. I almost missed the start line to start my watch. It made the finish very anti-climatic. This was also our first out and back race. We were a tad worried because the path was kind of narrow and it didn't seem like it could accommodate runners on both sides. It turned out fine, as I figured it would.

Oh, I almost forgot. There were news cameras there (damn I wanted to get a picture but was too exhausted after the race to form any coherent thoughts) because a local runner was found dead after running in the park just a few days ago. I saw the camera man running beside me as I started the race, so maybe my cute little skirted behind will be on the news. It was nice of the race organizers to have a moment of silence for her before the race started and remind us to be safe while running.

PS - According to the official race results, my time was 40:17. Not sure how there is over a minute discrepancy, but I'll take it! :)

100 push ups & crunches

I just stumbled upon this and thought I'd share, and try to persuade you to try it too ;)

Jason and I plan to start the the hundred push ups training program next week and thought some of you may want to join me. In 6 weeks, we should be able to do 100 push ups in a row! We are going to adapt the program for crunches as well, realizing that we'll probably start at a different level for crunches than push ups as those are easier to do.

Now, this is supposed to be 100 real push ups. However, when I tried the initial test (to see where in the program you should start), I found that my arms can barely hold my body weight and I can't seem to do a single one. However, I can do the girl push ups (with knees bent), so I might complete the program twice. I'd start with girl push ups, and once I can do 100 of those, I'd do the program again with full push ups.

When I tried the test again, I managed 2-3, but I can't come all the way to the ground or I can't lift myself back up. I come pretty close, so maybe I'll try full push ups on day 1 and see how it goes. If not, I'll go back to my original plan of doing girl push ups. I can do 8-10 of those. With crunches I think I'd start at column 3 because I can easily do 10+

So, who's with me!?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


day177: wipeout (by Kitzzy)
Yesterday I fell off my bike when I got to work and bruised my knee. Although the bruise hurt a lot, it did not seem to affect my mobility. However, this morning I feel like I was hit by a truck. My hips and butt feel like they are bruised too and pretty much my entire body hurts. I didn't really feel like this fall was that bad, but I can't think of what else happened yesterday that may be causing these pains. I suppose it could also be late effects from Tuesday's run.

I am taking it easy today and tomorrow, which means no biking or kickboxing, and hoping it all works itself out of my system for Saturday morning's race. I can't help but think that I overdid it and now I am going to pay for it. I know I'll still be able to run the entire race on Sat, as long as these aches go away, but I am no longer sure of the speed. I am just going to focus on running the whole thing and finishing. There will always be other races and my health is more important. I may go for a walk tonight or tomorrow to loosen up my muscles, and because I may go crazy if I just sit around and do nothing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5k Run #2: 40:56

I don't typically run when I get home because 1) it is usually too hot and 2) I don't want to run after biking 2 miles (~ 14 minutes). However, it rained today and when I got home it was nice and overcast. The clouds looked like they were moving in the opposite direction, so I set out to run. I do not know why, but I could not get my stride today. I struggled through the whole thing. It seemed that the faster I ran, the farther the finish got. It was nice and cool, so it was not the heat. Maybe it was the wind, or that I was running a tad faster, or maybe I was more tired from the bike ride than I thought. I also don't think I am used to my new shoes yet.

Anyway, I ran 3.1 miles again, so now I know I can do this and the first time was not a fluke =P Here are my split times from today compared to Monday.

Avg Pace12:5212:38

As you can see, even though it did not feel like it as I was running, I did it faster too: almost 1 1/2 minutes faster. If I can just shave off one more minute, I can run a sub-40 5k! I think I can do that :) Though I need to remember that it will be a lot hotter on Saturday, so I shouldn't be disappointed if I it takes me longer.

When I started walking, I felt a slight twinge on my right knee; it was nothing major but I was conscious of it. I think I was overcompensating for this the whole time so I would not get hurt and my stride suffered (it did not really hurt when I was running but I think I was being overly cautious so it wouldn't). This knee (on top and just below the knee actually) tends to act up from time to time, so I think is overuse. As much as I want to, I don't think I'm going to run again until Saturday because I do not want to risk injury and not be able to run Sat. I would be so mad if that happened. I think I will stick to my biking and just go for an easy walk on Thursday. Maybe do a bit of strength training on the knee. What are good exercises for that? Squats and lunges, right?

HYC Check In

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I did not lose any weight this week, and I may have gained a pound, but I worked out a lot more so I gained muscle and it was also my TOM. I am well on my way to running the 5K on Saturday, so right now I am focusing on exercise and I know the pounds/inches will eventually will come off.

Accomplishments since last check in:
Progress on this week's goals:
  • Run 3.1 miles (5k) without walking [DONE]
  • Bike at least 20 miles [6.59 miles]
  • Run/walk at least 10 miles [4.14 miles]
  • Core exercises at least 3 days [2]
  • QF Cardio Kick at least 2 days
  • 45m Yoga at least 1 day
  • Eat at least 3 vegetarian meals (meatless monday) [DONE]
  • Eat out at most 3 times [so far so good]
  • Complete my 4th 5k race without walking in under 42 minutes (preferably in under 40) [on Saturday]

Monday, June 9, 2008

Meatless Monday Update

I've had great success with Meatless Monday the past few weeks. At first, I was just eating seafood instead of beef, pork, or chicken; but the last few weeks I've had no meat at all on Mondays. The nice side effect is that I often end up having at least a meatless lunch the next day (and breakfast because I never have meat for breakfast). So here is what I ate instead.

6/9 Food Log:

breakfast: banana, oatmeal to go bar
lunch: morningstar basil and tomato pizza burger, raw yellow squash
dinner: pesto tomato pasta w/morning star Grillers Recipe Crumbles
snacks: teddy grahams, quaker granola bar, ice cream with teddy grahams

6/2 Food Log:

breakfast: banana
lunch: pita pizza
dinner: tofu and veggie stir fry, white rice
snacks: goldfish, chocolate covered almonds

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I did it! Couch to 5k in 65 days!

day174: Couch to 5K in 65 days! (by Kitzzy)
Armed with my new running shoes and socks, I set out to run 3.1 miles tonight and I did it!!

I ran 3.1 miles!!
Hell yeah!!

I ran it in 42:24, and I felt good during and after the run too. The last mile was hard because I was tired and I wanted it to end, but it was totally doable. I probably could have kept going if I had to, but I am glad I didn't have to :) I started slow, so I had plenty left for the last mile, and I kicked it into high gear for the finish.

Split times:
mile 1 = 14:39
mile 2 = 13:51
mile 3 = 12:54
.1 = 1:00
Total: 3.1 miles in 42:24 minutes, avg pace: 12:52
With the warm up and cool down walk, I covered a total of 4.14 miles

It feels so good to know I can do this, so that is one less thing to worry about for Saturday's 5K. I want to try to finish the race in under 40 minutes. I know that is almost 2.5 minutes faster than today's run, but I took it slow today. I wanted to focus on going the distance so I would know I had it in me before I pushed myself , but I know I can do it a little faster. I plan to run on Tuesday and try to push myself a little to see if I can do it faster. I may run Thursday, but since it is so close to the 5K I want to take it easy and reserve my energy for Saturday.

For those of you who like numbers: it took me 65 days from the first run to reach 3.1 miles. Because I ran every other day (instead of 3 specific days a week), I ran 4 days some weeks. That means it only took me 9 weeks and 2 days to complete C25K.

Fitness Update: no change

I didn't lose any weight this week. I may have put on a pound, but my scale was being temperamental, much like my body because my TOM is here. However, I was very active this week and over achieved all my fitness goals, so I probably also gained some muscle. I bought new running shoes yesterday and some other running gear. I didn't get up early enough this morning, but I plan to run tonight and try to reach that 5k distance. I'll just start really slow so I can cover the distance. I'll work on speed later in the week, but my goal for Sat is to run the whole thing and to hopefully do it in under 42 minutes (I would love to do it in under 40, but I think that may be a bit ambitious since I'll have to start slow to make it. We'll see).

I finally did some strength training this week. Instead of weights, I am just going to focus on my core, so I came up with this routine (mostly based on this article and exercises from the Metabolism Booster segment of 10 Minute Solution - Carb and Calorie Burner).
  1. Push Ups (2 x 10)
  2. Standard Crunches (10)
  3. Bicycle Crunches (10)
  4. Reverse Crunches (10)
  5. Basic Plank (30 sec)
  6. Plank Weight Shift (10)
  7. Plank Knee Drop Crunch (10)
  8. Plank Knee Drop Oblique Crunch (10)
  9. Plank Leg Lifts (10)
  10. Side Plank Dips (10)
  11. Supermans (10)
  12. Heel Touches (10)
I don't do all of these every time, but I hope to work up to that eventually as well as add more reps and a few of the other exercises from that article in a week or 2 once I get comfortable with these. I also want to alternate between these and 10-20 minutes from Quick Fix Cardio Kick.

Accomplishments for week of 6/1 - 6/7:
  • Ran 2.5 miles & then 2.85 miles without walking
  • Biked: 24+ miles
  • Ran/walked: 12+ miles
  • Core exercises: 3 days
  • 45 Min Yoga for Weight Loss: 2 days
  • Ate out only 3 times: brunch at Sweet Tomatoes on Sunday, dinner at Macaroni Grill on Wednesday, Olive Garden for lunch on Thursday
Goals for the upcoming week:
  • Run 3.1 miles (5k) without walking
  • Complete my 4th 5k race without walking in under 42 minutes (preferably in under 40)
  • Bike at least 20 miles
  • Run/walk at least 10 miles
  • Core exercises at least 3 days
  • QF Cardio Kick at least 2 days
  • 45m Yoga at least 1 day
  • Eat at least 3 vegetarian meals (meatless monday)
  • Eat out at most 3 times

Friday, June 6, 2008

2.85 Miles! (W10D3 - W8D1 revisited)

Last night I convinced myself I would have to take today off from running because my body needed a rest, so when I woke up at 6 a.m. I just went back to sleep. When I finally got up, I realized I felt great and my legs didn't even hurt. Damn it! I could have ran, but now it was too late, so I got ready and rode my bike to work.

After a light dinner of fish and sweet potato, I anxiously killed time and finally went out to run around 7:30 p.m. It was still a little warm but I was itching to get out there. The run went pretty good. This is still not a walk in the park, but I always feel amazing when I finish and realize what I've just done. I ran 2.85 miles today. Let me say that again.

I RAN 2.85 MILES!!

Who the hell is this person? I don't recognize myself any more. Every time I finish a run lately, while I am walking that 1/2 mile to cool down, I am in awe of myself and how far I've come in just 10 weeks. I have no doubt that by next Saturday I will be more than ready to run that entire 5K.

Splits (pace):
mile 1 = 14:29
mile 2 = 14:08
finish (.85) = 13:17
Total: 2.85 miles in 39:53 minutes, avg pace: 13:58
With the warm up and cool down walk, I covered a total of 3.76 miles

Yeah, I know I could have pushed myself and just done the 3, but I was pushing myself from 2.5 and since I had only set my watch for 3 miles I realized that if I did 3 it would bother me that I didn't just go the extra .1 (if I hit 3 and kept going I wouldn't have accurate data--yes I am that OCD =P) Anyway, I exceeded my goal for today, and I still have 2-3 more runs where I'll hit that 5k mark before the race so I am thrilled with 2.85 miles today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

W10D2 (W7D2 revisited)

It seems every good run must be followed by a challenging one. I didn't want to get up this morning. When I woke up, my calves hurt, and I wasn't sure I should run. I decided to get up, do a bit of yoga and see how I felt. I am usually sore just laying in bed, but I am fine once I start moving around. I felt good after the warm up/stretch, so I headed out. I walked a full 1/2 mile at a very brisk pace for the warm up then begin to run. About 2/3 into the first mile, my iPod died. I always wanted to try running without music, so I guess I got my wish. It wasn't so bad except that all I had to focus on was how far I had left to run.

My splits:
Mile 1 - 14:08
Mile 2 - 13:48
Finish (.5) - 13:15
Total: 2.5 miles in 34:34 minutes, avg pace: 13:83
With the warm up and cool down walk, I covered a total of 3.51 miles

My pace overall was slower than Monday, but I am ok with that. I do not need to push myself every time I run and it was warmer since I started after 7 a.m. I think I like running at night better (at least I seem to do better), or maybe is just that I need to actually get out there at 6 a.m. :) One of the reasons I decided to go for the run this morning, instead of trying to fit it in tonight, was because the race will be at 7:30 a.m. and I need to get my body used to running when is warmer.

I will definitely start slower at the 5K race so I have enough steam for the end. I want to run the whole thing and finish strong. It's only .6 miles more than I have done so far, so I think I can do it if I pace myself well. I'll run at least 2.75 miles before then so it will only be at most .26 miles longer than my longest run. As if you did not see it coming, I've yet again changed my mind about my running schedule. I think revisiting weeks 7-9 has worked well so far, so I think I will continue with that through next week and start the new schedule 1-2 weeks after the race once I've officially graduated from C25K. I don't want to push myself too much before the race and I want to give my body a rest after. So here is my current plan until the race and the following week or so:

Fri6/6W7D3 - 2.5 milesif I feel good, I'll run a tad extra to get closer to 2.75, maybe 2.65
Sat6/7rest / crossprobably a bike ride and some yoga
Sun6/8W8D1 - 2.75 miles
Mon6/9rest / crossbike to work and maybe some yoga or strength training
Tue6/10W8D2 - 2.75 milesif I feel good, I'll run a tad extra to get closer to 3, maybe 2.85
Wed6/11rest / crossbike to work and maybe some yoga or strength training
Thu6/12W8D2 - 2.75 milesif I feel good, I'll run a tad extra to get closer to 3, but I don't want to push it too much so close to the race. At the same time, I'd love to actually run 5K prior to the race
Fri6/13rest / yoganothing extraneous on this day, including biking to work. I may go for a short walk, eat a nice pasta dinner, do some yoga before bed, and go to bed early
Sat6/145K Race(will also count as W9D1)
Sun6/15YOGA!A true day of rest with lots of yoga, stretching and taking it easy. I'll probably be going to my parents for Father's Day anyway.
Mon6/16rest / crossbike to work and maybe some yoga or strength training
Tue6/17W9D2 - 3 miles
Wed6/18rest / crossbike to work and maybe some yoga or strength training
Thu6/19W9D3 - 3 miles C25K GRADUATION!!
Fri6/20rest / crossHiking / geocaching while camping?
Sat6/21rest / crossHiking / geocaching while camping?
Sun6/22Start new running schedulewith 3 mile long run

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Addicted to Fitness

I can now see why some people workout everyday. I've been running and biking so regularly lately that I actually miss it when I don't get to do it. I think I actually get cranky.

It is getting too hot out and it was supposed to rain today, so I did not bike my usual 4 miles to and from work. I came home early and took a nap, which seemed to energize me because I then went for a bike ride and caught up on some of my other exercises. Here is what I did today:
This is the longest I've ever ridden a bike (at least since I was a child). I've ridden 8 miles round trip to Target, but I had a break while I shopped. This was 6 miles straight and I felt like I could have done more.

I think instead of my "lift weight" goal, I am just going to change that to strength training because I think these should be enough to tone my upper body without having to lift weights and I am more likely to fit in some push ups than lift weights.

I think running and biking must help with flexibility because when doing yoga the last few times, I noticed I don't need to use the blocks as much in some of the poses because I can reach to the floor.

Progress update on this week's goals:

- Run 2.5 miles without walking [DONE]
- Bike at least 12 miles [6]
- Run/walk at least 10 miles [5.63]
- Lift weights Strength training at least 1 day [DONE]
- Yoga at least 1 day [DONE]
- Eat out at most twice [went to Sweet Tomatoes for Brunch on Sunday]

HYC Check In

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For my HYC visitors, here is a list of my accomplishments since last week's check in (linked to relevant posts for details):

- Completed C25k (can run 30+ minutes straight - hope to run 5km on Sunday)
- Ran 2.5 miles yesterday in under 33 minutes
- Fit into a size 2 skirt (pants are still at least a 4)
- 20 lbs gone!
- Had another truly Meatless Monday yesterday (I need to write a post about this. I made tofu for the first time, and it was quite yummy)

Progress so far on this week's goals:

- Run 2.5 miles without walking [DONE]
- Bike at least 12 miles [none yet, maybe tonight]
- Run/walk at least 10 miles [5.63]
- Lift weights at least 1 day [none yet, maybe tonight]
- Yoga at least 1 day [none yet, maybe tonight]
- Eat out at most twice [went to Sweet Tomatoes for Brunch on Sunday]

Monday, June 2, 2008

2.5 Miles! Hell Yeah! (W10D1 - W7D1 revisited)

I just had my first 2.5 mile run and it was my best run yet! I kept a great pace and it felt amazing! I was pushing myself to go a little faster at each mile, but it did not feel like it. I finished strong and I even kept jogging at a slow pace a tad bit more to ease into the cool down walk because coming to a dead stop to walk from running at 12:25 is never a good thing. I think I finally learned to pace myself and how to set the watch properly to help me. I basically set up a workout with different pace zones for each lap so that I don't run too fast or too slow. It worked out great!

My splits:

Mile 1 - 13:29
Mile 2 - 13:08
Finish (.5) - 12:25
Total: 2.5 miles in 32:49 minutes, avg pace: 13:08
With the warm up and cool down walk, I covered a total of 3.32 miles

Now that I finished C25K by time, I was going to redo weeks 7-9 for distance but I may be altering that a bit because I want to start running 5 days a week. Here is the schedule I came up with, which is bound to change a ton of times before or after I start it =P

[SUN] long run: 2.75 - 3 mi
[MON] rest / yoga
[TUE] easy run: 1.5 mi
[WED] intervals at faster pace: 3 x .25 mi run / .25 mi walk
[THU] easy run: 1.5 mi
[FRI] rest / CT (walk / yoga)
[SAT] easy run: 1.5 mi

Each run would include an additional mile or so for the warm up and cool down at a brisk walk or very slow jog. The plan is to increase the long run distance by 1/2 mile every other week, then do the same for the other runs on alternating weeks.

I think I will finish this week running 2.5 miles every other day, then start this schedule on Sunday and see how close to 3 miles I can get. I'll shoot for 2.75 on Sunday and see how I feel after that and if I have that extra 1/4 mile in me. I think if I start slow and pace myself well like I did today, I can do it! I can't wait!


Now let's back up a bit, because the day did not start as great as it ended, which is why this is an even bigger win!

I wasn't feeling well last night or this morning when I woke up, so I did not get up early to run. I took a sick day. Around 10ish, I was feeling better so I decided to try to run. BIG mistake. It was supposed to rain today, so I figured it might not be so bad. It did not feel that hot when I left. I even wore my running skirt and just a sports bra to stay cool. After the 5 minute warm up walk, I ran about 1.25 miles before the heat got to me and then just walked a 1/2 mile home. I was drenched when I got done. I figured I'd run the difference tonight after dinner and then try again for the 2.5 miles on Wednesday.

As I was finishing dinner, it started to rain and the power went out. Things did not look good for running again tonight. The rain stopped around 8 p.m. and Jason agreed to come running with me. He urged me to try the 2.5 miles again and I warned him that meant I had to start really slow. He kept walking for a bit longer after I started running but eventually caught up with me and past me. I kept my pace and finally caught up with him at the end. He went home as I finished the last 3/4 mile and my cool down. I am SOOOOO glad I went out again and tried for the whole distance. Man this feels so GOOD!
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