Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon

Fitness and Diet

I’m just two days back from the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. This was my first race of this distance, and was a belated birthday gift to myself. I’m still rather beat up from it, but I’m so glad to have done it. It was a great event.

I feel like I’m still short of time and energy to share all that went on with this event. It wasn’t just a race, because I see this as an amazing step on a long journey. I’ve fought, kicking and screaming and at times, just quiet determination, to get to where I am today. The race was a rite of passage. Even though I’ve now run a distance greater than the distance between my home town (suburb) and the nearest urban area, I feel like I now should be striving to run farther. It may be a type of insanity – or liberation (or both?)

Last year, medical issues and profound loss seriously thrashed me. This year, I picked up the pieces, got back on track with weight loss (I have lost about 130 lbs in the past 3 years), and started training for distance. This race was my celebration of accomplishments in a tangible way. For the first time in my life, I’ve reached a point where I can do something I’ve never been able to do before.

My race time was 2:15:21, which was my conservative guess time. I wanted to do faster, but at 2000 ft above sea level (Las Vegas’ elevation), I think I was having trouble getting the oxygen I needed to do so.

Other than the race, I really enjoyed the weekend in Vegas, and really enjoyed our stay at the Wynn. I indulged in a post-run spa experience, which I can only believe has made my body feel SO much better than it would have otherwise.

I’m taking the week off of exercise (maybe stretching/yoga), and plan to get back into a regular fitness routine. I, however, am done with racing til spring (I think!) I’ll keep this blog posted (for my 2 readers!)

Changes in Plans

Fitness and Diet

Wow – long time no post! I’ve been in New York since last Wednesday, when my husband and I were called out here due to his grandfather’s health being rather precarious at the time. This meant that I had to cancel birthday plans as well as my plans to run the Seattle 1/2 Marathon, which was to also be my birthday celebration.

Luckily, fitness wise, my 1/2 marathon dreams are still in the running – I am scheduled to run the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon next weekend.

Of course, as I usually do the week of my birthday, I am coming down with a head cold, and am laying low, being whiney, and craving a burrito (where’s a good burrito near Scarsdale?!)

I was ab it ambitious when I logged onto Blogger today – so I think that’s it for the update. I guess a bit of recap – I’ve been able to do up to 9 mi (including yesterday) so I think I’m in good shape for the 1/2. I’m still debating on following through with the Bikilas, but I’ve come this far, so why not?

OK, more rest awaits!

Losing Steam, and Fast

Fitness and Diet

Uh-oh. I’ve reached the 2 workout per week zone. That’s not entirely true, but I only attempted jogging TWICE last week. I did, however, add weight training back into the routine AND did a 10.5 mile walk/hike between Ballard and Magnolia on Saturday (that took me up a cliff at Discovery Park). My calves are still a little tender from that one, though I made it through the entire hike rather remarkably.

I purchased some size 12 jeans at American Eagle Outfitters on Friday, and am waiting for them to be shipped (I had to have them shipped due to my short stature.) This makes these jeans the smallest size I’ve purchased as an adult. My weight is still hovering above the 160 mark, but I stand at over 100 pounds lost, and have decreased from a plus sized 24-26 to a misses 12. This still puts me at about a 14-16 when it comes to modern fashion sizing, but still, it’s a pretty far leap.

I was just reading the latest Marie Claire magazine about a woman who did a relay with her husband across New Zealand (heck if I can actually find the web version). She started at a size 12 and ended up a size 4 – and I don’t want to say that my hope in fitness is a smaller size, but there’s a novelty in it considering I’ve been large my whole life.

I have yet to go to a Team in Training practice – and it’s becoming something that I avoid because I keep avoiding it. I’m worried about overtraining, and wonder if crazy athletics is what I want to go towards.

One thing’s for sure, though. Hiking up that cliff at Disco Park was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time.

Good Run Thursday

Fitness and Diet

Yesterday I had a really great run. I walked for 4 minutes, jogged for 22, and then walked for the last 4 – and THEN did some strength training at my gym. Overall, it was a fantastic day, and though I’m achey this morning, yesterday’s work out felt really, really good. Some the the achiness I attribute to the strength training. I need to find a good way to tone my abs, as that I hate most of them, and the ones I don’t hate wrench my back (because I’m doing it wrong, I’m sure.)

My pace for my walk/run averaged at 11:10/mi. My heart rate still got a little high if I want to stay in the moderate training range, but wasn’t too crazy, so I feel like I’m doing well. I look forward to see how my run Saturday will be, since it will be my first 30+ minutes running during a week of regular exercise for a few weeks.

I haven’t managed to make it to a Team in Training practice yet – mostly because I’m still unsure as to my ability to do the event, both running and fundraising-wise.

Rethinking Training (with a little help from my friends)

Fitness and Diet

As I’m looking into braving the chill (damn chill!) of the outdoors today to get a jog in, I thought I’d take up my pal Emily‘s offer to calculate a training schedule.

2010-04-27: 10 20 30
2010-05-04: 11 22 33
2010-05-11: 12 24 36
2010-05-18: 13 26 39
2010-05-25: 10 21 31
2010-06-01: 13 27 41
2010-06-08: 15 30 45
2010-06-15: 16 33 50
2010-06-22: 13 26 40

I can still go out for my 30 minutes total (longer on my slow run days, right Emily?), but I can walk when I’m not jogging – or at least, I think that’s the way I plan it. Last week I did 1x30min and 1×20 min, and walked a fair amount during the week. Today, I might set up to do 10 minutes walk, 11 minutes run, and 9 minutes walk to get me through the end. It sounds about what I’m up for today, and will get me out there, which will be better than me continuing to just sit on the bench.

The sun is out – so perhaps it’s time to go out for a jog, eh?

First Run After Rest

Fitness and Diet

Yesterday I dragged myself out of the house to do my first run after one week of rest. I stuck to 30 minutes, and despite not figuring out how to set my Garmin to beep at me when my heart rate went over 148 bpm, I was pleased with how I did. I ended up doing 2.79 miles in those 30 minutes, and stayed rather consistently under 11 minutes per mile the entire time.

My joints, however, are not feeling so good today. Specifically, my big toe joint (bunion) was particularly unhappy. I’ve been using my Healthy Toes after runs and in the evening to stretch my toes out. I have no evidence this will do anything, but it’s kind of fun, and I like the idea that it might help. I also picked up some Boiron Sportenine at my local co-op over the weekend, with the hopes that the homeopathic (or placebo) might work to ease some of my training pain.

I definitely woke up to full body aches this morning, though I feel like I slept better. Emotionally, I feel a bit more on-edge, and a little more anxious. I’m not entirely sure that strenuous exercise is good for me. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m going about this wrong.

I plan to try another run tomorrow, to get myself back in the routine. Again, I don’t plan on doing more than 30 minutes.

I feel like I’m trying to walk a tight-rope between health and well-being. Every day I’m inundated with different ideas of what health can be. I just hope I’m choosing the best path.

Week of Rest Near End

Fitness and Diet

Tomorrow rounds up my week of rest since I came to the conclusion that I was overtraining.

So far, I’ve managed to do pretty well, despite the fact that I’ve been wanting to eat more despite not burning as many calories. My joints are finally starting to not complain as much, though the rain has made my bunions particularly painful when I’m walking outside.

A few friends that I’ve talked to have convinced me that I don’t need to run a full marathon. At this point (and after reading up on it) I’m questioning even a half marathon. I want to do it right – not just do it for the sake of doing it. I also don’t want to cause myself a lot of damage. I’ve already got painful bunions, I really don’t need a bum knee, wrenched back, or anything like that.

I hesitate, because part of me wanted to be awesome. I think that running is awesome (and fun), but I also have respect for competitive distance runners, who are perhaps more crazy than I, but have what it takes to get into the Boston Marathon. I’ve heard rumors that some old-school runners bemoan the fact that average times for marathons have decreased over the years, mostly due to people like me entering the sport at a lower level, and doing it for the sake of doing it, instead of elite athlete competition.

Let’s face it – our country could use more of the idea that being active is fun. For all of us who sit behind a computer, tv, video game for most of the day – it’s good to have a hobby that actually peels us up from our chairs. Competition and/or challenge and community are just some of what makes a hobby worth it. Not to mention the pride of completion, be it a sweater for your best girlfriend or a 5K. A friend of mine tried to convince me that swimming may be the best fitness, especially for its low-impact and high reward (if you really swim instead of just hopping in the pool.)

The past month or so I’ve been living off of endorphins. I’ve found out that I don’t get a defined high from running, but I do get a respite from my troubles. As another friend (I’ve been listening to a lot of friends) said to me, it’s a way to help you feel less pain so you can go the distance. Emotional pain seems to be another thing it softens, but I can tell you, the backlash these past few weeks have been horrible. Very topsy-turvy.

I look forward to my next run – which may be only 20 minutes long, and likely, on Thursday. I look forward to seeing how my body takes it, if my new Garmin was a good choice, and if I think that the Team in Training will be reasonable.

I’m still on the fence about the Team in Training, mainly because I need to take care of myself first. Mentally and physically.