Friday, January 31, 2014

Against All Odds

I signed up for my gym online so I didn't do a regular orientation. And since I don't really like people that much, at least I don't like strangers that much, I ignored the very nice woman who called to tell me that I could come in at anytime and get an orientation. Why would I do that? I know how to work a treadmill and that's all I care about.

The treadmills at the gym have their own television screen. They turn on automatically when the treadmill turns on. I cannot figure out how to turn them off. I also can't figure out how to change the channel. If I'm going to forced to watch a t.v. at least let it be a channel I enjoy! Nope. I've been forced to watch Comedy Central both times (on two different treadmills). I had to watch "Workaholics" on Wednesday night and "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" last night. I am not a fan of either show. If you are a fan, good for you, they're both just a little too awkward for me. Awkward, uncomfortable situations make me cringe, even when they're made-up.

At least I didn't end up on the treadmill with the t.v. stuck on Lifetime. That was the guy next to me. Yikes!

I didn't bring my iPad last night. And of course, because I didn't bring my iPad, while I'm setting up my treadmill I see a huge sign with the gym's wireless password emblazoned across it. Would have been nice to notice that one on Wednesday!

I was winning on all fronts, last night, let me tell you!

I did manage to get a four mile run in. So, there's that.
And I remembered to stretch afterwards, something I did not do on Wednesday night (ouch!).

I wanted to run this morning. My mind wanted to run. So I set my alarm all set to run outdoors (it was in the high 20's). Of course, when said alarm went off my body reminded me that it had just run four miles about seven hours before. So no morning run. If it stays nice I will run outside when the boys go to bed.

I am looking forward to hanging out with my boys tomorrow and Sunday. I am definitely looking forward to watching the Broncos win the Super Bowl. And I am looking forward to the 5K on Sunday, as well. It's supposed to snow on Saturday, three to six inches total, which sucks, but it should be cleared up enough by Sunday. At least I hope it is.

Enjoy your weekend! GO BRONCOS!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Did You Hear Me Cheering?

It's here! It arrived! My key card to the gym showed up yesterday!

(Cue heavenly music)

I was super stoked when I saw it in the mailbox. Woo hoo! Hubs had hockey last night so he didn't get home until after the guys went to bed. As soon as they were asleep, I changed into my workout gear and waited for Hubs to get home. I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve!

He walked in the door, laughed and said, "I take it you're going to the gym?"

What gave it away? Me in my workout gear? The gym bag by the front door? The excitement oozing out of my pores?

I found a great parking spot (there's some reserved spaces for the gym and the rest is metered parking. I got to park for free!) and headed inside. It's a no-frills establishment. No locker room, no showers, no pool. The windows were all steamed up so I couldn't see much when I first got in there.

For it being nearly 8PM, the place was bumping. There are ten treadmills. Only three of them were in use so I got on one right away. High five!

Now, I brought my iPad because I read the gym has wi-fi. Of course, one needs the password in order to use the wi-fi. And with the place being a twenty-four hour gym, the desk is only manned by employees until 7PM. I should have just asked someone for it, I saw quite a few people using iPads, but I get a little shy in social settings so I didn't. Next time for sure.

I haven't been on a treadmill in a while so I was a little rusty. I set it up for a forty minute workout and started. The good thing with doing it that way is I knew I wanted to get three miles in. So when it was getting close to the end and I wasn't quite at my three miles, I was able to sprint and get the mileage in. The bad thing was I didn't set it up for a cool down so as soon as my forty minutes were up the machine stopped. Oops.

I ran 3.04 miles in forty minutes. That's fast for me, especially for a training run. My legs were pretty wobbly when I was done. I'll take it a little easier tonight.
By the time I left, at almost 8:45PM, the place was starting to empty out. Right now the evening workouts are fine. I think next week I'll try some morning workouts. We'll see how busy they are.

You know you worked hard when you get in your car after the gym and you steam up the windows.

Post gym:
I was red. And sweaty. The flash kinda washes that out. And yep, I drive a minivan!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Finding A Way

No gym card waiting for me at home last night. Boo.

Did sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, jumping jacks for an hour while I watched Skyfall. If something is going to inspire me it's Daniel Craig's abs. Hello, gorgeous!

He smolders. How can I resist the smoldering?

Hubs and I are making a date out of my packet pick-up on Saturday. We have a Carraba's gift card from Christmas and there's one right by the packet pick-up location. People need to carb load for a 5K, don't they?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The World's Smallest Violin Playing the World's Saddest Song

You know that sad trumpet sound that waa-waa noise that's played when things go wrong or don't work out for the main t.v. character? That music sounded when I checked my mailbox last night and found it contained a bill, an advertisement for a chiropractor and some coupons. Know what wasn't in the mailbox? My gym access card.

Schools are getting closed here left and right because of the snow and the cold. I don't have kids in school yet so this doesn't really affect me. Except, I have a friend on the good ole FB who made a snide comment about how terrible Michigan schools are and how they let little things like snow and cold affect them. She's in Montana (but a Michigan transport) so I know she gets a lot more cold and snow than us but still. I couldn't help but comment something like this:

"I'm sure the government cuts, the complete change in graduation requirements, the increase in class size, the lack of funding for arts and music, the lack of home support, the poverty level, etc are the reason why Michigan schools are struggling. A few extra cold or snow days aren't really the problem!"

Come on, people. This is the worst winter in DECADES. People my age are all "when we were in school we never had this many snow days!" and I want to say "Really? Are you sure about that? Because I don't remember elementary school that well but I know we had snow days so QUIT YOUR BITCHING!"

End rant.

I'm trying to not be that person who bitches and moans about the weather. I know we live in a state that gets winter and ice and cold. I know that. We also get lovely springs and summer and fall unlike some states (I'm looking at you, Florida) so there are upsides to living here. It's just, right now, at this moment, I don't want to wear fifteen layers to go for a run. I don't want to stutter step over icy patches or high step through drifts of snow (SHOVEL YOUR WALKS, ASSHOLES!) or worry about it being just too darn cold to run. I've got plans. I need to move. I NEED TO RUN!

This would be easier if I wanted to stay fluffy and slovenly. I could just eat carbs all winter and watch re-runs of Top Chef. I could hibernate, like a bear. Of course, I would weigh as much as a bear and be unhappy so that's not going to happen.

I'm giving myself this post. This is my last whining post. I will not complain about the weather. I will not complain about the cold. And hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, I will have access to a treadmill and I can stop complaining about not being able to move!

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Never Too Warm For Hot Cocoa

I did some adjusting to my race schedule. I had planned on a half marathon at the end of April, the Glass City Marathon in Toledo.  Then I had a friend tell me she's doing her first half-marathon at the start of April, one much closer to us. She wanted to know if I wanted to sign-up with her. Now, she's a much faster runner than I am, but I know what it's like to hang out at the starting line by yourself and be nothing but a ball of nerves. And it sounds like a fun run so I said "yes".

We are signed up for The Cocoa Classic which is on April 6. Now I know all you southerners are thinking "Hot cocoa in April?". Heck yeah. We're from Michigan. It could be snowing that day!

I might sign up for the Glass City Half, as well. I've NEVER run two long races that close together. In fact, I have never run two long races in the same year. I don't know how I'll do with that. I think I'll see how my training goes and if I still feel good leading up to the first race then screw it, I'll sign up for the second.

I do have to adjust my training scheduled by a few weeks. I've been running longer short runs during the week on a consistent basis (except for last week DAMN YOU POLAR VORTEX) so I really just need to up the mileage on my long runs a little faster than planned. I think I can handle this.

Desiree at Finding the Skinny Geek Within posted a picture of a dry erase calendar thing that she's going to put up in her kitchen. She has her weekly meal plan listed there. I saw it and LOVE that idea so I will have to get one for us from Target. Hubs and I take turns meal planning, which is great. I usually write my meal list on the same sheet of paper as my grocery list and it inevitably gets lost in my purse and I have to struggle to remember what I had planned to make. This should solve that problem! Plus, we plan on adding the boys lunch stuff to it, too to make things easier for my mom when she watches them.

This week's meal plan:
Monday: Homemade Minestrone Soup
Tuesday: Unstuffed Green Peppers
Wednesday: Turkey Meatballs
Thursday: Potato Soup and Chicken Sausages
Friday: Whatever
Saturday: Roast Turkey Breast and Mashed Potatoes
Sunday: Super Bowl

Friday is Whatever because Hubs has hockey Friday night so he eats before I even get home from work. I am usually on my own for dinner. I'll have leftovers or a sandwich. Nothing too crazy. And Sunday is Super Bowl! I want to make a warm dip (Hubs has a football shaped crockpot that we only break out once a year so he really wants to use it). Any suggestions?

I use the slow cooker for most of my recipes. Only thing not made in the slow cooker this week was the soup. I made that last night (it's better the second day) (although I had to taste some last night to make sure it was good).

This week's running will look like this (that is, if my gym pass shows up):

Monday: 6 Miles 
(I should have run this yesterday) 
(I have not run on a treadmill in a long, long time so this may not be as long as I hope)
Tuesday: 3 Miles
Wednesday: 3 Miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 Miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 5K Super Bowl Race

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Working Out

No run today. You know how I ran in a blizzard yesterday? Well that was HARD work. And today was a six mile run day. Ha! I would have been out in the cold and snow for well over an hour and a half and that's just silly and not very safe for me.

Today I did my usual heavy cleaning. Sunday is a great cleaning day. I get the guys down for a nap, then Hubs and I clean away. Somehow, It's my job to clean the bathroom. I don't normally mind, but today I pondered this. How do I end up being the one to clean the toilet when I know I'm not the one who splashes when they pee? And in a few years I'll be cleaning up after THREE guys who splash. Not very fair!

Side track, sorry.

After the cleaning, we both shoveled snow. And then my in laws came over. And while they were over I headed into the basement to find a cardio video on YouTube. I really wanted a Zumba-like workout video, with a mix of Latin and hip hop but couldn't find one. I ended up with this one by Tracey Mallet. It was a good one and it kicked my butt. It wasn't quite what I was looking for, so if you've got any suggestions, let me know.

I'm a pretty decent runner. Not fast, but once I get in the zone I can go for awhile. But, for some reason I feel way more out of shape when I do workout videos. Don't even get me started on Jillian Michaels. She whoops my ass everytime!

Hopefully my gym pass will show up tomorrow and I can get an indoor run in. Because the Polar Vortex is sticking around. It's supposed to be -1 tomorrow. Damn.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Runs For Cookies Virtual 5k and Then Some

I signed up for the Runs For Cookies Virtual 5k just in case I missed racing this month. I did the Auto Show Shuffle last week, which was fun but cold.

It was still Polar Vortex cold last night which meant I was on day 5 of no running. Not cool. This morning was sunny, not too windy and in the double digits woo hoo.

I did my usual get bundled up routine and headed out. Now I knew this would not be a PR run by any means. There were some pretty big drifts of snow on my route, plus I haven't run since last Sunday. I just wanted to get my 3.1 in and be done.

I started out my run wearing sunglasses. I say this so you know how surprised I was when about a half a mile into my run it looked like this:

What the hell?!?

I kept on keeping on and trudged my way through the race. I finished. And that's all I can say about that.

On a good note, I actually lost weight this week. I dreaded getting on the scale but knew it had to be done. I'm still not even close to the weight I was when I signed up for myfitnesspal (thanks new scale) but I'm getting there.

Here's the little screen from my Cardio Trainer app. It wasn't a pretty race, but it was a finished race! (I just noticed my miles logged on this equal a marathon. That's pretty cool!)
I have no idea how to take a screenshot with my phone so this will have to do. Technology, you allude me!

And this is my lovely morning coffee mug:

I'm switching things up and running a half at the start of April. Not sure if I can handle another one at the end of April. Anyone else run two so close together? Is it possible?

Friday, January 24, 2014

This is What Happens When I Don't Run For a Week

I have been a sloth all week.


I blame the cold. (Although the above pictured sloth looks quite toasty)

Because I have been a sloth all week, I have been eating like a bear (you like those animal references?) with access to a McDonald's drive-thru. It is bad, bad, bad. I know we all have bad weeks and that's what I'm chalking this one up to. This has been a bad week.

Thank goodness my gym membership should come in the mail today. I need the swift kick in the pants a run will provide.

I also need to stop eating my weight in french fries.

I have my weekly weigh-in tomorrow and I know it won't be pretty.

So, I'll move on. Next week will be better.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gym Rat

I joined a gym.

OK, I kinda cheated the system a little bit. I got a 30 day free membership to a local 24 hour gym. It's a very bare bones kind of place. This works out really well for me because I just need a damn treadmill! I figure if I do the free membership that gets me into almost the end of February. By the end of February there's still snow on the ground but the deep freezes should (HOPEFULLY) be done. Good plan, right?

I read lots of reviews on local gyms and there's one that's in a trendy neighborhood that got the best worst reviews. Some people compared it to the local bar scene minus the booze. I know that's not for me!

The price for the YMCA was 55.00 per month for JUST ME! Is that crazy or what? I mean, I know they have the pool and classes and such but that's just nuts! (Sorry if you pay that much for your membership, if you can afford it good for you) I don't even spend that much for my cell phone! Plus, you're locked in for a year and I know I won't need the gym once it's nicer out. My current gym has a month to month plan. It's ten more dollars a month if you don't sign up for a year minimum but I'm OK with that. If in February it's still awful out I'll sign up for one more month. I can run in the rain. I can run early in the morning to avoid the heat. I can run in the wind. I can't run on ice or during a Polar Vortex.

As soon as my membership card arrives I am off to the gym. I'm excited about it. I haven't worked out since Sunday and I can really feel it affecting my body and mindset. I tend to be more sloth-like if I haven't moved much. And I make bad food choices.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Earning Those Superbowl Snacks

I don't have many requirements when picking out a race. I like smaller races but not so small that I will be left behind in everyone's dust. I like them to be somewhat close to me. And if they start at 9:00AM or even later then I am a happy camper.

I found my February race the other day. And I signed up for it! I like to slack off when it comes to actully registering for races so when I found this and had the funds available on that day I threw caution to the wind and signed up.

It's a Run Super Bowl 5K on Superbowl Sunday. Start is at 9:00AM so yay for that! Not that I mind getting up early, but it's always nice to get a few more minutes of shut-eye.

And there is mega swag:

Oh yes, that is a medal, a beanie, and a beer glass! Plus, it's on Superbowl Sunday (is it Superbowl or Super Bowl?) which means I will be able to nervous eat eat some snacks while I watch the Broncos and not feel god-awful about it. My training plan calls for a much longer run that day, but I'll switch things around and see how it works.

I can handle snow. I can handle cold. I just can't handle sub-zero tempertaures. Or ice. Fingers crossed it works out for me!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Think It's Time for a Back-Up Plan

It was too cold to run outside this morning. To give you an idea of how cold it was here is a picture of my dashboard on my way in to work. This is two hours later than when I would have been running.

Yep, that says six degrees Fahrenheit. That's cold.

If it's not warm enough tonight when I get home from work I'm going to cave and get a gym membership. There's an Anytime Fitness somewhat close to me that I'm looking at. It's either that or the YMCA. I like the idea of cross training with some pool work but I have inner ear issues (I have a kink in my ear canal so when I get water in my ear it doesn't come out easily. This leads to ear infections if I'm not careful. And those hurt A LOT!) so I don't think I'll risk it this year.

I'd really like to join a gym that doesn't have a contract so I can just quit when it finally gets nice out. At this rate it feels like it will be cold and miserable until August. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday Views

I went back and forth about running on Sunday. I usually take it easy on Saturday and then run my long run on Sunday. Well, with the 5K on Saturday that kinda threw things off. I still wanted to get some mileage in on Sunday. I think my week goes better if I start off with a few miles under my belt.

I waited until mid-afternoon. We did some house cleaning and grocery shopping and playing with the guys. Plus I had to take the dog to get her nails trimmed. I have been a bad dog owner on that front!

By the time all the odds and ends of surviving twin life our weekend chores were done it was after 3:00PM. I got all winter geared up and headed out. It was 22 out, so compared to the day before, it was WARM. I joke, it was still cold. I ran most of my run in the streets because stupid jerkfaces some people didn't shovel their walks. Our last snowfall was about a week ago so I was not impressed. Shovel your walks, people! Do it for the runners and dog walkers and people with strollers and people on bikes. It's not that hard! PSA finished.

Because of the condition of the sidewalks and because of my tired legs it wasn't a very fast run. And for some reason Cardio Trainer has stopped announcing every half mile. I'll have to play around with it and see if I can fix that because I do enjoy knowing where I'm at without having to look at my phone.

Just as I was almost home I passed this:
This is a Little Free Library. I've read about them and there was one in our neighborhood over the summer. Basically it's a nice little box where one can borrow a book. Take a book and leave a book. Check out the link if you want more information. I have a few books lying around the house. Maybe I'll grab one and run with it for a bit (this is only a few blocks from my house) and drop it off. And then on my way back I can borrow a book! Fun!

I have my usual running plan set up for this week. I've got a 6.5 mile long run set up for Sunday. Just a little over two months until my first half of the year. I am very excited to try for multiple half-marathons this year. Usually I run one in the fall so I don't have a reason to really train during the winter months. Not this year!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Did I Hear a Niner in There? Auto Show Shuffle Race Recap

My alarm went off nice and early for a Saturday.

Somehow, even equipped with GPS and a printed map, I managed to get lost on my way to the race. That takes talent. I ended up parking in a parking structure that was a little further from the race than I would have liked, but ah well.

I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the start line on time but I made it to the Port Authority with plenty of time to spare. Packet pick-up was a breeze, although the were out of t-shirts. I had pre-registered which guaranteed me a shirt. The race officials let us know a shipment of shirts was delayed so they took down bib numbers and names and promised to send them out. 

It was cold and windy and when I left my car the temp was a whopping 12 degrees. I was layered up with thermal underwear and then running pants, running top, running jacket.

The area with packet pick up was large enough for us to hang out before the start which was awesome. At about 7:55 AM the race officials started sending everyone outside. They played the National Anthem and we were off.

I stuck to the back of the pack because I know I am not fast. It was a walk/run so I started with a lot of walkers. For the first half mile I just ran. I figured I would wait until the course cleared up a bit before I started my walk/run. I was running a 1:1 for the first time. Probably not a good idea, but I really didn't want to do 30:30 so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

The Cardio Trainer app was dead on which is great. Now I know hoe accurate it is. And it's a free app!

My 1:1 walk ratio was great. And since I have Cardio Trainer set up to announce every half mile, I felt really good throughout the run. It was nice knowing how much I had left without having to worry about the mile markers.

At mile 2.5 I was at 32 minutes and change. I knew I needed to book it in order to finish under 40 minutes. For the last, maybe two-tenths of a mile I sped up. By then I could see the race clock and it was already over 40 minutes. I knew I didn't start at the gun so it wasn't my time, but it was close. It was such a small race I think I passed the starting line less than a minute after the gun.

I crossed at just under 41 minutes. And then I got my medal and headed into the Port Authority to grab some chocolate milk and a bagel. Official times were posted on the wall and updated every few minutes. By the time I finished my milk my time was up.

I finished in 39:13!!!!

I wanted to finish sub-40 so badly and I was afraid I had missed the mark. I am so damn happy! I didn't kill sub-40 but I still made it. I did kill my PR by a few minutes so that's awesome.

It was a fun, small and cold race. I would recommend it to anyone, no matter the skill level. The course is flat, scenic (a big chunk is run along the Detroit River) and the people running it are friendly. This was only the second year for this race but you wouldn't know it by how well run it is. I will absolutely be doing this one again next year.

And now for some pictures:
Before the start. That's Canada!

People lining up for the start. You know it's cold out when even the crazy runners aren't wearing shorts!

After the race was over. Off in the distance is the Ambassador Bridge.

Race is over. PR complete. I look kinda pissed off. I wasn't, I swear!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Race to the Finish

So this is what it's supposed to be like a the start of race day tomorrow:

8 AM

Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy 
WIND: SW at 10 mph

Of course, we were also only supposed to get FLURRIES last night and we ended up with about three inches of snow so I'm not holding anyone at to these temps.

I want to PR. I really, really, REALLY want to PR. But, I know that it depends on road conditions and my conditions and temp and wind and a whole bunch of other things. So I will just be happy that I am getting out there tomorrow and I am running somewhere new. 

No matter what, I am better off than I will be if I just stay in my bed and sleep.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar?

I am not a big sweets eater. Personally, I love me some carbs. A loaf of french bread and some fancy cheese? Don't mind if I do.

For some reason last night I was hit with a Sweet Tooth Attack. Luckily, I had prepared for this. We had a bunch of sweets hanging around from Christmas and instead of being wasteful I put them all in the basement freezer. That way we would have access to them if we had company and wanted to put out something nice for dessert. I am not a fan of the basement (I'm afraid of the dark BIG TIME) so I don't often venture down there at night.

Instead of caving and eating an entire bag of frozen chocolate chip cookies I had a bowl of Trader Joe's O's cereal with 1/2% milk. It didn't put me over on calories according to myfitnesspal and it satisfied my craving so wins all around for everyone. I win! You win! We all win!

Unfortunately, I did not run this morning. It was butt ass cold out and yesterday's snow was really yesterday's rain so I was afraid it would be more of an ice skate than a run. I don't feel bad about it exactly, but I do wish I had done something. This is when I wish we had a treadmill or an elliptical at the house. I don't want to join a gym but it would be nice to have SOMETHING around for back-up runs.

I have plans this evening and tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day. We'll see if I can get a little bit of running in.

My goal for the 5K on Saturday is a sub-40 minute 5K. I know that's not super impressive compared to most people's goals, but it is MY goal and it will be a PR for me so I'm gunning for it. We'll see if the weather cooperates.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

At This Time Last Year

January 2013 passed by me in a blur last year. The guys were newborns and sleep wasn't so much something that didn't happen, just something that barely happened. Both of them were on the small side so for the first month of their lives, January 2013, we had a schedule of feeding them every three hours. I would nurse, then they would get supplemented with a bottle then I would pump. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I was up at all hours of the night because of this. The boys would get settled back to sleep and I would head out to the living room and pump while watching something on Starz. I liked the movie channels because then I didn't have to worry about commercials.

The movie of the month or whatever was Sense and Sensibility. I watched it a lot. I have a soft spot for Alan Rickman so you know I loved this scene:

Be still my heart!

It's funny, that was only a year ago. And this year I get up super early, before the guys wake up. I go for a run. I have energy. Being a mom is a tough job, it is no joke. It's hard not to feel guilty when I take time away from the boys on a weekend to do a 5K race or go for a long run. But, I know it helps me physically and mentally. Which helps the whole family!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

When my alarm went off at 5:50AM I was all "um, what is the awful noise and why won't it stop?". I made it stop and then realized I didn't set a snooze button up with that alarm (I know myself) so I hauled my ass out of bed and into the living room.

I don't like to turn on a lot of lights in the morning. It's not very nice to Hubs and sometimes I think the guys can see the light and it wakes them up a bit. The night before an early run I set up my clothes out in the living room so I can get dressed there.

I layered up, laced up, turned on the tunes and headed out the door.

And promptly bit it on a patch of ice at the end of our walkway.

Thank goodness the only thing bruised was my ego. I got the salt out and took care of the patch and realized my run was going to be more of a run with periods of ice skating. It wasn't that cold, but with the snow melt yesterday there were definitely some shady spots.

Training called for a 30 minute run (I'm using Jeff Galloway's Beginner Half-Marathon training plan) and I did a little more than that. I ended up getting in 2.5 miles. Again, there were some icy bits around the neighborhood so I was much more cautious than I normally am. I would rather have a slow run than break an ankle or hip.

There are a couple of running groups that I see on my morning runs. One seems to be made up of men or at least mostly men as far as I can tell and the other is made up of women. I am not into running with people. I like being solo and hanging out with my brain and focusing on me. I just think it's really cool that there are people who haul themselves out of bed at the ass crack of dawn pretty early to run and hang out with other runners.  We're a crazy breed, that's for sure!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Really Ugly

A round-up of my weekend. I'll start with the bad, because then we can end on a high note, right?

The Bad/Really, Really Ugly

-I bought a new scale. I wanted an electronic one that was more accurate than my current scale. I weigh ten pounds more than the other scale showed which really, really sucks. I changed my weight on My Fitness Pal and my Cardio Tracker. Instead of a loss of two pounds this week it shows I gained ten. I'm trying not to let it get to me, but it can be a bit disheartening.

-Some guy driving by me yesterday yelled out "Fat ass!" as he drove by. What kind of person feels they need to make fun of another person who is clearly working out? What do you gain from that? I have a friend who is friends with a co-worker on Facebook and he posts pictures of people from his gym and MAKES FUN OF THEM. What? Why???

The Good
-I ran on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I ran 3.5 miles and on Sunday I had planned on running five miles but ended up going 5.75. It was absolutely beautiful out, at least by Michigan in January standards, so I plugged into my music and enjoyed. A lot of the snow was melting so the sidewalks were full of puddles. I did a lot of dodging puddles and stomping through snowbanks. It was fun!

At the very end of my run, as I was walking to cool down I stepped off the curb onto a bit of slush (what I thought was slush) and ended up sinking ankle deep into a puddle. Luckily, it was at the end of the run. Man that was chilly!

The giant lake puddle!

-I'm doing the Run with Jess Weekly Miles Challenge. This week I ran 11.2 miles. My goal was ten miles so I kicked that goal's butt! You should sign up!

-Target had workout gear on sale this week so I picked up some neon green long sleeve tops and a neat running jacket. It's not the best one on the market, but I like it. I ran in it yesterday and it's comfy! I approve!

Today is a rest day do I will be taking it easy. Tomorrow, I'll start back on my morning runs. I haven't hated running at night, but I miss out on time with Hubs and that's no fun. He's still sleeping in the morning when I get up for runs so I don't feel bad missing him. We're supposed to get more snow in my area Tuesday afternoon into evening. Not a ton, but just enough to mess up my commute home. Is it March yet?

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Don't Stop Believing

Yesterday's run was fun. I had high hopes I would be able to see the Northern Lights but alas, it was snowing. Yet another run in the snow, yikes!

Luckily, it was just starting and barely accumulated so my paths were clear. I think the Cardio Trainer App logs my mileage and slightly slower than what I would normally run but I'm OK with that. It's a minor flaw and again, the app was FREE so I'll deal with it. I like that I can set it up to record my run and not worry about the timer shutting off if I switch over to a different screen, which is what used to happen with the timer app on my phone. That alone makes it worth it!

I tried to take a picture of my cool new reflective vest but it came out super blurry. And on my second attempt I got a picture of my shoe:
After my third attempt at a picture I gave up. Just pretend this is a picture of me in my vest.
This was on my front porch. Hubs ended up opening up the door and asking me, "What are you doing?". "Taking a vest selfie for my blog" sounded so ridiculous that I didn't even bother answering. I was getting cold by then so I went inside.

I signed up for a 5K for next weekend. I didn't run one in December. In fact, looking back, I ran ONE DAY in December. I had my play, then I got sick (it took me forever to recover from that) then it was the holidays and before I knew it BAM it's New Year's Eve.

That's not happening again this month! This one is somewhat local and along the riverfront so it'll be nice to run in a different area. I'm also looking for a virtual race to run this month. I figure if I run two races this month I can make up for my miss in December. I also need to find a run for February. I figure if I sign up for them in advance the less likely I am to miss a race.

Here's the weather prediction for race day so far (it's a week out so you all know that can change):

Day Jan 18

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Chance of snow:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cardio Trainer Review

I didn't want to go for a run last night. It seems that most of my time before a workout is spent convincing myself to ACTUALLY workout. One thing that really kept me going was I was genuinely excited to try out the Cardio Trainer App.

I got all decked out in my winter gear plus my new reflective vest and lights for the back of my shoes. I was comfortable with my visibility. I'm not used to running at night. Usually I run in the early hours of the morning or during the day. There was no one around in my neighborhood, not even cars, which I enjoyed.

All I did was start Pandora then hit Start Workout on the Cardio Trainer app and I headed out on my merry way. I did a lot of loops through my relatively small neighborhood because I didn't want to get that far away from the house in case I slipped on ice and broke an ankle. Gotta think ahead, right? Because I am so familiar with my 'hood and know what a map should look like from mapping all of my runs I could tell right off the bat that the satellite tracking was doing it's job which was awesome. I had it set up to announce the mileage every .5 miles but you can personalize it and set it up for whatever distance you'd like.

I ran 2.20 miles. It was a slow run because Pandora wasn't working so I spent a lot of time puttering with that. I also forgot my Galloway timer so I wasn't able to calculate my walk/run ratio very well. I did a lot more running than walking and was all messed up with that. And I had to stop a bunch. When I stopped after a few seconds the app would automatically pause which was awesome. The only downfall was during a few of the walking bits of my run the app didn't think I was moving so it automatically paused. I had to restart it on my own but it wasn't that big of a deal.

Again, I'm not super sure of my normal pacing, I haven't done a whole lot of tracking the tiny details, but from my times on Map My Run and in races it seemed like the app really got my timing down correctly.

 Overall, I really enjoyed the app. I'm looking forward to using it some more and getting used to the ins and outs of it. It's pretty easy to set up. I logged in my weight so it's telling me how many calories I burned (without a heart monitor so not sure how accurate it is) and that's always a plus. If you have a Droid I would recommend downloading this app! Especially if you are like me and not quite ready to shell out the big bucks for a Garmin.

I'm running again tonight, probably a pretty similar route, except this time I will remember my flipping Galloway Timer! Sheesh!  It's supposed to be in the double digits so game on winter running!

Snow Shower

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Remember When App Was Short for Appetizer?

I have had my eye on a Garmin Forerunner for some time now. They are expensive as HELL pricey so getting one just isn't in the budget right now. I mean, do my toddlers really need to eat?

Instead of a Garmin I've tried to find a cheaper way to track my miles, my time, etc. I did some research on Android Apps (yep, I am one of those anti iPhone people, which is funny because I enjoy my iPad) and found this article. I just downloaded the Cardio Trainer app. I plan on using it tonight during my run and I'll let you know how it goes.

It's funny, I just realized that I always have my phone on my for runs because A. I use the Pandora app for music and B. It makes me feel safer to have some sort of communication in case of emergency so why the heck am I not using some sort of app to track my mileage and such? Someone mentioned the Nike+ app screwed up certain calculations and made her look faster than she was so I knew I wasn't going that direction.

And really, I usually just set the timer on my phone and then map my run afterwards and calculate my run from that. So as long as this app keeps accurate time it's already a bonus. Because sometimes the timer on my phone SHUTS OFF if I try to do anything else with my phone, like mess with Pandora or check a text message.

For Christmas I got a reflective running vest and some blinking red lights for the backs of my shoes. Makes me feel good knowing I'll be nice and visible tonight. And since it's supposed to be in the DOUBLE DIGITS (finally!) I know I will be nice and warm!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

It is supposed to be ridiculously cold here in my part of town for the next two days. I mean, super cold, like wind chill in the negative 20's kinda thing. I don't know where you're from, but around here that's a big deal.

Some schools have already cancelled school for tomorrow because it's supposed to be too cold for kids to wait outside for buses!

On top of that, we got hit with the Midwest winter storm yesterday and into last night. I'm sure you've heard about it on the news.

So with all that going on, with the snow and the expected chilly weather, I knew I had to get a run in yesterday. It's doubtful I'll be able to run outdoors today or tomorrow so I couldn't go that long without a run!

It actually wasn't that cold. I wore thermal gear under a pair of running pants and a long-sleeved tech shirt. On top of that I had a bright pink fleece (I wanted to make sure I was pretty visible even if it was day time).

By the time I got outside it was almost four and the snow had been coming down on and off all day. It wasn't bad where people had shoveled their sidewalks, but it sucked in areas where people had slacked off were waiting for more snow to fall. I don't have a heart rate monitor (hoping for one for a birthday present. Hubs and I are discussing it) but I'm sure I burned more calories because of the uneven surface. It was a bit like running in sand, except for the cold feet.

Here's my view:
This was a patch of area someone had shoveled. I should send them cookies!
I got back to the house and shoveled snow. Hubs had already shoveled once so it was my turn. The snow really started coming down after that. Once the boys were in bed we ended up out there shoveling for a third time. And when I left for work this morning I dug out the bottom of the driveway once again.

I think my area was hit with almost ten inches of snow. Surprisingly, the roads were pretty good. I am thankful for that!

Now, what to do instead of running? I've got a Jillian Michaels DVD. Or I might check out You Tube. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Itch

There's a winter storm warning in my neck of the woods starting tonight and lasting though tomorrow night. Luckily, it's warmish out today so I will bundle up and go for a run. But first, Hubs has to stock up on groceries. We usually do our grocery shopping on Sundau. Ha, not this week. I told him to send me pictures if it's insane out there.

The good news is I'm really itching to get out there and run. It's warm enough that I won't freeze my ass off so that's good. 

One of my guys has an ear infection so I'll be running by myself. Here's a picture of my view from running with them last Saturday. It's a little hard to tell, but that's my view of the jogging stroller. We were just getting home when I took the picture. They make great running companions. I like it when they start babbling. We'll have whole conversations while I run. And if I'm a bit winded and they can't understand me that well, it's OK.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Starting Off On the Right Foot

I don't often make New Year's resolutions. It's often a way to set myself up for failure and I hate doing that.

I don't set running goals, either. Usually I just train for whatever race I have scheduled for the year. This year I am changing things up and setting a running goal. I'm aiming for running 1000 miles this year. Since I'm training for two half marathons, one in the spring and one in the fall, I figure that will help me rack up some miles.

I wanted to start the year off right, wanted to make sure I got a run in on January 1st. 

I woke up yesterday morning and there was snow, snow and more snow. Oh the snow.

I wasn't going to let it stop me. Hubs shoveled while I stayed inside with the guys. And when he was done I got all bundled up and headed out.

Wasn't my fastest run, but it was a run. Funny, the next day my legs hurt more than usual in different spots, I think because it took a different kind of muscle strength to run in the snow.

Three miles down, 997 to go!