Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yoda Was Right

Yoda had it right. "Do, or do not...there is no try."

Last week was not a good week in the training department.  I could make excuses about crappy weather, not feeling particularly well, and a bunch of stuff that I'm not willing to discuss on the blog being at fault for my lack of working out, but I'm not going to.  It was a garbage in/garbage out week and the only person to blame is me and the only person who can fix the problem going forward is me.

So far, this week has been better.

I made it to yoga last night (Icy roads just meant leaving home earlier and driving slower) and I'm glad I did.  This week there was no theme, it was a "just go with it" kind of night. So, I did!  I enjoyed learning some new poses (Hammock, Bound Half Lotus Seated Angle) and taking other poses deeper (Lateral Angle, Plow).  The relaxation/mediation part really seemed to help me last night.  For the first time in days, my mind was actually quiet.   I had  no idea how badly I needed that silence until I found it.

Tonight was a bit more energetic.  I hit the treadmill (we got another 6 inches of snow and ice over the last two days) for 3 miles and then I spent about 20 minutes in the studio working my abs, doing push ups and playing with a few yoga poses.  My yoga studio doesn't have mirrors because my teacher wants us to learn to feel the poses, to trust our bodies, etc.  I'm a curious little thing and I wanna know if what I'm doing looks even close to what the teacher demonstrates.  Fortunately, the studio at the gym is lined with mirrors and I had the place to myself.  Of course I had to do a few poses to see what I look like doing them.  It turns out, trusting myself is good.  I looked right!

Distance: 3.0
Time: 30:21
Avg. Pace: 10:07

Yeah, the run was a little slow, but tonight was about being there and doing it.  Not speed.

However, on a speedier note, I just obtained a pair of these beauties:

The adiZero Tempo.  These shoes are a lot thinner (less cushioned) and lighter than my normal running shoes and they're a lot of fun to run in...and kind of murder on the calves!  Mr. Furball owns a similar pair of running shoes and raves about them, so when I found a pair for dirt cheap, I had to give them a try.  Our Saturday night date involved 5-ish miles of run/walking (these shoes take some serious getting used to).  Yep, you heard me...we had a running date.  I guess that's what happens when both halves of a couple like to run!
Do you and your significant other work out together?  What's your favorite date night?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lazy Bones

I've been a lazy girl.  I gave up my 3 miler on Wednesday in favor of an hour at Starbucks with a good, but extremely disturbing book (Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer) and a walk with The Husband.  I did manage to go for 3 yesterday (50+ degree temperatures not only dictated that a run was required, but also that said run should be done in a tank top!) even though I didn't get home until after 9pm.

Distance: 3.0 miles
Time: 29:47
Avg. Pace: 9:55

I was planning on doing 3 tonight, but I've been feeling really fatigued all day and it seems like everyone around me is coming down with an ugly flu bug, so I opted for a trip to Whole Foods, some bad tv and a couple glasses of wine...seriously, this stuff is like crack!
My current plan for tomorrow involves some heavy-duty house cleaning and a few miles.  Mood pending I may also be adding some serious time in the gym beating the crap out of a heavy bag.  I love beating up on this thing!

The heavy bag/trainer is a fantastic way for me to work out pent up hostility.  What's your favorite way to cool off when you're feeling "heated"?

Also on the docket for this weekend is a 7 mile long run.  It's a step back week in my training, so my long run isn't all that long...and right now, I'm feeling a little grateful for that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time Flies

Wow.  I've been really bad at updating.  I keep meaning to write a post, but by the time I get home from work, work out, eat and play with the bunnies I end up falling into bed and promising myself that I'll "do it tomorrow."  Tomorrow has come!

A quick recap of runs since my last post:

Wednesday, Feb. 9
Distance: 3.0 (on the treadmill)
Time: 31:00
Avg. Pace: 10:19
*can you tell I just wasn't feeling it?

Thursday, February 10
This work out was a lot of fun.  A long-time friend of mine wanted to run, so I agreed to meet her at 'The Track' for her first run since high school (it's been well over a decade since we graduated).  Since I needed to get in more mileage, I got there early and knocked off 3 miles before she got there.  After that, I ran/walked her first mile with her and then she proved just what a rock star she is.  She did two more miles at her pace and I did three more at mine.

Distance: 6.15 miles
Time: 57:23
Avg. Pace: 9:19

Run/Walk Stats:
Distance: 1.12 miles
Time: 13:45
Avg. Pace: 12:18

Then we celebrated in our usual fashion.  We went out for dinner and consumed copious amounts of fried eggplant, vegetarian pizza and beer/cocktails!  It was awesome and I hope we get to do it again soon!

Friday, February 11

Friday served to remind me why I drink beer and wine and have pretty much given up on vodka.  I had two cherry vodka and Diet Cokes and I don't really remember Mr. Furball driving me home.  Miraculously, I didn't get sick and I really wasn't too hungover on Saturday.

Saturday, February 12

The Husband and I went to a friend's birthday party.  Nothing says 41st birthday like a sledding party!  I haven't been sledding in a long time and had forgotten how much fun it is. There were a couple of younger kids (children of other friends) running around, so it was a pretty clean cut, All American good time...until we started spraying WD-40 on the sleds to make them faster!  The icing on the cake involved 6 adults army crawling down a sledding hill and then army crawling back up!  I'm pleased to say that I beat the boys, but my abs are still paying for it 3 days later!

Sunday, February 13

Long run day!  This weekend marked my return to double-digit long runs - a distance I haven't even thought about since late October. The weather pretty much required me to run outside as it was in the 40's!  Of course Epic Snowstorm + Warmer Temperatures = Sloppy Sidewalks (and lots of puddle-hurdling and re-routing to avoid un-jumpable puddles)!

Distance: 10.11
Time: 1:42:30
Avg. Pace: 10:07

I chased that long run with some yummy, spicy enchiladas and a side of extra thick and salty tortilla chips (mmm...best snack food ever).

Monday, February 14

Ah, yes...the day of commercialized love, over-crowded restaurants and ridiculous expectations.  Lucky for me, Mr. Furball and I really don't care about Valentine's day.  He worked late.  I spent V-Day with about 10 other girls in my yoga class.  This weeks theme was Self Love.  Most of the poses were designed to "open the heart center" and although it was kind of cheesy (even the instructor said so!), I left class feeling relaxed and open.


Freezing rain and some serious muscle soreness dictated that today was a rest day, so I made a dash to the local organic grocer to pick up some goodies for the bunnies (yes, my rabbits are spoiled beyond words) and made a nice dinner for Mr. Furball and I (pesto pasta with shrimp and mushrooms) and capped it off with a short walk (about 2.5 miles) around our neighborhood.

My plans for the rest of the night include such unglamorous activities as: cleaning the rabbit cage (and the rest of the living room), folding laundry and making my lunch for tomorrow.  Fortunately, my reward will be good.  I picked up some fresh strawberries (totally out of season, but miraculously on sale) today and plan on munching my way through them.

How was your V-Day?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Yoga hurt yesterday and it hurts even more today!  The theme of last night's class was: Confidence & Strength.  Well, I was confident enough to try the advanced variations of all the poses and strong enough to hold them all, but apparently Confidence and Strength come with a price:  Pain!

I was already a little sore from Sunday's 9 miler, but add 75 minutes of yoga that had me using muscles I forgot I owned...I could barely walk down the stairs this morning.  Seriously, my legs felt like Jell-o!  I have declared today a rest day.

Some of last night's more interesting poses included:

Warrior Two:
But then...she had us incorporate Eagle Arms (just the arm portion of the next photo):
I'm waiting to hear back from my instructor as to the formal name of the craziest pose of the night.  I'm sure she mentioned it, but I was too busy trying not to fall over from the burning in my quads!

Tomorrow's plans include 3 miles (most likely on the treadmill since there's a wind chill warning) and a little strength training provided that I no longer feel like Jell-O!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

That's What I'm Talkin' About!!!

Oh Yeah!!!!!  The Packers are the Super Bowl Champions!!!!!  That run through Lambeau Field is gonna be epic!

Snow and the Super Bowl

Yep, it's snowing...again!  As if 18+ inches on Tuesday/Wednesday wasn't enough, mother nature is sharing another 3-6" with us today.  Blaaaaaah!  Today's run was a 9 miler which I had desperately hoped to do outside, but since a large portion of my route is still under 10 foot (yes...foot) high snow banks and the parts that are cleared are currently rather icy and covered with a fresh dusting of snow, I was relegated to the track.  I seriously didn't want to do it.  I stalled.  I moped.  I whined (online).  Fortunately, some lovely message board posters took the time to give me a swift kick in the ass and I headed to "The Track".

Once I was there, I was confronted by speed skaters and their minions everywhere!  The indoor track I use is part of an Olympic training facility and they're kind enough to let mere mortals like me use the track that surrounds their ice oval for a nominal fee.  The good: 9 miles of something to watch.  Those guys are insanely fast and the size of their legs blows me away.  Who knows, maybe in 2014 I'll find out that I got to watch the next great speed skating champion train.  The bad:  Spectators who felt a need to stand all over the track rather than sitting in the bleachers.  I felt really bad for a guy who collided with two teenagers who were wrestling around with each other.  Fortunately, the runner wasn't harmed and the teenagers found themselves body-checked by the runner.

Distance: 8.95 miles
Time: 1:31:00
Pace: 10:10

A little slower than I would have liked, but since I nearly didn't do it at all, I'll take it!

Once I got home, I made a quick fruit smoothie (fat free vanilla yogurt, organic banana, frozen fruit (mango, banana, pineapple, strawberry) blend), took a steamy hot shower and am now bouncing up and down with excitement for the Super Bowl to start.

If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm a Wisconsin girl, so obviously I want the Packers to win!!!!  (Note: Under NO circumstances will I ever wear foam rubber cheese on my head.)

I also think a Packer's win will make my marathon (97 days to go) that much more special since I get to do a lap of Lambeau (and will be far too tired to even think about trying to attempt a Lambeau Leap).

The snacks are in the oven and I'm pretty sure there's a beer in the fridge with my name on it!

Go Pack!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard...not the Dairy Queen Kind

I love a good DQ Blizzard as much as the next person (mmm....Heath Bar Blizzard), but the snow variety is not my idea of a good time.  Since my last post I've been a busy girl.  I finished the month of January with a grand total of 55.07 miles and I'm looking forward to kicking the crap out of that number this month.

Quick Recap:

Thursday, 1/27:
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 30:00
Avg. Pace: 9:40

Friday, 1/28:
Distance: 4.16 miles
Time: 40:00
Avg. Pace: 9:37

Sunday, 1/30:
Distance: 4.94 miles
Time: 47:55
Avg. Pace: 9:40

Sunday's run was particularly amusing.  I didn't want to go.  It was cold.  I was lazy.  I did it anyway and I'm glad I did.  For some reason, the second half (which is one long uphill street) felt spectacular.  I ran one of those miles in 9:14...I never run a mile that fast on the back end of a run!

February started off with a trip to one of my happy places (aka: the Yoga Studio).  The theme for that class was: Your Comfort Zone.  The instructor encouraged us to step outside our physical comfort zones and try some new poses.  I was fortunate enough to achieve Bound Half Lotus (see photo):

My yoga instructor also asked us to spend a little time thinking about how we approach things that are out of our physical comfort zone.  For example:  Do you get frustrated by those things and refuse to try?  Do you feel uncomfortable, but eventually talk yourself into trying it anyway?  Do you embrace new challenges and throw yourself into them with everything you have?

For me, the answer is a little of all of those things, but I try to either embrace it or convince myself to do it anyway.  What's your approach?

Then came Tuesday and an ugly snowstorm that dropped 5 inches of snow overnight.  Yeah...didn't do anything useful on Tuesday night, but the husband and I did go out to dinner and guzzle a few beers!

If I thought Tuesday was ugly, then Wednesday was outright hideous.  Our entire area got hit by a snowstorm that morphed into a blizzard and dropped another 13 inches of snow.  The massive amount of snow combined with 40mph winds left us with 10 foot snow drifts and a virtually paralyzed city.  It took the husband 7 hours to dig us out of our driveway while I hid inside and worked.  Don't worry...I was a nice wife and made him a huge breakfast as a thank you.

Currently, we're under a wind chill advisory, so running outside wasn't happening today.  I had a date with my arch nemesis new best friend, the treadmill.

Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 30:00
Avg. Pace 9:40

Now I'm off to celebrate Chinese New Year (aka: The Year of the Rabbit) by spending some quality time with my two long-eared masters!