Friday, January 29, 2010

What a Morning

You've all had those days, right? I wake up with a headache, but today is a gym day, and a run day on top of that. I take some advil and thinking I may need coffee. I don't usually have coffee prior to a workout, I normally save it as a post-workout treat. However, I was in need of some serious motivation, so I made some coffee. As I was beginning to feel like I could maybe get my butt to the gym my four year old decided it was prime time for a tantrum. Sigh, like it's not bad enough that the 1.5 year old has an ear infection and hasn't slept in days. It took quite a while to talk her down, thankfully I was already in my gym clothes, because that might have been the straw that broke the camels back. We get everyone out of the house, late of course. At this point I'm pretty sure I'm not going to run, just going to sit in the bike and read and try to decompress. Which I knew was the wrong answer, I think there was a part of me that really wanted to run, but has been discouraged by my lung capacity of late. I get to the gym and realize my i-pod is not in the diaper bag. Really? Am I really going to run without my music? Oh crap, just go run I tell myself. Much to my surprise, I ran for 20 minutes straight, with no major breathing issues. I pushed it to 6.2 at the end and even that seemed to be ok. Wow, that felt really good. What a nice surprise after weeks of disappointment.

Well, lets not get too excited here. After my strength training I wandered over to the evil stair machine. So today I only got 7 minutes in before complete and total lung anger. But I'll take it considering the nice pleasant run I got in.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Monday

While I have no problem running in the rain, I don't think Kylie digs it so much. So I saved her the cold and rain and took her to the gym, she much prefers Kids Club.

Why is that when the entire row of treadmills is available people like to get n the one right next to me. This happened twice today. The second time the guy was trying to decide between the TV with ESPN or ESPN 2, so he ended up getting off the treadmill next to me and get on the treadmill next to me on the side. Sigh, a girl can't win.

I'm still in a war with my lungs. I decided to take it easy and ran at 5.5 for about 9 minutes but then the last minute of my promised 10 I couldn't help but increase to 5.8, lungs not happy. I walked for 5 minutes and decided to try one last run for 5 minutes. This time I stayed at 5.5, lungs still not happy.

Did my usual strength routine but skipped the lower body stuff since I was determined to tackle the stair machine again. I told myself I had to last 9 minutes. I'm not going to get any better unless I keep pushing myself on this damn machine. Holly hell, I did it but barely. Literally on the last 30 seconds I felt my foot reach the last stair it was about to go under, oops! Don't fall off the stair machine, that would be really embarrassing. I was dripping in sweat but I made it 9:01. Next goal is 10 minutes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stair climbing and soreness

Now I know why I desperately try to avoid getting sick. This would be because it stays in my lungs for what seems like forever. I've been at some level of illness for 3 weeks. I still have to take cough syrup at nigh so I can fall asleep without having a coughing fit. My lungs only allow for about 10 minutes of running before they just give up on me. So today's cardio consisted of 10 minutes of running and 25 minutes of walking.

After talking to a friend who is doing on of those American Lung Association stair climb events and my brief experience on the stair climber at the gym, I've decided to incorporate that into my cardio routine. It started on Tuesday when I promised myself I wold take the stairs all day at the hospital. by the end of my 3 hour shift I had gone up/down about 30 flights of stairs. I'm sure the folks on 4E wondered what my problem since I came back winded after every trip to the lab on the first floor. I expected to be really sore yesterday, but I wasn't. No, that soreness of course popped up today. Nothing I couldn't work through, and it felt good like an accomplishment.

So today after completing my strength training I decided to tackle the stair climber again. Ouch, maybe I should nor have done the leg press before getting on the stair climber. I seem to only last about 7.5 minutes before my cardiovascular system says ENOUGH! Seriously, my heart was just as high doing the stair climber as it was on my run. So my goal is to be able to stay on the stair climber just a little more at each visit to the gym.

And hopefully my lungs will make a return soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lungs and head do not agree with running

I've been doing my best to keep active despite having been sick since New Years Eve. I've had a mild sinus infection and since it gradually seems to be getting better I decided not to return to the doctor and get a prescription. But the tooth pain every time my foot hits the pavement has been no joy ride. Besides my sinuses interfering with my workouts there are also my lungs that seem to really disagree with my legs as well. At the gym this week I upped my speed to 6.5 for the last sprint on the treadmill and lets just say my lungs greatly disapproved of this. Scott looked at me and decided it was a good time to critique me on my running form and that I'm too stiff. I used all of my will power not to deck him while I was wheezing and trying to catch my breath while cooling down. Maybe we could critique me after I find my lungs and my heart, thanks. I ditched the treadmill to do my strength training which all body parts and organs agreed with, thankfully. While Scott was finishing up his strength training I thought I would tackle the stair climber one more time. I do recall this kicking my ass last time I tried it. I was in a kick my ass kind of mood, so gave it a shot knowing that Scott was almost done. Seriously, who invented this thing? 8 minutes, 21 flights of stairs and I thought I was going to die. Had to go searching for my lungs once again.

My next race is February 20th for the Brazen Bay Breeze 5k, I really need to get my lungs back so I'm trying to focus on cardio as much as my body hates me for it. In between I'm loving our Wii Fit. Sydney and I do Yoga together and I'm hoping to try out the strength training exercises. I've tried the running (must remember to actually wear running shoes even to just run in place), bike riding (which is really just running in place) and it turns out I'm really good at Frisbee, which I totally suck at in real life. I'm really dying to get out and run with lululemon, but they run Saturday mornings. So I either have to beg more the grandparents for more babysitting or wait until March when Scott will have some weekends off.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ringing in 2010

After a wonderful and exhausting NYE followed by a day of rest watching the Rose Bowl it was time to run my first 5k of the year. Sadly I had developed a head cold shortly before the new year and was seriously questioning my ability to run.

Yesterday my sweet husband ran out to the store to load up on Kleenex, DayQuil and NyQuil to ensure I would be able to get out of bed this morning. After a fairly decent night of sleep, I woke up this morning and dressed in my running gear and new trail shoes for the first run of the year. Before leaving I downed a shot of DayQuil (ugh, that stuff is nasty, but it works).

I arrived early enough to get my bib, timing chip, t-shirt and goodie bag and still had time to run it back to the car before the race. It's probably the first race where there was no nervousness or anxiety. It was either because I am more experienced now or because I was certain I would be walking the entire 3.1 miles.

We lined up in the back of the pack, knowing that I would be walking most of the course, I didn't want to impeded anyone. But as the horn went off I was compelled to run, how could you not be. So I found myself trying to pass the walkers which was difficult as we crossed the narrow bridge.

Having started in the back I found myself frustrated at the congestion of walkers and walkers/runners. Even though I was running slowly there were people who were running and then walking and people walking 3 abreast, etc. One gentleman ran to pass me and then slowed to a walk right in front of me and was walking slower than my my pass, so I had to run to pass him. Enough of this, I needed to run far enough to get past this bunch to find some space. So I did just that, and found a nice place on the path that allowed me to run or walk at a nice pace and not trip over others.

I noticed that we were doing a lot of downhill, I tried to take advantage of the downhill portions and tried not to think about how I would have to come back up those and the return. I was pleased with my timing, my legs were having a hard time running as slow as my head and lungs would have appreciated so I kept the pace my legs liked and focused on nice fast strides when I walked. This seemed to be working as well as I hit the turnaround at the 20 minute mark. If only I could keep the pace on the trip back than I could come in at 40 minutes which I was felt respectful considering I was full of mucous. I wasn't really confident in that goal as I remembered the uphill portions I would be facing.

I just focused on not pushing myself and doing what felt comfortable. I power walked up the hills and ran the downhill and flat portions. There is never a greater sight than the finish line. I could see it across the lake and new I was close, could I run the entire last bit. I was pretty sure I could. And of course there was a photographer at the footbridge, it's amazing a photographer can give you the power to push through it. God for bid there is a photo of me somewhere actually walking the course!

As I came around the bend I spotted Ashley and Chris, I had estimated that Ashley was about 6 minutes ahead of me, and I was about right on that timing. I actually even had a little left in my to power through the finish line, and it felt great.

That was the great thing about today, I really took it easy, I had a goal in mind but I wasn't out for a PR on a Brazen run and I knew I needed to take it super easy on my body today. Not only did that strategy work but it was actually fun!

I think the volunteers actually got a lot of photos of me, so I'm hopping there are some good ones. There were 2 photographers on the trail who got me and one at the finish line and one past the finish line who got me with my medal.

On to the next race of the year which is looking like Brazen's Bay Breeze 5k. These folks do such an incredible job running their races that I don't think I can pass up their first ever "fast and flat" course.

Happy trails.