Saturday, July 30, 2011

Describing Words...

What words best represent this blog (and me)??

Such a fun quick thing to do!
  1. Go to tagxedo.com
  2. Enter your blog address
  3. Use the standard word cloud or play around with the shape and color!

Elliptical Love

I neglected my gym last year because I was never able to make it to any classes that I swore by.  Body Pump and Spin changed my life a few years ago and after I relocated to Houston those classes either weren't offered or filled up.  Rather than find other things to do in the gym I just opted to run.

I've had groin problems for a few years--minor discomfort--but after the marathon last year it got much worse.  A PT friend of my told me that it was most likely due to repetitive movement and not stretching or strengthening that part of my leg.

Moves that were once effortless during yoga became painful.  Child Pose?  Yeah, that was too much.  However, I hadn't been doing yoga as regularly as I used to.  Stretching before or after I ran?  Never did that to begin with.  I basically came to the conclusion that I need to up the yoga and the stretching, and sure enough there's been a noticeable change.

Part of the reason I loved Spin and Body Pump was because I saw tremendous muscle definition in my legs.  I decided to go back to using the elliptical at the gym and sure enough in as little as two weeks I can see a difference.

I set the variety or hill climber program because there is a lot of resistance to work my legs and an hour later I'm done.  That hour flies by because of this:

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Let's talk about how I love watching stuff at the gym that I NEVER watch at home.  The Jersey Shore and any True Life epi is fascinating enough to make me forget about all the work I'm doing.  And I'm that girl that's reading the captions and talking to the TV or making crazy faces as I judge what's happening.  I also laugh out loud...a lot.

Ew, True Life: I Have Acne was borderline too much for me.  My facial expressions alternated between lemon-juice-squeezed-in-my-eye and mouth-agape-in-disgust. 

Open Water Swim

This week I went out for my very first open water swim practice!  I really don't know anything about swim times, swimming in open water, or what to wear for a race.  I'm conviced my gym pool is not 25M so I've been swimming non-stop laps for 15 minutes.  I figured that was the best way to make sure I would have the stamina to complete the swim.  This whole training has been sort of foreign but I'm getting more and more excited about the race and I know that after it is finished I'll have ten million ideas on how to make my next swim/tri better!

Luckily, I have some pals that have gotten into tris who came with me to go for my first open water swim practice.  Things I've been/will be nervous about: Anything touching me in the water, anyone kicking me in the face, and what the water will taste like if I gag.  Thankfully the water was fine--it tasted like it came out of a water hose--and only a few little fishies were attracted to the bright blue polish on my toes.  The lake was about 40 ft deep but it didn't intimidate me, which is a huge plus!

I borrowed my friend's fancy waterproof Garmin and timed myself.  On my first attempt out swimming 380M I clocked in at 00:09:42.  I'll be swimming 300 M, and I busted out my proportion skillz and came out with a predicted time of 00:07:39.  Now, I did a little stalking to check out the results from last year and I think I would be in the middle of my age group and that makes me feel good.  I'm still a little unsure of what  the actual race conditions and start will be like, but I know that if I get a little space I can definitely swim faster, and since I'm doing a relay I'm really gonna put it all out there!

Observations: My neck was KILLING me because I kept looking up to make sure I was swimming towards my markers.  Any tips on spotting? On what the start/transition will be like??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fall Training Starts Next Week!

The marathon is forever away and even with a 16 week plan I wouldn't get started until September, but I already put together a training plan that starts next week!

First, let me just be honest and admit I have been doing baby runs for months now because it's summer and hot.  I went out for a 5 miler a few weeks ago and was physically super miserable even though mentally I knew I could do it.  That being said, that is not the attitude and comfort level I want to begin my marathon training with.  I am so excited about the chance to complete this race again, and while I'm all about the social aspect of races rather than the competitive part, I want major improvements!

My training begins with training for a half that takes place in October.  As you can see, marathon training overlaps the last four weeks but I should be good to go.  I figured by taking the time to train for a half I have the opportunity to start of with low milege and get into the groove and routine of training again.

Now, I know myself and my schedule once school starts.  I really thought about my plan. I was tempted to build a plan around running twice during the week plus one weekend long run.  I have decided that the goal is to complete my Thursday run once school begins, but if need be I'll cross train at home or run a quick 2 miles.  Just trying to be real with myself.

I have lots of half marathons this fall, but I'm really excited about checking out two new races.  I just decided to register for the See Jane Run half marathon in Austin and I'll be going to New Orleans to run the Iron Girl half marathon in November!

Do you love making training plans?  I love Excel.

Do you have any races coming up?

Any new or favorite events that you're excited about?

A Cat Peed In My Gym Bag

I kept smelling the strangest smell in my room.  I couldn't pinpoint what it was.  It was a little sweet, maybe a little salty, and definitely made me gag.  It was sort of musky, which made it envelope an entire room.  I could not figure out what it was.

After searching around my room like a bloodhound I found the smell to be coming from my gym bag.  The entire bag smelled, but when I opened the bag the pungent air slapped me in the face.

I realized it was pee.  Cat pee.

I do not own a cat.  I'm never around cats.  I don't go to people's houses that have cats normally (My people are dog people).  I had recently visited a friend's parent's bay house and they had cats.  Lots of them.  One day we couldn't find a certain cat and later realized he had been hiding in the room I was staying in for like 2 days.  I immediately realized that that cat must have crawled into my gym bag and peed two days worth of suppressed urine.  He probably passed a stone in there, too.

I took everything out of my bag to wash it out, but realized I had no bleach wipes (and this bad boy needed to be doused in bleach).  When I came back from the store I went to use the restroom and realized the entire room smelled of cat pee.  Now, I had empty the contents of the gym bag in the restroom, but I left the bag itself in the kitchen.  I was even more irked that I would be scrubbing my swim cap and goggles (which touch my face!), etc.  When I went to the kitchen there was no smell.  When I opened the bag to start cleaning it there was no smell.  I got all bloodhound on that bag again, sniffing the outside corners and inside, and no smell.  Mystery.

I went back to the restroom and started sniffing each item, and Bingo was his name-o. The adorable gold-speckled jelly flip flops that I had purchased at Old Navy and had been using at the gym pool reeked.  They were brand new so it's not like they got all smelly like fake-leather Payless shoes.



I have since taken my suspicions to Google ("old navy jelly sandals stink smell") and have discovered that I am not alone.  In fact, one girl said she noticed the smell in the store but couldn't tell where it was coming from and didn't realize it was the jelly sandal display.

Basically, I can't throw these shoes away because they're amazing, even though they smell like cat pee and make entire rooms smell like cat pee and were on sale for like $4.50.  They have been banished to live in the garage when  not in use.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Figgy Sandwich


When I went to Turkey a few years ago my breakfast was always the same: toast with fig jam, some cheese and a few salty olives. I also loved that they served honey straight from the comb: propped between a wooden rack, the honey just oozed down.

Figs in the grocery store always seem overpriced. I caved the other day and bought 5 little figs for about $2. The verdict? Totally worth it.

I made the mistake of eating three of the figs straight away by themselves. I've since wised up and this sandwich is my favorite way to enjoy and stretch this fruit.

2 slices of 40 cal honey wheat bread
A wedge of Laughing Cow blue cheese
2 thin slices of ham
1 fig thinly sliced
A drizzle of honey

Assemble then grill (lets talk about how I still use the ol' George Foreman every day. So college!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ab Challenge!

I JUST came across this challenge, and I am all about it!
The goal is to do 3000 ab exercises in 35 days, which breaks down to 100 reps six days a week.  If you sign up for the challenge I believe you'll get videos/links twice a week with new exercise ideas (scroll down to see a video with three exercises).  Though you may choose to do crunches or sit ups, the videos will offer alternatives.

I also read that when doing the plank every six seconds counts as a rep, so one minute would be 10  reps, and 10 minutes of plank would meet your 100 rep goal for the day.

I think this is great challenge!  Honestly, ab exercises do not take that long and therefore can be quickly knocked out during my day. 

I want to be on track so I'm going to do 100 crunches right now as I watch the Casey Anthony trial weekend update (um, confession: this trial has been my obsession).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Swim help!

So as I mentioned before I'm getting ready to participate in a relay team for a tri. 
Now here are my big questions:

1. I need a swimsuit with built in chest support/a bra.  Can anyone get me started in the right direction?  I will have to run from the water to the transition area and that's just not going to happen in my current Speedo. 

2. I need some training direction in the pool.  How long should I swim?  I want my workout to actually be a calorie burner.  My swim for the race is only 300m, not long, but I want to do super well.  Any drills or other tips??

And I will not be wearing those goggle since they're tinted and I'll be swimming in murky water.  I just freaked out again thinking about the open water.  Have I told you how much I love chlorine?

Marathon #2, on its way!

I woke up monday morning at 6 a.m., immediately checked my email and saw this:
I had been checking my bank account and email like a maniac all weekend long waiting to see if I made it in.  The Houston Marathon switched to a lottery system last year.  This year they had automatic entry for those that met a time qualification and since I didn't have that going for me it was all down to Lady Luck.  I am so happy that I made it!  I've already planned my fall race schedule (check it out on the tab above) and am ready to have an even better marathon experience.

Maybe I've been at school trainings all week and we had to do a getting to know you activity.  We wrote random facts about ourselves down.  So happy I was able to put down marathoner!!!