Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A new training

As I've said before, I read several different blogs.  It was how I stayed motivated when I first started running and it's how I learned (learn) new running things.  It's also probably the reason I started running races, and definitely the reason I ran my first half marathon and maybe why I ran a full marathon. 

Anyway, I follow Katie at RunsforCookies.com, she was my first blog to follow.  She started talking about MAF (maximum aerobic functioning) running about a year ago while training to PR her 10k.  She's started talking about it again as a way to train. So I decided to try it out.

Here's a link (I found the comments most helpful) but it is basically finding your best heart rate for aerobic exercise.  That is 180-your age . . . and then there are other factors, such as injury, that will affect that number.  So for me it's 180-40=140, but then I am coming back from an injury, so subtract another 5 = 135 is the highest my heart rate should be.  So my MAF heart rate is 125-135. 

This technique is supposed to do a couple things, make you run faster, eventually, with the same heart rate, and help you burn fat more efficiently.  I decided to try it for awhile since I found my Garmin and can monitor my heart rate again.  I don't actually know if my goal is to become faster, although I suppose it is.  Burning fat more efficiently is a bonus, but honestly that isn't why I decided to try it, it is just something new. 

My times went up though.  I have not been running fast, not since my sprain, I was just finally getting under a 10 min/mile regularly.  However, in trying to keep my heart rate below 135, my miles per min have increased to 11 min/miles.  I have not been upset by this which is a little strange because  I've been about wanting to run faster.  Right now I haven't even been paying attention, during my run, to how fast I am going.  I have been focusing on my heart rate. Although, I do notice afterwards that I've been gone longer.

The biggest thing with this type of running, is that I run on hills every day.  There is nowhere, other than the high school track (that I hate), to run on in my area without at least one hill, gradual or steep.  So in order to keep my heart rate at 135 or lower, I am now walking up the hills, and that annoys me.  I can run up the hill.  I do it all the time.  And my head tells me that people are judging me for walking up the hill (silly, I know). 

According to what I've read about MAF training, is that your first mile should be your fastest if you are doing it right.  However, with my runs, my first mile is all up hill and then the rest is flat or down hill (especially on my short runs), so my first mile is my slowest.  My long run this weekend was all over the place.  My first mile was my slowest (all uphill) and mile 5 was my fastest (all downhill), my last mile, mile 9, was 7 seconds slower than my first (mostly flat, with slight increase at the end).

I guess we'll see how it goes.  I'm curious if it will help me get faster, and if it will help me lose some weight.  However, I have never done the MAF test (which was what that link above was to) so I'm thinking maybe I should do that this weekend on the track (which is about as exciting as running on a treadmill).

I don't think I mentioned it, but I got a standing desk at work.  It is pretty nice, although, after running 9 miles on Saturday and 3 miles on Sunday, my feet hurt quite a bit yesterday and I didn't stand a lot, even though I was wearing tennis shoes.  I need to go back to rolling my feet regularly.  I have gotten out of the habit, and I should start doing it more so that my plantar faciitis doesn't come back, especially if I'm going to stand more at work. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Just call me a gymrat

My last run was Sunday.  It's been awhile since I've skipped a run on purpose, where I didn't have a legitimate reason, but I did this week.  Well, I suppose my reason was legitimate, but not because I had other plans.

I worked out 11 days in a row.  I ran 4 days in a row, Thursday through Sunday, last week, which made 5 days of running last week, and went to the gym the other days.  Some days, I go to the gym and also run.  Anyway, yesterday was my first complete rest day, where I didn't run or go to the gym. And actually, I would have ran if I didn't have a hair appointment.

So the reason I skipped a run?  Well, I normally run on Tuesdays, and this Tuesday I didn't because I was so tired.  Maddox woke up at 3:20am complaining of an earache, and even though he dozed off and on for the rest of the night, I didn't get back to sleep until about 10 min before my alarm went off at 4:30am.  So by the time I got home on Tuesday, I was pretty exhausted.  Chris and Damian wanted to go out to eat, but I told them to go and I'd stay home with Maddox.  They went to a Chinese Buffet, and Maddox and I had Safeway Chinese food while watching "Good Dinosaur."  I think I got the better end of the deal.  It was a great movie, I thought.  (Maybe I was just tired though.)  And I went to bed by 8:30, I even skipped my bath, which is pretty rare for me.

I would have run Wednesday, but I had a hair appointment, and didn't even get home until 9, I ate a Luna bar (lemon, very good) and went to bed.  I do really enjoy my hair appointment days, my hairdresser is cool, and she drinks wine with me, but I often don't get dinner because I'm rushing home to go to the appointment and then get home late.  However, last night was later than normal because I got there later than normal and she did some extras on my hair, so it took longer.

The gym still scares me, especially the weights.  I am intimidated by them, but I go do them because that's my purpose for being there.  I probably don't push myself as hard as I could because I'm intimidated by them.  But it's not just the weights that intimidates me, it's the people.  Everyone I see there look like they know what they are doing.  I'm going on 3 months there, and I still feel like I have no idea.

And it's not just that they look like they know what they're doing, but it also feels like a fashion show with many of the females and a few of the males.  I have watched some of the women there stand in front of the mirror in the locker room and do their hair and touch up their makeup and then walk out and go work out.  Their outfits look like they came straight from Nike, or some other workout wear shop (I buy most of mine at Target and Walmart, so I don't know the fancy ones) and the women that are lifting weights are amazing looking.  They, for the most part, have amazing bodies, amazing butts, and just plain look good, not to mention I'd say most of them are younger than me, which may explain the amazing bodies, it's easier to get that way when you're young.

I'm there, in my running clothes, stumbling around the weights, telling myself that no one is watching, no one cares, and no one is judging me so it's just fine to go do a deadlift.  I won't look stupid, I'll look like I'm working out.  Sometimes I do it, sometimes I skip it, sometimes I leave it for last and force myself anyway (deadlifts, I finally did them this week).  Sometimes I leave it for last and walk to the locker room (bench press, I've never done one, I'm supposed to about once a week).

I also tell myself it's okay that I have makeup on, I came from work and am going back to work.  I don't have enough time to put all makeup back on afterwards.  I touch it up, comb my hair and leave, although, with the new style of my hair, it may be more time consuming.  Besides, most of the other girls have makeup on too, and perfect ponytails, and perfect bodies . . . ugh, I judge myself too harshly.

The frustrating thing about my 10+ lbs gain over the summer I from not running is that I figured it was all okay because once I started running, I'd lose it quickly.  I hovered around 145 for so long, I figured my body would want to go back to that again.  But it doesn't seem to be doing that, and I am working out more than I have before.  I'm not running the distances I ran a little over a year ago, but that is increasing, and I'm going to the gym 3-4 times a week.  Then I tell myself, well, maybe my fat is disappearing but my muscles are increasing, but I'm not noticing a difference in my pants.  I still can't get my size 6 pants on.

I'm sure it's my food.  I've never been good at monitoring, or restricting what I eat.  The last time I weighed 155 (two and a half years ago) I was going down, and was happy with it, now I'm annoyed that it won't go away.  So, is that peppermint white chocolate mocha worth it in the afternoon?  It wins more often than not.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Checking in

We had a pretty uneventful Thanksgiving.  We went to my sister's house for dinner and was there for several hours.  Don't tell anyone, but my sister, Nancy, is my favorite family member and I love spending holidays with just her and her family.  No worries about offending my other sister, or annoyances with my Mom, or hearing and witnessing the bickering between my parents.  And definitely no spending time and "making nice" with aunts or my cousin, who I don't like much.

Rereading that paragraph above, it just seems so ungrateful and spiteful.  Definitely not the attitude of the holiday season.  I'm sorry.

Anyway, Friday and today I spent doing stuff around the house.  I cleaned a closet that has never really been clean since we moved in.  I cleaned Maddox's room, and I don't even remember what else.  Tomorrow (Sunday) is most likely going to be another day of things to get done.  I'd like to pull Damian's old twin bed frame out of the shed, clean it and set it up for Maddox.  It would be nice to get him out of my bed.  Right now he's got his crib, which was changed into a toddler bed, in his room, but he's too big for that, and we've pretty much even pretended putting him to sleep in his room.  The problem is the tantrums that are going to happen making him sleep in his own bed.  =/

This last week was another week of doing something active every single day.  I ran Sunday, 3 miles (I had run 7 miles on Saturday).  On Monday I did weights and then my sister suggested going to a gym in a town that we haven't been to to try out a spin instructor, we were there and waiting for the instructor to show up when a guy came in and took the instructors bike.  We knew it wasn't the girl we were supposed to be checking out and Nancy recognized him, so we left before he started and did 30 min of elliptical instead.  I really liked their gym setup, but the location/parking lot was awful.  And Nancy complained nonstop about her traffic getting there, so we probably won't go back.

Tuesday I did weights again and then ran 3 miles after work.  I did weights again on Wednesday (I have to go 3 times in a week to make 12 times a month in order to get money back from my insurance).  Thanksgiving morning I did 4 miles, Friday 3 miles, and today 8.  That makes 21 miles this week, which is the most I've done in a long time.
Not sure why I took a gym selfie, but here I am.
I struggle with going for runs.  I don't know why.  When I can't run I want to run, and when I can run, I have to force myself to get out of the house.  Why is that?  Over the summer all I wanted to do was run, and when I did run, it was very short distances that made me yearn to do the longer distances of last summer.  Now that I can run, I dread my long runs.  There's got to be a happy medium, right?

I ran 8 miles with my shirt on backwards.  In
my defense, I had a jacket on over top of it.
I have more to talk about, but I'm falling asleep, so I think I'll quit while it is still somewhat legible.  =)
The stretch I do to help my IT Band, which complains often
on my right side.




Thursday, November 17, 2016

I mowed that damn lawn

Damian is a Senior in high school.  I don't know if you all knew that, but he is.  I cannot even begin to tell you how strange and sad it is to me to have him be so old.  Tomorrow is the deadline for baby pictures in the school yearbook.  I have a million pictures that are stuck on a computer that doesn't work anymore.  Thank goodness for Facebook, because I can easily access those pictures.  And for Damian's first 2 years of life I took real, non-digital pictures and I have those.  So there's a time frame of 4 years or so that I don't have pictures handy.  =(  Anyway, I spent this morning going through Facebook pictures, and now I'm sad.

As you're living your life, you don't notice the changes so much.  But once you start looking through old pictures, you see how much time has gotten away from you.

I've mentioned it before, and it's in my "About Me" tab, but Chris and I were separated and divorced for several years.  During that time I was a single mom.  Damian was all I had.  Honestly, there were many, many times where I felt that Damian was the only thing that kept me going forward.  He was everything to me.  Maybe too much to put on a kid, but it's true.  Because of the 6 years that it was just Damian and me, we have a special bond.

There are still days, 9 years later, that I miss those days.  That time.  I sometimes even wish it was still him and I against the world.  It's probably not fair to Chris or Maddox to say that, but it's the truth.  Damian and I were a team and I miss that.

Today was supposed to be spin class day.  My sister and I are still looking for a new spin instructor that we like.  The problem is, everytime we plan to go to the only female instructor, who is on Thursdays, she has a substitute.  Today is no exception.  Nancy isn't feeling very well, so we decided to skip it.  Which means I need to go run.

Did I mention that we went to eastern Washington last weekend and went to a wine tasting?  Nancy, our older sister, Barbara, and I were going to go.  Barbara backed out at the last min, which we kinda expected, but Nancy and I went.  We had a lot of fun.  But we drank too much wine.  Like ridiculous amounts.  It was not good the next day.  It was awful.  The last time I had a hangover that bad was my brother-in-law's wedding 2 years ago, but that one was much, much worse.  We did take some fun drunk pictures.  (Don't tell Nancy I put these up, they were from Snapchat and she only allowed me to take them because Snapchat goes away.  I didn't tell her I saved a couple, well, most of them.)




Damian and Maddox went with us to the Tri-Cities (where the wine tasting was) and then hung out with their uncle (the one I mentioned I drank a lot at his wedding).  They don't see him very often so it was nice for them to spend some time with him.  Then Damian drove us home.

Before we went to the wine tasting I offered to mow my parents' lawn.  They have a very large yard and my dad has trouble keeping it up the older he gets.  The grass was really long, so I offered.  I spent 3 hours on the lawn mower and Damian finished it in another hour. 
Funny story, I decided to mow the lawn, so I went to ask my dad about it because I haven't used his lawn mower in 20 years (and honestly, it's probably a different one).  Anyway, he was laying down, so I enlisted Nancy's help to figure it out because she said she mowed it over the summer.  Well, for whatever reason, we couldn't get it to start, so we figured it was out of gas.  We decided to push it to the gas tank (they live on a farm, so they have their own pump, remind me to tell you of the first time I got gas at a station).  The stupid thing wouldn't roll backwards out of the garage, so we decided there was enough room to push it forward in a big uturn.  We were wrong.  It got wedged against a truck, so we had to figure out how to get it to go backwards.  The back wheels wouldn't turn, so we ended up picking up the back of the mower and swinging it around.

We finally got it out of the garage and Nancy decided she should go get the keys to the gas tank (they had someone stealing gas for a while, so they locked up the pump handle).  Well, while she was inside I got the mower to start.  So I drove it over to the pump, and it died right as we got it there.  We start putting gas in it, and suddenly the gas isn't running.  So we figured the tank was out (it happens, rarely, but it does).  We looked for kinks in the hose, we tried different angles, wouldn't work.  We figured we got enough gas in it to get it back to the garage, but then the dumb thing wouldn't start again.  Finally we gave up.  We decided we'd just wait for my dad to get up and tell him we broke his lawn mower. 

When my dad got up I told him what was going on, so he went out to look at it and I followed.  (This where my sister and I start to look like fools.)  My dad started to put gas in it, it worked just fine.  He said it probably kinked up close to the handle, where we didn't look, or pay attention to.  Then he started it.  One turn. Started right up.  Apparently, riding lawn mowers have "chokes" and if you don't push that up, it won't turn on.  The one time I did get it to start I must have had it just barely up to start it, but I thought it was the speed, so when I got to the gas pump, I lowered it, and it died.  *sigh*

So my dad tells me that when he mows the lawn, and when it's as high as it was, he lowers the blades only one notch, and he shows me that (that was one thing I actually knew).  So I start to mow, but the grass isn't getting cut.  So I go back, lower the blades more, and start again.  Nope, still not cutting. *ugh*  Go look for my dad, but he's missing, so Nancy comes out, and Barbara's boyfriend . . . they're looking at the lawn mower and the boyfriend says "did you start the blades?"  No, I wasn't told I needed to do that. 

Finally my dad comes over and shows me the handle that starts the blades.  *sigh*  How was I supposed to know?  It took awhile to get started, but I mowed that damn lawn.  =)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just another post

Last week I did something fitness related every day.  In fact, if you look at my Map My Run calendar, I am on day 13 of doing something fitness related.  Since I started going to the gym, most of my rest days are days I go lift weights.  Monday has been a rest day for a long time, but now I'm going to the gym that day.  Wednesday has also been a day that I usually rest (well, Wednesday or Thursday) but now I'm going to spin classes on Wednesday.  Right now, my only true rest day has been Friday. 

Last week since I walked with Nancy on Thursday instead of spin class (we did Thursday because she had a hair appointment on Wed.) I decided to run on Friday.  Walking doesn't often feel like exercise to me, so I wanted to get a run in to replace the missed spin class.  This week Friday will be my rest day.

I don't actually see much difference in my body since I started doing this.  I've dropped a couple pounds, but nothing like I expected.  I expected once I started running again that the 10 pounds I gained over the summer would just fall off.  It hasn't happened that way, sadly. 

This weekend I'm going to eastern Washington.  I haven't been over there in a long time to just see my parents.  We went over in August for our vacation, but we didn't spend any time at my parents' house, although, we did see them when they came to the lake with us for a few days. 
 
Anyway, I'm going over with my sister, Nancy (and my kids) but we decided this weekend because of the Tri-Cities Wine festival that is on Saturday.  We're going to go with our other sister Barbara, who lives over there.  I'm hoping that it will be fun.  Nancy and I always have fun, but sometimes Barbara can be challenging.  I'm sure, though, with enough wine, it'll be a grand time.  ; )
 
Funny thing is, I'm the only one that really drinks wine.  Nancy does a little.  It's not her favorite thing, and I think she does with me because I like it so much.  I don't think Barbara does at all, but I don't hang out with her that much, so maybe she does now. 
 
Maddox brought home his school pictures this week.  He was so proud of them, it was the first thing he showed me when I picked him up from daycare.  I can't look at the picture without laughing.  It's so cute, and soooo Maddox.  =)
#goofykid
My parents' house is truly one of my favorite places in the world (not that I've been anywhere).  Being away from the city is soooo nice.  I can't even tell you how much I enjoy my time there.  I really should make more of an effort to go over more often.
 
 
How can that not be peaceful?  No noises except birds, the occasional, very distant, sound of a train, and in the summer sprinklers.


Monday, November 7, 2016

poorly written post about nothing

I will be happy when November 9th comes along.  I'm so sick of everything political, it's ridiculous.  I have tried to stay out of it on Facebook.  Too many really, really strong opinions about both presidential candidates.  You can't have an intelligent conversation with someone that is supporting the opposite candidate, in my experience it just deteriorates into idiocy. =)

Okay, I'm done with that.

Last week my sister had a hair appointment on Wednesday, our normal cycle days, so we were going to go on Thursday.  Well, on my way to the gym I looked at the app and it said it had a substitute teacher that day, someone we've had before and didn't like.  I called my sister and we decided to go for a walk instead. 

We went to a trail that we've done only 2 times, once when I still lived in Lynnwood and my nephew came over (when him and Damian were younger my nephew came over for a week every summer, now that they are older they are so different they don't care to hang out for that long anymore).  When we did that trail with them, they both got into some poison oak, it wasn't very bad, but was very irritating for them.  Nancy and I also walked that trail together a few years ago.  It is a little over a mile down hill to a beach, and then back up, making it 2 and a half miles total.  The hill is very, very steep and I remember when we did it with the boys it was difficult.  A few years ago when we did it, I didn't think it was too bad, difficult, but I was running by then and didn't have major issues.  Nancy, on the other hand, had problems. (I'm sorry that this is a horribly written paragraph, bad grammar, bad punctuation, just bad).

Nancy was hoping that the cycle classes would make the hill a bit easier, but she still had to stop at the top of the steepest part of the trail to catch her breath.  I always feel bad when she's obviously more winded than I am at things.  I don't know why.  I just feel like we should be the same. 
Steepest part of the trail, pictures don't do it
justice.
This weekend was pretty chill for me.  I did a lot of nothing.  I did do some running though.  Friday I was able to go for an earlier than normal run so I did 4 miles.  Saturday I ran 3 miles and Sunday was 7 miles. 

Sunday was not a great run.  I felt sluggish in the beginning, I had a pain (small, nothing serious) in my calf, and I just wasn't excited about it.  Here I've been complaining about all my short runs, and now that I'm getting into longer ones, I'm hating them too.  I will never win. 

I haven't really figured out a good time to go for a long run.  Maybe that's my problem.  I like to run in the morning, but I also like to sit and eat breakfast and drink some coffee and some water.  I wake up naturally between 6 and 7 most weekend mornings, and then I am pretty lazy.  Saturday and Sunday mornings are pretty much the only time I have without Maddox, and that's usually only an hour or less, depending on when I wake up (he's almost always up by 7:30).    The time I have been going is about 10am, but we've started doing our grocery shopping Sunday morning, and we usually go at 10am, so my runs have been pushed to 12 or so, and by that time I'm hungry again.  I've debated about moving my long runs to Saturday, but I haven't. 

What I saw on my run yesterday
This week is more of the same, gym and weights Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  We're going to go to cycle class on Wednesday, there's a new teacher that day that we haven't tried out. Cross your fingers that he's fun.  Running probably on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

Well, this post has become a lot of nothing. I hope you all had a good weekend.  =)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Running in the dark

Well, it's already started.  Dark runs.  =/

Last week I went for a run when I got home, it was still light out when I left so I didn't think anything of it, but then mid-run I decided to change my 3 miles to 4 miles, and it was definitely dark by the time I got home.  Yesterday I went for 3 miles when I got home, and even though there was still some daylight when I left, I decided to put on my reflective vest thing and carry some pepper spray.  (I'm not sure why I only carry pepper spray when it's dark, but I do.)  I couldn't find the headlamp I used last year, I think it quit working, so I was without light.  I run on city streets, and for the most part they are lit up.  I just worry about cracks I can't see and tripping.  But my routes are very familiar to me, so I can usually avoid the worst of the cracks.

It makes me sad to run in the dark.  Just a few years ago, I refused to do it at all.  I even bought a treadmill ( I couldn't find the post about when I got my treadmill, so here's my post about when it lost it's luster, a whole 2 months after I bought it) to run in the dark on.  Now . . . well, it's buried in my garage under a ton of stuff.  It would take quite a while to dig it out. 

I only started running in the dark 2 years ago.  I guess I decided if I was going to outside and avoid my treadmill at all costs, that includes dark running.  I've even done a couple early morning runs in the dark now (just last year while training for my marathon and not having time in the evening).  Anyway,  just think how dark it will be next week after Daylight Savings time ends?  *Sigh* That means 3 month or so of running in the dark on the week days. 

This weekend I ran 6 miles on Sunday.  Sometimes I'm sad that I will most likely never say the words "my longest run ever" again.  I don't plan on being an ultra runner, someone who runs more than marathon distances, so it seems strange and a little sad that from now on I will always say "my longest run since . . ."  But 6 miles is my longest run since my sprained ankle.  I misjudged my distance when I went out, and ended up with a mile more to go before getting home.  I didn't really want to push it, so I asked Damian to come get me at my 6 mile point and he did.  I probably could have run 7 without consequence, but I was trying to be safe.  ; )

My weight has not been going down as quickly as I would have liked, but it is lower than it was 2 months ago, so that's good.

I continue to go to spin class with my sister.  However, our regular instructor got a new job and left and we haven't found another one that we like.  They are mostly men that are serious cyclists, so their idea of a good work out is to mumble into the mic "resistance up one notch" repeatedly, and then throwing in a random "we'll stay here for a minute (or 3 min)"  It's very boring lately.  I have loved hanging out with my sister once a week, even if we're just exercising and can't talk, but I don't know how much more of the boring spin classes we can take.  We may have to look at different options.

Oh, and have I mentioned I changed my hair?  I like it a lot. 
Halloween was . . . well, Halloween.  Maddox went as a Rubik's Cube, and was super cute.  He got a ton of candy and we got a ton of candy to "hand out" (not really, we don't get a lot of trick or treaters, we just wanted our favorite candies, I think I'll save some for Christmas).