Friday, December 23, 2016

Snow!

Merry Christmas!  I know it's early, but this will be my last post before Christmas, so I thought I would wish everyone (the 2 of you) a Merry Christmas.  ; ) 

I have had a busy couple of weeks.  My weekends are full, and I don't feel like I sit down for 2 days.  Then I go to work, actually, I feel like work has been a break from the busyness of home.    This last weekend I ran 10 miles.  It was a good run and I didn't feel too tired at all.  I had to try a new fuel, Honey Stinger Waffles, because the gummies I usually get the running store didn't have.  I didn't really care for the waffles.  It was huge, and very dry.  I like the little gummies that I can shove 3 in my mouth and keep going.  The waffle I felt I had to stop, break it in half and it took several bites to eat even half of it, plus it was dry.

The other bad thing, is it's a one run thing, the gummies I think I got 2 runs out of one package.  So now I need to go find something for my long run tomorrow.  Maybe I'll buy some gummy bears, I used those a couple times. 
I am now using both my old Garmin, and Mapmyrun to track my runs.  The problem with my Garmin is that to stop and start the time, I have to push a button.  Mapmyrun has the option for an automatic stop if you're not moving for a few seconds.  When I ate the waffle I stopped the clock on my Garmin for a min, and then forgot to restart it.  I noticed after less than half a mile, but the damage was done.  Then I warred (is that a word, and if so, is that how you spell it?) with myself on whether or not I should run until my Garmin said 10 miles, or stop at a true 10 miles.  I decided to stop, although, Mapmyrun app is off, and gets more off the longer I run, so I went over what the app said to make sure I had  10 miles. 

I was in the shower after my run and my feet hurt and I kept thinking how nice a bath will sound later . . . and then I decided, why am I waiting to take a bath.  So I filled the tub, but I was hungry so I sent Damian to get Subway and I ate my Subway in the tub.  It was one of the best sandwiches I've had.  ; ) 

I haven't noticed an increase in my speed doing the MAF running that I talked about a few weeks ago.  I've been doing it a month, the recommendation is to do it for 12 weeks to see real results, and it's only been about 3 weeks, so I'll keep doing it.  It's sad to see the low speed for me, but really it isn't changing much about my running, other than I'm gone longer.  I feel like it's easier to run, and I'm often a little embarrassed to walk up hills, but it doesn't really impact much else so I'll keep doing it and see what happens long term. 

As I type this there are big, fat flakes of snowing falling outside my window.  It's really pretty, but I'm getting slightly concerned about the roads and the idiots that live in this area. 
 
We're headed to eastern Washington on Monday to see our families.  It's gonna be a short trip, we come back on Wednesday.  Neither Chris nor I have very much time off to take.  I don't know what happened, I used to take a full week off at Christmas, a full week for Spring Break and a full week in the summer.  I haven't been able to do that for several years now.  I hate it.
 
One thing about the snow today, if it continues, it'll be a snowy run this evening.  I'm kinda looking forward to it.  I've wanted to run in the snow for years, last year I was able to run on snowy ground at my parents' house, but never while it was snowing.  Hopefully I don't fall and kill myself . . . a waterproof jacket would sure be nice tonight.  I hope I get one on Sunday.
 
All this snow we're getting right now is supposed to be gone by tomorrow afternoon, so that's sad, but I'm happy that I get to enjoy how pretty it is now. 
 
 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I'm cold!

This last weekend on my long run I realized that I've never really done serious running outside in the winter.  Last year I had just finished my marathon and cut way, way back on running, literally going from over 100 miles in September and October to 36 in November and 47 in December.  I ran 78 in January, but my long runs were 6 and 5 miles, with one 7 mile run at the end of the month.  The year before that I was dealing with plantar faciitis, running 4 miles in November, 30 in December, with most of those on the treadmill, and 40 in January.  In fact, that winter was the first time I ever ran in the dark.  I bought my treadmill specifically for the winter months, before 2 years ago, the majority of my winter/dark runs were done on the treadmill.  In December of 2013 I ran 80 miles and 100 in January, but I had a different job, and got off work at 4 or a little earlier, and only had a 5 min commute, so I was able to get a run in after work while it was still light outside.  I guess that could be argued that 2013/2014 winter was "serious" running in the winter, after all, I ran a lot. 

So maybe it's not that I have never done serious running in the winter, but that it's been 3 years since I did and I'm not used to it.  In my defense, though, it is true that I haven't run outside in the dark in the winter until this year, or at least not a ton.  It's cold outside!!  I need a waterproof jacket, I'm hoping I'll get one for Christmas.  I realize that my cold is actually pretty warm compared to the majority of people's cold, 30-40 degrees is far from freezing my butt off, but still, everyone is acclimated to their own climate.  (ha!)

I'll tell you one thing, I much prefer long runs in the summer months than the winter months.  (Again, the whole climate thing, my summers are not nearly as warm as most.) 

Anyway, this weekend I slacked off quite a bit on running.  I ran 8 miles on Saturday instead of 10, and none on Sunday.  I didn't want to run on Saturday, and it had snowed on Friday and even though it was gone, it was still cold.  Plus, I haven't gotten any energy gummies in forever, and generally  anything over 8 miles I need them.  Although, I did 9 miles a week ago and was okay.  I figured 8 miles was a compromise, and I'm okay with it.

Sunday I just didn't get going early enough.  We do our grocery shopping Sunday morning and then we went to Lynnwood, an hour away, to go get Christmas ornaments.  I had started a tradition with Damian when it was just him and I where I would get him an ornament of his choosing every year.  This was when I lived in Lynnwood, so going to the cool ornament store was easy, now it's a hassle and I hate it more every year.  But, it's tradition, so we went. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Speaking of gymrats....

People I see at the gym pretty much every day I go:

very skinny, tall Asian guy, but also very muscular
He's super skinny and tall, but I noticed recently that he has huge arm muscles.  He looks kinda mean, but he has started smiling when he sees me, so maybe he's just focused.

short older guy who is also very muscularly big
He's got striking blue eyes.  He often catches my eye and smiles, I'm pretty sure he's shorter than me and about 15 years older (maybe more).  For awhile I thought maybe he was a trainer there, which I'm still not sure he's not, but yesterday he looked like he was carrying around a notebook with his workouts in it.

really nice, but slightly strange stretching guy
He has actually talked to me.  The first time he talked to me it was a strange conversation and I walked away wondering if he was hitting on me, or just super lonely.  Now he says "hi lady" every time I see him (probably doesn't remember my name) and sometimes we chat for a moment, sometimes we don't.  I see him chatting with others as well, so he may just be super friendly. 

bigger Asian girl, who is super serious about weightlifting
She is serious about lifting.  She carries around her milk jug of water, and lifts very heavy.  She has recently started making eye contact with me as well, and smiles.  If I'm intimidated by anyone, it's her.  She looks like an everyday, slightly chubby girl, but she obviously knows what she's doing in the gym and is serious about it. 

cute 20-something couple
It took me awhile to realize they were a couple.  The girl has the perfect outfit, perfect hair, perfect makeup.  The guy is not as "perfect" but still goodlooking.  They often share their machines, but then will go separate ways.  The first couple times I saw them, I thought they were meeting for the first time and were flirting, but I think they come and leave together. Perfectly, of course.

older couple
They are also a cute couple, but are older than the above couple, probably older than me.  I don't think I've ever seen them on the machines, they are usually spotting each other.  I don't see them every day, and sometimes I see them separately.

very tan and muscular girl
I never see her working out, but she obviously does.  She's is very built.  She seems very nice, she's very social and talks with all the other serious weight lifters there.  She is the epitome of the what girls say they don't want to look like so they don't lift weights so they don't get "big." 

girl with my hair
I don't know what she does at the gym, I only see her as I get there and she is in the locker room getting ready to leave, blow drying her hair and dressing.  She's got the exact purple streak her hair in the same spot as me, although her hair is longer.

cute girl with perfect hair and makeup
I see her on the step machine, and I used to see her in the lifting area, but haven't lately.  She is friendly with the bigger Asian girl.  I've seen them chatting while lifting weights. I see her in the locker room doing her hair and makeup.

redhaired guy
I see him, haven't formed much of an opinion.  He works out. That's about all I have seen.

I wonder what the others think of me.

in and out girl
She isn't serious, lifts lightly, bad form, and is only there 30 min or less.  She barely sweats and practically sprints out of the gym.  ; ) Her makeup isn't even screwed up most of the time.  She's always on her phone (in my defense, that's where I have my workout for the day, so I'm looking at my phone to see what I'm doing next). 

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.