Final Countdown

It’s official – my first 5K is almost here! My friend and I picked up our race packets today, and now I’m really excited. Our packet included one of those horrible fitting team t-shirts that was definitely not designed for someone with boobs and hips. So I pulled out the scissors and got a little creative with the neck, arms, and bottom seam. I’m tempted to shorten it a bit, but I’m not that crafty. It’s much better than it was, but still not great. I’d be much happier wearing one of my regular running shirts. I guess that’s a casualty of running with a team.

Fashion problems aside, I’m really looking forward to the event. I fully acknowledge that I haven’t trained like I had hoped so my only goal is to have fun and get inspired to train for my next race in September. I have a tendency to be hard on myself, but I’m going to try my best to just enjoy the experience and not judge my performance.

As long as the weather improves like it is predicted to, it should be a fun evening. I’ll be back with a recap later this week!

Summer Lovin’

Howdy, folks! So sorry for the long silence. Life has been busy and full of stuff to do. Summer weather is finally here and I’ve been taking advantage of it!

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to his first ever professional baseball game! Now, even though I live in New York, I am a big Philadelphia sports team fan because I grew up in southern New Jersey. It kills my soul a little bit each time I step into a New York baseball stadium (unless it’s to watch them play the Phillies), but since the Mets’ stadium is practically down the street from my apartment, that’s where we went. I have to admit that I really do like Citifield. It’s a great ballpark. The night we went was a beautiful night for baseball. My husband really enjoyed it and we’ve been talking about going again (hopefully when they play the Phillies in July)!

View from our seats.

View from our seats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Memorial Day we had a NYC apartment style BBQ – hot dogs on the Forman grill, corn on the cob, salad, and store bought potato salad. It actually turned out pretty tasty! It was another beautiful day so we walked around the neighborhood enjoying the sun and the people-watching.

This past week I decided to get my hair lightened from a dark auburn to a strawberry blonde. It’s not quite the color I had in mind, but so far I’m really enjoying!

New Hair 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In health related updates, I’ve been slacking a bit on my training for the 5k coming up on June 12th. I really doubt I’ll end up running the entire thing, especially if the heat keeps up like it has been the past few days. Surprisingly, I’m feeling okay with this fact. I’ve decided to look at this 5k as a chance to see what a race is like so that I’ll know how to better prepare for the next one. I’ve already signed up for an Electric Run in September and am looking for at least one more in the fall. Since work is about to seriously slow down in about two weeks, I’ll really be able to concentrate on training through the summer and hopefully finishing with a good time in September. This is going to be one sweaty summer!

Back to Basics

Well, folks, it took a little bit longer than I anticipated, but I’m finally cold free and back to my normal energy levels. What a ridiculously long-lingering cold that was! I spent the majority of my vacation days sniffling, coughing and napping on the couch. I did manage to drag myself into the city for happy hour with two former co-workers and discovered that hot toddies are a seriously amazing remedy for a cold. I realize I’m a little late to the game considering my Irish heritage, but I’ve now found my go-to drink during cold season!

On my final vacation day the hubby and I went out for brunch (my favorite meal) and planned on seeing a movie in the afternoon. We ended up cuddling and napping instead. Womp womp. But we redeemed ourselves later with a long stroll around the neighborhood and a Netflix DVD. It was actually the perfect way to spend my final day off.

I didn’t make it back to the gym until yesterday. Even then I struggled a bit with all the coughing, but it felt SO good to be exercising again. I went back again today and hit the treadmill. Knowing that I’ve lost a bunch of stamina both physically and mentally, I decided to do Week 4, Day 1 of the C25K program. It was a great choice. Not too easy and not too challenging. I felt happy and strong throughout the entire workout. That’s a good thing since my first official 5K is coming up on June 12th! As coincidence would have it, I received my first issue of Runner’s World this week and there is a 5 week training plan for running a 5K. I have just about 5 weeks before mine. I’ve adapted it a little bit using some of the C25K program workouts along with changing some of the rest days based on my schedule. I’m determined to stick with this plan since I would really, really like to run at least half of the 5k next month. Fingers crossed!

Dealing with Setbacks

Guys, it’s not a good idea to not run for an extended period of time if  you can help it! I encountered this life lesson yesterday when I hopped on the treadmill for an interval session after about two weeks. The first week was because my left hamstring was really tight and sore for a few days.  I was afraid it was going to turn into a serious injury if I pushed it, so I gave myself a few extra rest days and then stuck to the elliptical when working out. The second week was a result of long, stressful days at work where mentally I could only accept elliptical workouts or Zumba. So, when I finally decided to get a run in, my body acted like it had never run a day in its life!

First I used the elliptical for thirty minutes and then switched to the treadmill. I had planned on doing some intervals using one of the C25K workouts where I would go slow during the “run” portions and speed up during the walk portions. After the first round it quickly became clear that I would have to slow down both interval speeds if I wanted to survive. The one positive thing from this was that, instead of getting mad at myself for a pretty pathetic run, I accepted the fact that I lost some of my endurance and would have to work to get it back. So my plan now is to take the next week or two to work back up to where I was before by returning to the C25K plan.

Today was not going to be a running day, but when I got to the gym, my favorite treadmill was free and so I decided to do a quick, easy 15 minutes to warm up and remind myself what running feels like. My hamstring was a little sore again, but it felt much better a few minutes in. I was happy with the 15 minutes and avoided the temptation to keep going. Then I fit in another 30 minute elliptical session.

These next two weeks are going to be my busiest yet. I am really hoping to get in some workouts nevertheless. I’m planning on some early morning workouts this week. I am not a morning person, but it’s pretty much the only way I can fit them in with the exception of Zumba tomorrow night. I’ll be visiting my family in southern New Jersey next weekend and am pretty sure I won’t be getting in any runs. So I really need to get myself moving during the week. I have a feeling this is going to be a coffee-filled, hectic few weeks!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

It turned out to be a pretty nice weekend weather-wise around here. Yesterday would have been perfect for an outdoor run, but I didn’t run at all this past week due to my hamstring problem. I took a few days off from working out completely. On Thursday I returned to the gym, tried a run but still felt a slight pain and decided the elliptical would be a better idea. I stuck to the elliptical and other cardio machines all weekend which I think was a good idea as I’ve been pain free for the past few days. Tomorrow night I’ll attend a Zumba class and then it’s back to running as much as I can. I’ve started to miss it!

I don’t have anything interesting to post tonight. Work has been extremely busy as predicted, so aside from a few happy hours and workouts, I’ve either been at work or trying to relax at home.

Oh! But I did sign up for my first 5K in June. I’ll be running/walking with a team from my work including a friend of mine. I’m really excited about it! Of course, it means I really have to take my runs outside soon. With any luck the weather will be steadily warming up soon. If I can just get through the next three weeks at work without keeling over from exhaustion, I’ll be in the clear to really focus on my training.

 

Say it Ain’t Snow!

Apologies for the cheesy title, but I am so over this winter. Spring officially begins tomorrow and yet it snowed again last night. We’ve been lucky this winter in that we haven’t had much accumulation, but I’m still getting tired of seeing snow on the ground. Come on, warmer days!

Despite the annoying weather I made it to Zumba last night. The instructor was new to me, but she was great. It was probably one of the most fun Zumba classes I’ve taken to date. I am definitely going to make Monday night Zumba a regular occurrence in my weekly workout schedules. I was sweating almost as much as I do after a 30 minute run and grinning just as much for sure!

Today is the last day of my very extended weekend. I once again stayed in pajamas until close to noon and then got myself to the gym for some speed work followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical. This was only my second attempt at intervals, but I definitely felt a difference. Both times my legs felt great running faster. My heart and lungs more easily kept up this time around. I just might reach my first goal of running 12 minute miles by the end of this month after all.

I’ve been doing a lot introspection and journal writing lately. I’m hoping to become brave enough to share some of that here in the near future. For now, I just want to say that I feel like something has shifted. I feel ready to really put in the hard work and discipline necessary to reach my goals. I know that it may take longer than I’d like, but I also know that if I really stick with it and adapt more healthy habits I will achieve whatever I want to achieve. For me, the hardest part is not necessarily the exercise and the eating right. Rather, it’s the emotional component which often knocks me down and off track. I’m taking a hard look at all of those triggers and figuring out how to stop them, or at least lessen the damage that they cause.

On the Right Track

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my Irish and non-Irish readers! Being of the Irish persuasion myself, I indulged in a little Irish soda bread and corned beef hash this weekend, but sadly stayed away from the beer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cold pint every once in a while, but it just wasn’t in the cards this weekend.

What was in the cards was intervals for speed and more running! Like I mentioned earlier this week, I completed the C25K program on Tuesday. Thanks to some guidance both here and on Twitter I found a few interval workouts to try in order to increase my pace. On Friday, I tried the NHS C25K + speed podcast that Never too late recommended. It was pretty tough, but I can see how it will help and so I plan on incorporating it into my weekly workouts. On Saturday I did 45 minutes on the elliptical for a slight change of pace. Today I ran for 30 minutes at a slightly faster speed than my past runs and I threw in some mini-intervals as well.

I’m really starting to see a difference in my body lately. My food choices are getting better day by day (Irish goodies aside). I just feel very positive and on the right track. It’s been great!

I’ve also started meditating regularly again. Meditation is such a great tool to help us find balance and peace. I really regret the times when I let the practice slip away. I started back up again using these guided meditations from Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge. I have to admit, it’s been a really helpful program so far. If you are even slightly interested, I would urge you to check it out and give it a shot.

We are revving up for a particularly busy time at work for the next month, so in preparation, I have vacation days scheduled for tomorrow and Tuesday of this week. I’m looking forward to sleeping in for a few extra days, spending some quality time with my husband (Tuesday and Wednesday are his “weekend” days), and getting to the gym. I want to really cement all of these healthy habits in place before life gets a bit more crazy. I’m going to do everything I can to stay on track!