Friday, December 19, 2008

Comments fixed

I fully intend to "go public" with this to friends and family in the new year so I finally spent some time figuring out how to let everybody- not just people registered with Blogger- be able to post comments. I truly hate having to register for stuff on the internet, and I would not want to try to force that on anyone, so I'm hoping it's fixed now.

Mental Health Day

We had a lot of bad weather- well not as bad as was forecast- this morning, and because all the local schools were closed, I decided to take today off from work. It would give me a little extra time to finish the laundry and dishes, pack, clean off the car and shovel our spot, etc. etc. Anyway, I'm definitely glad I did. I would have stressed about being ready had I gone to work, and honestly, I probably would have accomplished very little.

My hip is feeling much much better. I ran outside yesterday and have decided I need to get some of those chemical hand warmers. Most of my body was okay, but my fingers, OW!!!! Today was 6mi on the treadmill in the afternoon. Note to self: burrito + running- even 3 hours later- = a bad idea.

I'm leaving tomorrow to visit family for the holidays so posting will be sporadic. I'm so so so happy to be able see everyone and to thaw out a bit. It's hard to be so far away from family sometimes, and it's stressful to move to a new place- especially one with such a different climate. I'm happy we are here in Madison, but it will be nice to be "home" (as if I knew where that was) for a little while.

Safe travels to everyone out on the road!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ow! My hip!

So the bad news is that my hip hurts. Rewind back to Saturday when I did 12 miles wearing YakTrax, a lot of it on a very slick bike path. My hip hurt A LOT by the end of that run, but I blamed it on the YakTrax and ice throwing off my gate. I figured I'd take my regularly scheduled two days off from running and be back in business today. Well, it didn't work that way.

I got up this morning, and my hip was aching. It didn't really hurt Sunday or Monday so I'm not sure what is up with that. The air temp was -6 so I wasn't into running outside, and evidently our neighbors have started doing Bikram yoga at night so it was too hot to run inside on the treadmill. I threw everything I needed for the day together and went to the gym to do the arc trainer. I like this machine a bit better than the ellipticals they have (it takes longer for my toes to go totally numb), but I'm afraid maybe it's irritating my hip area. I've been taking Advil, and I'll definitely foam roll it once I get home. I'm supposed to do strength training tonight, but we'll see how doing squats and lunges feels. Ugh!

At least I'm not trying to train for anything. It honestly doesn't matter if I run or not this week. And the next two weeks will be on and off with exercise anyway because we'll be traveling. It would probably be better for me to ride the exercise bike or swim rather than keep elliptical-ing, but I feel anxious about not being able to work out very much over the break, and I don't want to turn 2 weeks of reduced activity into 3.

I actually haven't even tried to run on it since Saturday. Maybe tomorrow it will feel better enough that I'll try running on the treadmill at the gym. I can always switch off if it starts hurting.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ack, it's freezing!!!

I was surprised to see that it had been more than a week since I last posted. I know I was sidetracked last week, but I thought I'd gotten at least one in there.

Anyway, it is insanely cold outside right now. The high was 9 degrees, and the windchill brought it down to the -15 - -20 range. I had to cover my face with my hands to walk from the gym to work this morning. Unbelievable! This is officially the coldest day of my life up to this point. It was an especially rude reminder that it's still winter after yesterday when it got up to the high 30s, and almost all the accumulated snow melted.

Running has been going. I haven't done any specific workouts lately. Mostly just checking it off the list. But I have made a couple important decisions about the upcoming running year.

The first is that I'm going to train for the Mad City marathon this spring. I'd been going back and forth about doing a spring marathon, and if I did, which one, but it seems like the right decision. It gives me the most time to train, the most time after ARVO to get over being sick if I come back with something, and I don't have to travel for it. There's no benefit to any other spring marathon that outweighs the benefits of staying in Madison. Plus, hopefully I'll have friends here to cheer me on.

The second decision is to continue a triathlon-style training program, but to do the Your Ultimate Marathon Training program from Runners World rather than do the FIRST workouts. The FIRST workouts are... intense. And I'm sure if I could do them, I'd be in a great place to run a marathon. But I'm afraid that I'll either get hurt or get frustrated not being able to hit the paces prescribed and stop speed training. I had good results with the RW 1/2 marathon training program, and I think whatever I'll be missing out on in intensity, I'll make up for in enjoying the training process. Part of enjoying the process for me is feeling successful after a hard workout. I'm just not sure I'd ever have that feeling on FIRST, but I know I will with YUMTP.

This week is kind of weird for working out because there's no tri-club spinning. So I'm just playing it by ear. The same will be especially true next week while we are traveling and visiting family. It will be my goal to workout as much as I can, but not feel guilty when I can't.

Well, it's about time to steel myself for a frigid wait for the bus.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas is coming

I don't have much to say fitness-wise today. I did 6mi on the treadmill this morning before the roads and sidewalks were cleared. I wasn't sure if our sidewalks would be plowed over the weekend so I played it safe and stayed indoors.

Here are a few holiday pictures to help get in the spirit. A few are from our trip to Chicago. One is of the ornaments I made this year. The last is my Christmas gift from Daniel. It's a wooden nativity scene cut like a puzzle. Evidently the artist who made it is local to Madison. She'd also done a Noah's Ark, a panda, a brontosaurus, and some other neat things.

Friday, December 5, 2008

You can't always get what you want

As you can tell from my December goals, I was riding high off my race last week. I was all set to start another hard week of training, but Mother Nature and my body had other ideas.

This has been the first week of really snowy/cold/yucky weather. One of my coworkers said it's more like January right now than a typical December. It bodes well for my winter/early spring training that I'm still able to get out there and run, but I think it's to the point where I can't continue doing speed work outside. The condition of the sidewalks changes too frequently to try to run all out. And because I really felt like running outside this week I wasn't able to do any of the FIRST runs.

Also, all that fatigue I thought was going to hit me last week hit this week. My run Tuesday was very slow and tired, and, after a hard spinning workout on Wednesday, I just had to take Thursday off. I'm glad I did because I actually felt like a human being after work, and because I was actually excited to run this morning (even though it was -4 with the windchill). I also didn't go to dry land yesterday, but I'm planning to do my workout DVD after work.

I still haven't figured out what races I want to do next year, but I'm a little more hopeful about my ability to train decently during the winter. I think I'm going to revise my goal of continuing the FIRST runs and do the treadmill speed runs in my Training for Multisport Athletes book.

Recent workouts:
Mon- Spin
Tues- Run 6mi easy, workout DVD
Weds- Spin (hard)
Thurs- Rest
Fri- Run 6mi easy, workout DVD?

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Update

It's the first day of the last month of the year. 2008 has really flown by.

I think I skipped November in my monthly fitness goal update, so I'll try to go by what I remember by October/November/Fall fitness goals were.

Ran a 1:48 1/2 marathon in Oct, meeting my sub-1:55 goal.
Ran a 50:01 10k in Nov, meeting my sub-51 min but, alas, not my sub-50 min goal
Ran a 23:40 5k in Nov in the middle of the 10k above, meeting both my sub-25 and sub-24 min goals.

I've been messing around with lifting but nothing serious. If I had any goals for this, I definitely did not achieve them.

Lots of thinking, not much action. Pretty much the same as above.

December goals:
Keep up with the FIRST workouts.
Figure out what to do race-wise for next year.
Try to keep up with running and XT-ing while on Christmas break

Try out the dry-land practices for tri club
Strength train 2x per week, even if it's just push-ups while I'm away.

Commit to keeping special treats limited to special days.
On "feast" days, eat until 80% full.

Welcome to The Holidays

Thanksgiving is over, our long-awaited Chicago trip is over, and Christmas is only 24 shopping days away. Even I, the mean-old-lady-in-training who cringes at the sight of Frosty making an appearance before the day after Thanksgiving, am starting to get in the spirit.

I may not be crazy about all the craziness around the holidays, but one thing I do like is the food. And there's plenty of it. The difficulty I have is that, while Christmas and Thanksgiving are only two days of special occasion, they have a way of turning into two months worth of it. My desire to eat healthfully is always undermined by that little voice that says "Oh, but it's a special time of year. You won't get X until next year." Unfortunately, when that happens every day, treats become the norm rather than a special occasion.

Even though his message is about being frugal with money rather than with calories, The Simple Dollar has this post about how to keep treats special.

First, he asks readers to identify treat-become-habit and STOP. If Starbucks used to be a once-a-week special Saturday trip but is now firmly fixed in your morning routine, stop going to Starbucks. If eating a treat out of the break room used to be reserved for Friday afternoons and now, with the profusion of treats during the holidays, you find yourself there every afternoon, STOP.

That's the point where my inner 8-year-old starts to whine, "But you never let me have any fun. Why can't I eat a cookie at Christmas?? Everyone else is doing it. It's only this once?" And honestly, it's pretty easy to cave at that point (at least for me).

This is where The Simple Dollar's second suggestion comes in. Replace the treat-habit with something you like just as much but is more in line with your goals. Create an enjoyable morning habit that involves brewing your own coffee. Find an afternoon snack that satisfies your desire for junk in a more healthful way (maybe an apple with peanut butter).

One thing I've taken away from reading from/about people who have really good physiques is that they don't get where they are by treating diet as a form of punishment. When asked how she eats the way she does (one could call it Spartan) to keep her great figure MizFit says simply that she only eats stuff she really enjoys. She just chooses things she enjoys that fit with her goals. Clarence Bass has the same approach.

The only exception to this rule I've found is ChickenTuna who says she hates exercising and eating right but is content to do it because she wants to be hot (and she most definitely is).

Based on these ideas, my goal for this holiday season is to pick a few days to enjoy all the tasty Christmas foods but to commit to limiting myself to those few days. I think this will allow me to enjoy holiday treats even more because they will still seem special and hopefully spare me the Christmas 5.