Friday, March 22, 2013

Am I A Morning Person?

I guess the answer to that question is yes.  I rarely snooze my alarm, and to me sleeping late means 9 AM.  This past week I have woken up at 5:45 am three mornings in a row to work out and let me tell you, it has been great!  I forgot how much I enjoy morning work outs.  During the winter, I typically work out in the afternoons since it is cold and dark in the mornings.  I call it my hibernation period.

The best part about morning work outs is that you’re done.  I can come home from work and plop my little booty on the couch all evening and not feel guilty because I already got my sweat in for the day.  (Working out a second time would just be overtraining.)  I also feel like, for me personally, there are so many less excuses in the morning.
So why the sudden shift to morning work outs?  First of all, spring has begun.  Thursday was officially the first day of spring; I hope you didn’t miss it.  It is still dark outside at 6 am, but it is getting warmer here in Texas.  Also, my half marathon is in less than a month which means I cannot be skipping workouts (although I kind of skipped today. shhhh…)  I did get in two good runs on Tuesday and Wednesday plus a yoga session for lots of stretching on Thursday.  I decided to rest today because I was exhausted and I have a 9.5 mile training run on schedule for tomorrow.

I know I’ve been slacking on updating this blog.  March has been a kind of free-for-all month.  I have been exploring new things, but I don’t have a concrete goal.  I have been swimming laps one night a week.  I do yoga once a week. I’m trying new recipes.  I’m reading new blogs.  Hopefully after my half marathon training is over, I’ll have better direction in my life besides getting in as many miles as possible before my half.
On Sunday I am leaving to go to Big Bend National Park with my boyfriend.  Wish me luck.  His style of camping is a little rougher than my style of camping.  I think we’ve managed to compromise.  I also will try to write an update about my trip to Oklahoma last weekend with pictures, since this post has none.  Enjoy your Friday night!

Are you a morning person?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

5 and Dime 10k Race Recap

Saturday was the 5 and Dime Run in Garland, TX.  This race benefitted the Garland High School AVID program. It was a small local race – only 90 runners in the 10k, but I enjoy a smaller race atmosphere.  I was nervous going in because I wanted to beat my previous PR of 58:16 set in January.  The weather was threatening rain, but luckily it held off.

This was the first race in a while that Daniel did not run with me, but he drove me to the race and agreed to be an awesome spectator and take pictures of me.  I got to the race site to pick up my packet an hour before the race.  This was plenty of time…maybe too much time, but luckily we got to chill inside the convention center until the race began.  I did a 5 minute warm-up plus some strides outside as the race got closer.  I made sure to stretch really well.  The mantra in my head was 9:20, which would be the perfect pace to be right under 58 minutes.

Being silly before the race – trying to pose like a runner
Finally it was time to line up at the starting line.  Daniel and I had fun making bets on who we thought would win the race.  A few minutes later (after a 50 meter dash for the kids) we were off.

That’s me – waving to the camera.  Also now I’m wondering why this lady was dressed in a
fluffy jacket and earmuffs.  It was nearly 60 degrees outside and humid!
The first two miles of the course had some hills and the wind was in my face.  I pushed through by repeating my goal pace over and over in my head.  Midway through mile 3, the wind let up and the course was a little flatter.  I noticed runners around me started slowing down though (maybe tired from the hills).  I took a look at my Garmin and my pace was dropping too, but feeling good I picked it up and began passing people in front of me one by one.  I passed one guy, startling him.  He asked me, “where did you come from?”  He said he was going to pace with me, but that didn’t last very long.
I saw Daniel again at mile 3 and 4.  Seeing him always makes me smile.  Below is a picture.  I tried to hold up the number 4 to show what mile I was at. 

The last 2 miles were downhill since this was a repeat of the first two miles in reverse.  There were 2 girls in front of me that I was determined to pass before the finish and I eventually did.  The finish was a little crowded because the 5k participants were finishing in the same area.   I knew I was well under my goal of 58 minutes.  My official time came in at 55:34.  I demolished my previous PR!

I’ve learned to smile at the end of each race for the photographer. 
I was also excited about my finishing time.
Overall, I felt really strong in this race.  My endurance training has definitely been paying off.  In 2 short months, I improved my 10k time by almost 3 minutes!  That’s amazing!  This is the last event I’m competing in before my half marathon on April 14, but I feel ready.  This will be my first half that I will actually be able to run without having to run/walk.  It will be the most well trained I’ve been for that distance.  I can’t wait!
  I got a medal too! 2nd in the F 20-25 group.

Did anyone else race this weekend?

Monday, March 4, 2013

February Goal Recap

Here is a look at how I did with my goals for February.

1. Run 70 miles.

I was 2 miles short of this goal.  I blame the short month (28 days…who thought of that?!). I also devoted two evenings to try out swimming laps at a local pool in place of running.  I welcomed the variety to my workouts so my joints got a break and my muscles were challenged in a new way.  I have also re-evaluated my half marathon training plan and I am confident I can surpass 70 miles in March.

2. Do yoga or extra stretching for 60 minutes each week.

Check! I penciled in the minutes I was stretching each day in my workout log and was surprised how challenging it was to get to 60 minutes each week.  It was well worth the effort.  I was even rewarded by the Flexible February challenge from Fitting It All In. I won a NuNaturals prize package.

3. Complete a plank a day for 5 days each week.

Check! I wasn’t always good at checking in on twitter, but I would put a plank at the end of each workout (5 times a week!).  I even noticed some abs poking out in the middle of the month.  I want to continue strengthening my core.

4. Complete 3 fitmixer workouts each week.

This quickly dropped from 3 to 2 to 1 to ZERO.  I’m not entirely sure why I lost motivation in this department.  I do know I had a lot of social commitments after work this month and since I didn’t want to skip runs, my boot camp workouts often got cancelled.  To remedy this, I need to start working out in the morning and schedule my workouts at the beginning of the week and actually write them down so I am committed.  More about revamping my workout outlook soon.

5. Eat 3 servings of vegetables each day.

I give myself half a check for this goal.  I got a lot better about adding more vegetables to my lunches and other meals, but I still want to eat a larger variety of vegetables. My habit is to reach for starches before leafy greens.  I think I will keep this on my goal list for one more month.

I have not yet drafted my March goals.  They are still a work in progress.  I recently picked up “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” at my local library and I’ve been rethinking my cross training. I will post new plans and goals in about a week.
I have a 10k race coming up this weekend, so that will keep me motivated for now.  Do you have any new goals for March to share?  Let me know in the comments.