Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zoos and Burpees

Have I mentioned that I love Gary? Last night he took me for a little jaunt to the zoo. Turns out the zoo is almost a mile from the house and then if you run around it and back you can make a nice little 2.5 mile run and check out the buffalo and peacocks along the way. Much better than running by dogs not on leashes.

Today I woke up thinking I had to cross train. I wake up every morning thinking I should cross train and then around 4pm I start thinking "oh, but I really should just run. Isn't that what a marathon consists of? Why should I cross train?" And then I always go out and run. I almost feel into that trap today. I started checking in with some BRFs and the thoughts started coming in.

I went to Toronto Dave's website and he now has voice posts about his runs. He also has a video blog post. How freakin cool is that?! Funny. I knew he was British but somehow when I read his posts I always read them with an American accent. Pretty cool to hear him talking about his run with the cool accent. I wish my accent was that cool. The only thing I'm told is that people can tell when I'm mad because I start talking with a Boston accent.

As much as listening to Toronto Dave talk about his runs made me want to go run, his accent also reminded me of a kick box bootcamp workout video that I have that I sometimes like. The instructor is from Australia - and yes, I know they are not the same accents, but Dave's voice made me think of the video. So, I finally cross trained. I'm pretty happy with it because you use weights so I got some new work for my muscles. But near the end of the video she has us do these things called Burpees. I think most of you may know them as squat thrusts. Neither of those names really appeal to me.

The one problem I have with the Burpees is that after about 5 of them I start laughing so hard I can't stop and then I have to stop doing the dang things because they are pretty much impossible to do when you are laughing like an idiot. It was a fun workout anyway. It wasn't running, but now I can wake up and not have to think about cross training for a few days. Plus, I think Gary missed me today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meet Gary!

My brother and I are going to be running the OKC half marathon at the end of April. My SIL is going to run the 5k that same day. They came up to visit me this weekend and we had a great visit! While I love reading all about running from blogs, magazines, books and anywhere else I can find, it was really encouraging to have them here. We talked about out training and how great it is to see progress being made and everything else running we could think of. It was great because normally the people I see don't want to talk running as much as I do.

B got a Garmin when we went to the running store and got his shoes. H went back to the running store a few weeks later to change her shoes and she picked up a Garmin at that time. I was pretty jealous because these brand-new runners had a Garmin and I just have my $4.98 watch from Walmart to time my runs. But I tried to remain content.

I got a great surprise this weekend though when B&H told me they brought me an early birthday present. My birthday isn't until the end of April (just a few days before OKC) so I was wondering what it could be? IT WAS A GARMIN!!! Sweet! Now I can use it to train for OKC.

I named him Gary, just because it fits him. I love it! I did let DH know very quickly that I'd named him Gary so that in the near future when I say "Gary and I are going out for a while" he wouldn't get jealous. I just read the comments in a BRF's blog from one of his readers and they named their's Paula - so I'm not crazy that I named him. LOL!

Anyway, for those of you who don't know what a Garmin is (Mom, this is for you), it's a Global Positioning System that uses sattelites to track your course. But it's really a lot more than that. He's a bit bigger than a watch, but that's how you wear him. He can track your miles and how fast you are running. You can program him to help you do intervals (walk a minute, run a minute or run a quarter-mile, do a two minute cool-down), beep at you when you drop below a certain pace (helpful when you need to maintain a certain pace for the marathon), download your run onto your computer and analyze how you did (how consistent you ran, how fast, how far), map your run, run wherever you want and tell it to take you back to start, and so much more. It's freakin awesome!!!

I love Gary. He's my new best friend.

With Gary we went out for a run on Saturday and I got 3 miles in. Sunday I did 5. B, H, and I all had our Garmins on and we went our separate ways and relied on them to bring us back. It was great. Now I just want to run all the time and play with my new toy. Just another bonus to Gary. He just doesn't get tired out!

Oh, so let's post some numbers now that we can:
Saturday 3/15/08:
Lap 1: 11:08
Lap 2: 11:01
Lap 3: 13:06

Sunday 3/16/08:
Lap 1: 11:32
Lap 2: 11:38
Lap 3: 11:22
Lap 4: 13:44
Lap 5: 12:28

And here's a running ettiquitte question? When you drive and a funeral procession passes, you pull over by the side of the road and wait to continue on your way until the procession passes by. Do you do that when you run? On Saturday a procession came by and I crossed the street and stopped. Do any of you do that too or do you just keep running?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rambling on

First and foremost, I want to give a shout out to my sister Abby who's hockey team just won the Massachusetts girls Division 2 High School Ice Hockey Championship!!! Abby is an amazing junior and is one of the goalies. The ice hockey program is only 4 years old and they won states. Amazing. Abby, you rock!!!

So back to running.

For the past few weeks I've been trying to get back in to the groove but it's just not been happening. I'm not lacking motivation. I want to get out there and run. But when I do, well, it's hard to explain, but my body just feels all out of whack. I was talking about it with a couple of my siblings the other day and we were discusssing how there's all this material about training for a marathon, but not much on how to deal post marathon. You can't just stop running, but you can't keep on training as hard as before because your tanks are just empty.

So I was trying to figure out what my deal is and trying to figure out how to get back on track. My brother and I are going to be running the Oklahoma City half marathon and my SIL is doing the 5k that day as well. I want to be back on track to put in a good effort for my first half.

I've been feeling like my body just isn't working as a machine when I get out there and run. My heart and lungs feel fine every time, and I have the mental "I know I can do this" attitude, but things just feel off. I feel like I struggle the first mile and then I'm okay for a little bit and then I just have no energy left. I think about my shoes, my shorts, my food, my hair, my motivation, my stress, my job and about 2746593857 other things to try and figure out what the problem is. I've been reading my BRFs, magazines, books and whatever I can to try to get back to *that place* but when I get on the road, nothing works.

I've decided it's a mixture of things:

1. My hair was driving me crazy. May not make sense, but it was getting pretty long and it's really windy here. I usually put it back in a ponytail and it whips around and gives me a headache from all the pulling. So today I took the scissors and cut off about 6 inches. It's pretty curly, so I can't really screw it up. My head feels lighter and mentally, it helped even if it seems ridiculous! Lol!

2. I think my eating is all screwed up. I am married to someone who just doesn't cook. Well, his idea of cooking is inviting me to Burger King, but only when we have coupons! He is also a person who works a pretty physical job and so he feels like only heavy meals will get him through work. Since I don't want to cook double, I just eat what he does. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm not a huge fan of meat and he is a true carnivore. Eats it with his hands and everything! I eat more meat than I wish I did (but I use a fork and knife.) I'm thinking I need to have a nutrition-a-thon a la Amanda coming up pretty soon and figure out how to fuel up better.

3. I have a tendency when I get in to run mode to just run. I forget about cross training and figure if I'm gonna work out, I should run. I know it's totally wrong, but somehow I can't stop it. It's an all-or-nothing thing and I know it shouldn't be. Ever since my Miguelito spotting I've been reluctant to get on the floor and do crunches (or to open my stove once it's heating up, thanks Zanne!) so my core needs a bit of work.

I've found a great yoga podcast that I'm falling in love with. It's called yogamazing and I love it. You can download it on itunes too. I'm forcing myself to do a bit every day, even if it's just a few minutes. Even that little bit helps me to feel stronger all over and it helps me feel more connected, like my machine is going to start working again.

Oh man!!! Half of my post just got deleted! Stinking outages. I was all set to hit post and now it's gone. That blows!

So now to remember what I typed.

4. I'm bored to tears with my normal running route. I wore that route out training for Disney and now I have no love for it. The dogs behind the fences don't even run up and start yipping at me because they know me along there. At least if I was on the treadmill I could watch tv or something. Geesh!

So today I woke up telling myself not to go for a run and to cross train instead. But around 5 o'clock my legs started itching to get out. Then I realized it was Thursday! What better way to kill the blah of a Thursday than to do Speedwork! Yay for speedwork! It saved me. I ran the first mile at a comfortable pace then when I turned the corner I started running at about 90% for a telephone pole and then kicked it back down to about 60% for two poles and did the next two miles that way. It was awesome! It was just what I needed to break through my blahs. I felt like the speed helped me to get realigned somehow. I paid attention to every muscle as I ran at 90% and made adjustments and then when I kicked back, it felt much better than it has been.

So now I'm hyped up on endorphins for the first time since Disney and I love running again. Happy Andi!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


This morning I clicked on to and read about a girl who ran a 214 mile week. 214 miles. In a week. Oh my word. I'm always impressed when I read about a BRF who does a 100+ week, but 214! That's an average of 30.5 miles a day. For seven days. I'm still mind-boggled by this. I can't even imagine 214 in a week.

But, the article does say to print out a copy of it and stick it in a prominent place to look at when you are tempted to skip your post-work 5-miler. So, as much as I was sitting at my desk thinking I was worn out from the work day, I thought of that girl and went for a run.

I don't know what's happening. Today the conditions were perfect for a run, but I felt pretty blah. PD (post-Disney) I was running maybe one time a week. Last week I finally decided to get back in the groove and kick it back up to three days a week minimum and I feel like the first mile is always a struggle. It's wierd. I feel like I'm starting to run all over again and I don't like it. I want my happy runs back. I want my "wow, that was great" feeling to return. I know I have to have patience, but in this case I'm finding it difficult to be patient.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ranting and Raving

I spent a good part of my day yesterday reading running stuff - blogs, magazines, books. Reading about running is great motivation for me and so by 6pm I was ready for a run. It hadn't warmed up very much yesterday and I wanted to get the run in before the sun went down so I started off way faster than I should have. Plus, I ate lunch too late so the start was pretty uncomfortable. But once I got in to the groove it went okay.

I was pretty psyched up after the run and started reading Running Times after the shower. There were a ton of stories about women training for the Olympics and how they run 2x a day, and about 13 times a week. I felt like such a whimp with my 3-4 times a week running! So I went to bed dreaming of intense training sessions and when I woke up this morning I set out to go for an early run.

Uh, Andria, just to let you know, you're not in training for the Olympics, not even Boston (yet), so that may not have been such a good idea. The run this morning was definitely hard, but I figured I'd take it slow. Thanks to some dogs on the road, that didn't happen. I was going to go out and back, but when I went to turn around and head back I saw I was being followed by two dogs. They were still a bit behind me, so I turned around and kept going the other direction and sped it up quite a bit. The run ended up being longer and faster than I wanted it to, and I guess that's not such a bad thing. Okay, maybe I won't be mad at the dogs since they got me to do a better run than I was expecting. But still, leashes people!!!

Rant over.

A few weeks ago when I went to visit my brother and sis-in law in Oklahoma, H and I went on a quest to find a good running bra. Nancy had mentioned one time that she had an Enell bra and that she loved it, so I figured we'd go find those. I won't go into detail about the shopping trip (but if you want to read an account of it, check out H's summary.) What I will go in to detail about is how much I love this piece of running equipment!

I'm fairly... ample... in that area and it's hard to find something that is comfortable and can keep the girls in line. These bras are expensive, but they are worth every penny. I'll admit it took me about 5 runs to get used to it. I've been wearing crappy running bras not really made for someone my size to run in, it impacted the way I ran. I would adjust my arm swing in order to minimize bounce. When I started wearing the Enell it almost felt wierd that the girls just didn't move at all. It took some gettting used to, but now I feel like I run a bit more naturally and more effeciently. The back has this criss-cross that really makes your back feel supported and helps me to have better posture, so I feel like I'm breathing better too. It's pretty neat.

Plus, they hook up the front so it's not such a struggle to get into as the more conventional type sports bras. These are definitely not the most attractive pieces, but they work great! For us girls, this equipment is just as important as the shoes, so I definitely will be getting me more of these in the future.

Okay, rave over.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"Don't stop then"

I've started getting back on track with my running. Since Disney I've really only been running once a week because my legs no longer trust me. They say to me when I start running "oh, no lady. You're not tricking us again. It took us a week to recover the last time you did this, so you better take it easy with us this time." Okay, so I've been babying them. I have been doing other workouts, but my legs just needed a running break.

Then last week the weather turned not so cold and pretty sunshiny for February so I got out there and ran. Granted, I did just do some short runs, but they felt great. I'm planning on doing the Oklahoma City half marathon with my brother B at the end of April, so I 'm kicking it in to high gear again.

Here's a question for any techies out there. I have an ipod shuffle and I love to run to the "podrunner podcast." If you haven't downloaded one you should. You can find it on itunes. The music is based on beats per minute and it really helps me maintain a certain pace. Plus he's started doing ones for interval training which I haven't listened to yet, but I'm itching to.

My question is, how can I get a podcast onto my shuffle. I've tried making a playlist with just a few of the podcasts, but it won't transfer to the shuffle. Anyone out there know how to do this?

Oh, and on my run on Friday, I had a nice moment. I was doing my 2.5 mile out and back and I passed these two ladies on the out part. I said hello and kept on running. When I turned around and started back, a little ways down I caught up to them. I was running in the same direction as them and on the other side of the road where they were walking so that I could run on the pavement (and not the nasty concrete sidewalks that this town has). One of the women shouted to me across the road "look at you, you just keep running and don't stop. That's so great!"

It was so cute. It was totally something my mom would say to someone running. I'm sure she had a conversation like that with someone sitting near her in the stands at Disney as the runner's crossed the finish lines. "Just look at all those people, amazing!"

I shouted back that I was training for the OKC half and she said, "well then don't stop." It was pretty great.