Monday, April 30, 2012

Race possibility: The Gauntlet

Sara over at Words to Run By tipped me off to this race that looks awfully intriguing. It's called The Gauntlet, a (gasp!) 10-mile obstacle course race June 17.

It's daunting because they don't tell you what the obstacles are beforehand. But I'm intrigued. And there's a slight chance that I may be able to get in for free.

The race is put on by Greenswell. I did one of their triathlons as a relay last year and was really impressed by the race organization, so I'm expecting the same for this one!

The only thing that makes me nervous about this one is the timing. I'm doing the Flying Pig May 6 and then I'm determined to take a month off, at least from running. I'll still spin, bike and probably start swimming. So, that means I'll start running again June 6 -- maybe a little sooner but not much. Will I be ready for a 10 mile obstacle course race by then? I have no clue!!

Maybe I can convince some other peeps to do it as a relay :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ready to race

I am so proud and happy that I have stumbled across such a wonderful, supportive group of people. The past two weekends Facebook has been filled with posts of people virtually cheering on our teammates and it has me so excited to run the Pig next weekend.

I had a great run this morning with the 12:00 pace group. It went really fast and I had a lot of fun, and got me thinking about my plans for fall :) After I got two shirts for $7 at Old Navy, went to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Half Price Books.

DMC members Amy, Amanda, Richard, Kim, me and Mandy.
I'm really looking forward to next weekend. Brandie and I are going to cheer at the Capital City Half Marathon, then head down to Cincinnati for the Pig.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I am just in love with this app

I am in love with this Android App.

It's called Fooducate. It lets you scan virtually any food item and then it comes back with a report on how good it is for you, and the information is incredibly detailed. And it's free (there's also a web-based version). The database is huge, the only product that hasn't come up is the salsa I got from Giant Eagle.

The quinoa I ate for lunch came back with a A- grade.

Can't say the same for the snack I just had...

And my protein bars aren't nearly as great as I thought :(

I can't wait for the next version of the app, which will tell me what's Gluten Free!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Taper time!

Last week was my 22-mile run, and now I'm in taper mode. It was an icky week -- after that 22 I just couldn't make the legs move, and it wasn't until Friday that I was able to get a good run in.

I woke up early Saturday for MIT to the tune of pouring rain. Screw it, I'll get the 12 miles in on my own time.

So instead I woke up (somewhat) early Sunday to run on the Olentangy Trail with Miss Rebecca, who I haven't seen since the Granville Winter Run.

Me and Rebecca at Antrim Park after 12 miles on the O-Trail Sunday.

Rebecca and I met while hoofing it up the hills at the 2011 Granville Winter Run and became fast friends, and kept in touch thanks to Facebook. We both decided to run the Flying Pig, but then had incredibly rocky training seasons for our own separate reasons. I never get to see the girl though, since she lives on the far side of Columbus and we work opposite schedules!!

But Sunday, the stars aligned and we got to run together. I warned her that it would be slow (she didn't believe me), but it was. My legs felt so heavy after the first mile that she agreed to do a super-slow 3:1 run/walk with me.

Clockwise, it took forever, 2:28 for 12 miles. But it went so fast because I was in good company! Because we took it easy, I'm not even feeling it today.

The Flying Pig will be Rebecca's first full and I know she's going to do great! Like me, she's been humbled this season from injury, so our collective goal is just to survive!

Does anyone know where we can get a cheap curly pig tail and pig ears in the Greater Columbus area?

The Gluten-Free Diet

Though all my weight-loss endeavors I have never, ever subscribed to a special diet. I simply found success through counting calories (which I haven't done in over a year) and moderation in everything.

In general, I've had a rough year. I've gotten sick a couple times, and I found out about a back problem that's been lurking in the shadows for quite some time. In general, this year no matter how much or little I exercised, or how good or bad I was about watching my diet, I was carrying this constant feeling of bloat and exhaustion.

In February I bombed out of a long run and ended up in the chiropractor's office, for what I thought was a calf injury (but turned out to be related to my back.) The chiropractor starts asking me about all these other things, though, the fatigue and stomachaches that I had checked off on my new patient form. He asks about my diet and such.

"What are you doing," I'm thinking. I had already been there an hour and I'm just anticipating the "where are you?" text from my boss. No doctor has ever spent this much time with me. I'll go to my regular doctor for my colds and my tummy doctor for my stomachaches. "Just tell me what's wrong with my calf so I can go back to work," I think.

"You know, this is all connected," the chiropractor said, referring to all the physical problems I'd been having the past two months. "All of it."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride it where I like....

Spin playlist for the week, I'm excited to use it, found a few new songs!

Rolling Stones - Start Me Up

Dr. Dog -- Heavy Light

OK Go - This too shall pass (Possibly the greatest music video ever)

Queen - Bicycle Race (so cliche and I don't care!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I got there! 22 miles done!

This has been the toughest marathon training season yet, so I'm thrilled to say that I've reached the taper point. I completed my 22-mile run this morning with MIT.

I met early with Team 12, which again put my wakeup in the 4:30 range. I set out with Michele H., Kate, and Ruth, a half marathoner who was joining us. We ran 5.5 miles in one direction, stopped back at OhioHealth to drop Ruth off and be tortured by a bake sale, and then continued 5.5 miles in the other direction. This made it really easy to break the run up mentally, something I've really struggled with at this slower pace.

I'm too exhausted to do a mile-by-mile recap. I was in great company the entire way. I got the usual disheartened feeling at Mile 13 of being completely exhausted but nowhere near done, and the last five were really tough but I powered through. I was bummed that I didn't get to do a journey to The Shoe this year but it was nice to have a change of scenery!

I'm experimenting with a Gluten Free diet for a variety of reasons, which are well thought out and legit. (Plus, like, Miley Cyrus did it and she got so skinny... jk, jk). Kim B. has been so helpful, she's gotten many texts from me while I'm lost in the shelves of Kroger! (Which I've actually found to be the best of our two stores about labeling).

So, that brought about a problem for the run! Before every single long run I've eaten pasta the night before, a bagel with almond butter and preserves the morning of, and a bagel after. And Michele's email said something to the effect of "treat today's run like race day, don't have anything new." Well, unfortunately, there was lots new.

Last night for dinner I did broiled tilapia with a GF sauce and potatoes. This morning I had my almond butter and preserves on a GF english muffin, which wasn't horrible! And since I couldn't have a bagel after, I went for a snickers bar instead! Man it was hard walking past those bagels though! (And a bake sale, for that matter!) I did take 3 Clif Shots during the run which unfortunately might contain gluten, but I've done well otherwise.

Tonight, I have ice cream and wine, two things that are totally acceptable :)

Bring it on, Mr. Pig.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remember this next time you can't get off the couch (and spin playlist for the week)

I got home from a long-ish day at work, took Lizzie on her regular walk around the block and then we both plopped ourselves down on the couch. I put my feet up on the coffee table, and still wearing my work clothes I spent the next 20 minutes not-quite-getting Jon Stewart's jokes about the Easter and Passover coverage.

I SO wanted to stay there for the next few hours, see what Colbert had to say, see if Stewie has attempted to kill Lois lately (I'm a few episodes behind) or laugh at whatever personas Roger whips out next. An ideal Tuesday evening, really. Laundry can wait. Dishes can wait. Someone bring me a pizza? Yep, a whole one.

But no, I have to get up, bleck! 

I'd love to say that I had the drive and motivation to go to the Y. But today I didn't. I'm off my training plan again, sidelined for a couple more days due to recurring calf pain. No, the only thing getting me off my lazy butt this evening was the fact that somebody had to open her big mouth when they needed someone to fill the time slot for cycling.

Why, why, why did I do that?

I slug upstairs, groan slightly as I put on my tights and a wrinkly top, again curse the fact that I cut my hair just too short to fit in a ponytail, pull my baseball cap down low, toss a cookie to Miss Lizzie (lucky brat gets to stay on the couch AND eat a bacon flavored treat, so jealous) and head out the door.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stepping into the 20s

Six weeks ago I wasn't sure if this marathon was going to happen. I'm happy to say that on Saturday I survived my 20-miler, and felt strong in doing so.

The 20-miler came after yet another rough week. For a number of reasons I was feeling under the weather, sick and fatigued. Last Monday I ran one mile, went to spin, and couldn't run after. Last Tuesday I came home from work with full intentions of running, instead I collapsed on my couch and it took every ounce of energy I had even to walk the dog. Wednesday was worse, but by the time I got home from work Thursday I was feeling strong again, so I went out for an 8 mile run/walk in addition to spin.

Friday I was feeling good again, but I took the day off from running and just did spin.

After all this, I wasn't looking forward to Saturday's run. At all. I lined up with the 12s, and grouchily slugged through my first couple miles, Matt & Kim blaring in my ears. I'll admit to being kind of mad that I wasn't with my old group, I had no idea how I was going to survive 20 miles, so I kept to myself for awhile.

About three miles in, I thought the woman running next to me was texting while running (she was just using the GPS on her phone) so I pulled out the earplugs and said something like "how on earth do you do that?" That was enough to spur some conversation, with her then others in the group, and before I knew it we were closing in on 10 miles. We're approaching Antrim on the return trip and tiny barefoot Michele H. is coming in our direction. The coaches split the run for us so the two of us running 20 would have company.

Those training for Cap City ran 10 on Saturday. The group I was running with was so upbeat and so inspiring, and it ended up being a cool run to do because this was the first time many of them stepped into double digits.

Michele had two others with her that slept in a bit before doing their 10. So Kate and I, the sole two in the 12-minute group, had even more company for the remainder of our run.

We waved goodbye to the rest of the group, and our five-pack went past the school and north toward the gazebo. I'm feeling strong at the halfway point, but by the time we got to the water stop at the gazebo at Mile 13 I'm starting to fade. It's a horrible feeling at that point -- you've gone so far yet you're nowhere near done.

I slugged it through the next four miles. At some point in this trek we lost Michele in her quest for a port-a-john, and when we got to Antrim we said goodbye to the two girls who got a late start on their 10. It's just myself and Kate now, and we have three miles to go. I can't feel my legs anymore. I'm exhausted, starving, and my bad mood is coming back.  This is when I'd benefit from the chatter of a big group, but instead this is the quietest part of the run.

We keep on slugging, then someone comes storming up behind us. It's Michele, cheery and energetic as always! We turn around by the bridge, and she gets us through the rest of the run, going a total of five miles over her prescribed eight. Superwoman!

My watch made the glorious beeping sound for Mile 20 and we promptly stopped. It took us 4:00:38. Normally I'd bemoan those 38 seconds, kicking myself for not picking it up just a tiny bit to beat four hours, but on Saturday I didn't care... because I ran 20 miles!

Honey you'll survive

I realized I never got around to posting my spin playlist from last week, but last week's and this week's playlist are pretty similar!

I've got the Friday class again this week. I think I'm going to do a 1990s dance party :) Suggestions welcome! I will post it when I get it done.

I was a little nervous in building this playlist. Monday I was subbing for a very popular instructor. His classes are tough, and his room is always full. His taste in music is nowhere near mine, so it was a major change for the class, but they seemed happy!

This class ended up being super-tough. I wore my monitor, and burned 500 calories!

Onto the playlist!

Warmup: REM - Stand

Hill: Weezer -- Beverly Hills

Recover: Florence and the Machine -- Kiss with a Fist

Pyramid climb: Fun. -- We are Young (Perfect for a pyramid climb, the song slows down then speeds up again)

Recover/sprint: Pat Benetar -- Hit Me With Your Best Shot (I use this song a lot but it's so perfect, a one minute recovery then a 30-second sprint)

Rolling Hills: Fiona Apple -- Fast As You Can

Recover/Jumps: Flo Rida -- Club Can't Handle Me (just a super fun song)

Static climb OR Strength Drill: Bruce Springsteen -- Born to Run

Recover: Modest Mouse -- So Much Beauty in Dirt

Jumps: Matt & Kim -- Good Old Fashioned Nightmare (I've said it before, I love it love it love it love it and it's so perfect!)

Small hill: Michael Jackson -- Black or White (I always catch someone dancing when I play this hehe)

Rolling hills: Queen -- Keep Yourself Alive -- I just discovered this song and it's also perfect, I do two-tier hills, some out of the saddle, alternating with quick sprints on a flat

Cooldown: Arcade Fire -- Keep the Car Running