Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Talent, 5K, & Push-UPdate

Status Update: I am (kinda sorta) able to do 1/2 of a push up. Soooooo I'm a little behind in my pre-30 Day Challenge prep because I need to be able to do 3 FULL push-ups by Friday if I'm going to follow this plan...
Push-ups are seriously a lot harder than they look. People assume I'm exaggerating when I say I don't know how to do them properly... and then I show them and they're like "Ahmmmm ok so that wasn't technically a push-up. In fact I'm not sure what that was". Great, thanks. Fortunately I got a few tips from my friends today and I watched a bunch of videos online so hopefully by Friday I will be able to do 3. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Not even one?

The humidity was already more than 90% by the time I got up to go to the gym at 4am this morning (did I already mention that I'm not looking forward to training in the Summer?? The humidity is going to be dreadful!) Since I haven't done any significant strength training in a while I decided to focus on that this morning. As always I did a leg workout. I plan to incorporate upper body strength training into my routine, but probably not with the weight machines. Instead I'm going to try and do push-ups.

Sadly, I can't do a proper push-up. Not even one! It's very distressing because the fitness gurus that I see on social media make it look so easy. But when I try and do it there is some type of invisible anti-gravitational force preventing me from "lowering my body in a controlled manner"...
I do more of a "stay up on wobbly arms until I collapse face first on the floor" movement

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday M.A.D.D.ness!!!

Today was the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D) 5K, which I incorporated into my 10 mile training run. There was a lot of support for the event this morning. I even saw some of my friends from my running group and friends from work. But I ran for a different team today...

I decided to start my run earlier than the event so that I could get a few miles in before it started to get too hot and too humid. So I did 3.6 miles before the 5K start, then ran the 5K...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Peek Into My StrideBox...

Summer is here!!! Well at least it seems that way based on the ridiculous humidity levels and outrageous B+ and A- temperatures we've been having! And because Florida gets so hot there are not many long distance race options to look forward to for the next few months (no one wants to run a half or full in 90 degree weather!)

Instead the race circuit is permeated with 5Ks and 10Ks, otherwise known as the "sprints" of long distance/endurance running (ok I may have totally made that up or read that somewhere; but it makes sense right?). I love the 5K and 10K distances as training runs, but not necessarily for races. I know the reason for that is entirely superficial (so you don't need to point that out). Mainly it's because the medals for the shorter events are not as nice as the medals for the longer distance races. There are a few exceptions of course, but generally speaking a half marathon medal is usually nicer than a 5K or 10K medal. I race for the bling as much as I race for the experience so medals are pretty high up there on the priority list.

So when people tell me about races that don't have medals I usually say...

Friday, April 24, 2015

"Five" Friday Favorites!

I'm celebrating today! I've been worried about a potential issue over the past few days, but I got the "everything is fine" notification today...
So I'm in full celebration mode!!! 

It's the perfect way to end the week and start my weekend so I did a couple of things to help me celebrate:

#1 I got new swimming goggles! My old goggles are somewhere at the bottom of the ocean or wherever they drifted off to after they left my head during Swim Miami last weekend. I don't miss them. Today I invested in what I hope will be a great pair that will last me a long time...

When I was walking into Dicks Sporting Goods to buy the goggles I saw this...
I love this! Who will you be?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Catch Me If You Can!


Today didn't start out as an "easy day" since I started my morning with a 5K run. My goal is to get back to the point where I'm running this distance non-stop. And then to be able to do that consistently at least once a week. Then to be able to increase to 4 miles, then 5 miles, then a 10K non-stop by the end of the year. That's not too complicated right?

For the run this morning I really really really wanted to run non-stop but I'm not there yet. I'm trying to find my balance as I transition to a new foot strike and what I'm realizing is that means "taking my time" and "completing realistic intervals" so that I can maintain the form I want. Sometimes the focus on form necessitates less focus on speed. And we all know "less speed" is something I do quite well ;)

So I pushed myself a bit but didn't go overboard this morning. My run breakdown looked like this...
Run 0.5 mile: walk 30s: Run 0.5 mile: walk 1 min: Run 1 mile: walk 45s: Run 1.1 miles

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yoga Monday version 4.20

First I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to all the Boston Marathon finishers!!!! I didn't get to watch the live streaming of the event but I did see a few of the highlights on various social media outlets throughout the day. I know this marathon was a "bucket list" event for a lot of runners and I'm glad that they were able to complete the journey...

I focused on yoga today for my typical "Yoga Monday" session. My muscles are a bit sore from yesterday's swim. And although the soreness is mild and tolerable I was really looking forward to doing yoga today. I spent some time working my way through a variety of yoga poses and physical therapy exercises...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lessons from the Open Water...

I'm just as much of an early bird for swimming events as I am for running events because, as it turns out, I get just as nervous for them. So even though the event check-in for Swim Miami wasn't until 7am this morning, I still got there at 5 am... and sat alone in my car in a VERY empty parking garage convincing myself that this was not the beginning of a low budget horror film.

Once I practically scared the parking garage attendant to death got the attention of the parking garage attendant and confirmed that I was parked in the correct location I felt a little better. About an hour later people started driving in and heading to the Miami Yacht Club where the event was taking place.

I went to check-in at 6am (since I saw other people doing so) and got my Swim Miami shirt...

Friday, April 17, 2015

My "issue" and the current state-of-affairs...

I broke into my piggy bank today. A while back I mentioned I had a piggy bank that I used to save for my full marathons. It started off as just one piggy bank for the Athens marathon trip because airline tickets to Greece are NOT cheap! But then I decided to start saving for Chicago too (mainly to facilitate my anticipated post-run food appetite and desire for an upgraded airline seat on the return flight home).
My Piggies...
Only one is an actual "piggy", the other is a "hippo"

However a few days ago I had this weird dream that my piggy banks caught on fire and I lost all my savings. In order to avoid seeing my savings go up in smoke I decided to open a dedicated "marathon savings account" with my credit union and keep the money there.

**DISCLAIMER: There are a few areas in my life where my selective OCD tends to shine. I use the term "selective" because my OCD doesn't apply to every aspect of my life (if you saw my closet you would understand). One area where it does apply, however, is with my finances. When it comes to budgeting and saving my OCD is like a humming bird that overdosed on caffeine ;) **

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'm Officially Sick

It's official!!!
I had all the telltale signs of impending doom illness on Tuesday night: sore throat, sensitive skin, stuffy nose, slight headache etc., but I went to bed after a very long day and didn't think too much of it. Then I woke up on Wednesday morning and realized that I probably should have thought about it more. In hindsight, Wednesday morning was nothing compared to how I felt throughout the day yesterday. I woke up feeling horrible and progressively declined to "this is what death must feel like". Even Kai commented that I look pretty bad... as she backed away slowly out of my room :(

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It could have been better...

Today was one of those "I really need to run after work" days. Thankfully that was on the agenda. Well, it was either that or drink wine so I figured running would probably be better. I decided to test out my running skirt today...

And went for a timed run with Niqui. The goal was 40 minutes...
That's a pace I haven't seen in a while :) 
Still more than I want it to be, but I'm getting accustomed to my new foot strike so I'm happy!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

When you can only pick one...or two

I've heard countless times that you should only pick one or two things to work on per training season. Only one or (maybe if you push it) two. Not three. And certainly not EVERYTHING. When you push yourself beyond the recommended "one or two" you run the risk of getting burnt out, getting injured, and/or getting disappointed. Well today the focus was on cadence and form, and overall it wasn't a bad run...

It wasn't my best pace, but I said yesterday that I wasn't going to focus on pace for this run. Plus...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

OK, so this might be a little harder than I thought...

Whoever said swimming laps in the pool would prepare me for open water swimming lied. Oh wait... I said that :(  Well, I'm a big girl. I can admit when I'm wrong (on those rare occasions that I am wrong). Swimming in the pool does not truly prepare you for open water swimming. The only thing that prepares you for open water swimming is to SWIM IN THE OPEN WATER! Which is what I did today. And after doing it I realize that there is a really good chance Swim Miami might eat me alive next week. It's possible highly probable that I don't have an "open water personality" (I really wish I had seen this before I registered for the event)...

A Recap of sorts..

I completed a 1000m breaststroke swim on Thursday morning and I had the lane all to myself! There was a couple in the lane beside me so the pool wasn't completely empty, but I didn't feel rushed to finish so I actually enjoyed the workout a lot better than the one I did on Tuesday...

On Thursday evening I went for a walk. It took me a long time to finish, but to be honest I wasn't in a rush. It was a moment for me to decompress from the day. It was quiet and peaceful and just short of perfect...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday Wishes...

Wish # 1:
I hope this will always be true...
Running has become such a huge part of who am I. When I started in 2013 I initially just wanted to get through one marathon with my sister. But then I fell in love with the whole process and one marathon (still on the wish list) has become a bucket list filled with enough races to take me through the next decade or so... until I find more ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

This Isn't A Sprint...

To be honest nothing in my life qualifies as a "sprint". Not any of the running I've done so far, and certainly not my swimming. Swimming for me is less about speed and more about relaxation and endurance. The only way I look "fast" in the pool is in a time-lapse video...
video

This morning I did 48 lengths of the 25m pool (3/4 mile) at a relatively even (albeit slow) methodical pace. It felt good to be back in the pool. I always feel like that when I swim. Even though it's the hardest thing to get out of bed at 3am to go swimming, once I'm in the water, and my body is acclimated to the temperature, I tune out the world and just relax.

I was alone in the pool for the first half of my workout (just the way I like it) and then someone started a solo Aqua Aerobics session in the lane beside me. And right as I was wrapping up my laps another swimmer came in. I only had 2 more lengths to go so I finished them quickly and let him have the lane. It wasn't crowded but it's so much nicer when you have the lane to yourself...

Monday, April 6, 2015

It's times like these...

The Monday after Easter is a public holiday back at home (in Jamaica) so while I was in the midst of a very busy day at work, my sisters were enjoying the last day of their 4 day weekend (they also had Good Friday off)...
It's times like these that make me wonder if I should move back home

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunrise Run; Easter; Lunch and a Movie

I could barely sleep last night because I was so eager to run this morning! I had the same anxiety I normally have the night before a race, but luckily I didn't wake up feeling exhausted. I had several goals I wanted to conquer this morning:
1. Focus on my mid-foot/forefoot strike; &
2. Run 5 miles

The beach was crowded this morning as several churches held their Easter Sunday Sunrise services...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Saturday Runner's High Alternative...

I GOT NEW SHOES TODAY!!!!! 
(although it's not the same as a real Runner's High, it comes pretty darn close)

I went to the Runner's Depot store this morning determined to find a more suitable pair of shoes. I have been running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS models since I started running in 2013, but I think that I have out grown them. Initially I needed a lot of the stability and support that those shoes provide, but now that I am a more efficient trying to be a more efficient runner, I think I can transition out of those shoes and into something else. My love affair with running will hopefully last forever, but that doesn't restrict me to the same type of running shoes forever right?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Finally! A Friday Morning Victory...

There has been a raging battle between my desire for more sleep in the morning and my desire to get up and go to the gym. Sleep has been winning. A lot. But this morning the gym finally had a victory...

I was up early (really early by recent standards, but at the "regular" time based on my typical gym sessions)...

But I wasn't the only crazy person in the gym at that time. It only looks that way in the pictures because they don't really want you to take photos or videos in the gym (so my compromise is: No photos with other people in them)...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Year of the Full: Chapter Four...Let the Celebrations Begin!!!

April is Kaiyu's birthday month! Let the celebrations begin!!! We are 10 days away from her birthday (using my traditional countdown system... i.e. not including today and not including the actual birthday) and normally all birthday celebration plans would be set by now, but she is still undecided about what she wants to do. It's partially my fault (I vetoed some of her initial ideas), but we should know what the plans are by this weekend. Hopefully.

April is a pretty busy month overall...
.
12th: Kai's Birthday (I can't believe she'll be 14!!!!!)
16th: Chi Running Class (1/3... can't wait to get started!)
19th: Swim Miami (still not ready for this event)
21st: Anniversary (9 years and counting...)
23rd: Chi Running Class (2/3)
26th: MADD 5K (I was asked to run & represent a company that I consult for; pending registration)
30th: Chi Running Class (3/3)

I'm still "resting" so I didn't run today, but I did wake up and do some more physical therapy exercises this morning. I have not been motivated to go to the gym and swim. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to prepare for Swim Miami (which is in 17 days as determined by my countdown system). Although I have done a one mile swim before... it was in a pool... and it was several months ago. I'm 98% sure that I will make it through the event ok; and equally confident that I might be the last one to finish ;)