Monday, January 31, 2011

It has been a wonderful week to run.

It has been a while since I've had time to blog ... but don't worry ... I've had plenty of time to run! I ran every day last week except last Monday and yesterday (Sunday). I took the time to post it all on my daily mile profile just so that I can keep track.

The most exciting thing this week was that I gained a fabulous running buddy. Her name is Pam and she is a fellow gymnastics coach who used to run and is trying to get back into it. She ran with me on Wednesday and Friday morning. The cool thing about having a running buddy is that you stay out of your own head. We also keep each other going. I am less likely to walk or slow down when we run together. I look forward to our morning runs!

Also, it was Josh's birthday this past weekend and I bought him a bike ...  a beach cruiser to be exact.

His very first ride was with me while I was running. He wants to go with me on my long runs, to keep me company and so that we can spend more quality time together. I love it  :)  He can also carry my water bottle and snack on the long runs! hahaha  ;)

Lastly, we had lunch with Josh's cousin Jeni and her husband Mike yesterday. We went to Native Foods (the Vegan cafe I work in) because they are Vegan. Josh loved it ... it was only his 2nd time to eat the vegan food. Mike hasnt been vegan for very long but almost instantly felt the benefits! Josh was inspired and motivated by Mike and so we have decided to eat mostly vegan from now on. We will still eat fish, chicken and beef from time to time, but we want to have a diet consisting mostly of plant and soy based products as well as lots of veggies and whole grains so that we can be healthier as a couple.
Today Josh prepared his first vegan dish ... Fajitas baby!

We used Tempeh, lots of onions and peppers, refried beans, soy cheese, whole grain tortilla and home made guacamole. It was delicious! We both very much enjoyed it! Tastes just like the real thing!

Anyway, I must sign off. I am quite tired and would like to get an early night  :)  Sorry for the chaotic blog haha.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Glorious Day for a Run in the Sun!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Southern California and so I decided to explore a new trail. With it being a new trail, I didn't want to explore it alone and so I took Brutus along for the exercise. Before this run he hadn't gone more than 4 miles ... I mapped out a 5.6 mile run ... I guess it was 6 miles if you count the warm-up/cool-down walk to and from the trail. So I brought plenty of water just to be safe.

Brutus and I before the run
We set out on the trail and man was I excited when I saw how pretty is it. It's away from the main road, surrounded by trees and next to the Newport Bay.


There were many other people on the trail. Some running/walking alone or with friends. Some biking. Others looked like they were on their lunch break as they donned business attire. There were even horses on the trail! I felt like I had left the city and found some kind of nature bubble.
Brutus did fantastic. There were a few times where he started to fall behind but there were also times when he was pulling me to go faster. We completed the 5.6 miles in 01:06:03. That is around an 11 1/2 minute mile which isn't bad. Especially considering I stopped to take pictures!  :)

I cannot wait to complete this run again! I am thinking that I want to do it tomorrow, but we will see how I feel. Today I did some cross training of bicycle and rowing ... but I also worked a double. But after a full nights sleep I just may be ready to hit Brown Trail again :)

Happy Running!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fighting for every last second!

Awesome 5k run today. It was a little chilly to start off, but the sun was shining and it wasn't long before I was nice and warm. Before today, the fastest time I'd ever run 5k was 00:32:00. Going out, my goal was to try beat that, if only by a few seconds. However, less than a mile into the run I could feel how tired my legs were from the 11 mile bike ride yesterday. But I kept going. I figured I could at least try to maintain my 32 minute 5k.
There were a few times that I looked ahead and felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, and you know how that can just get inside your head and ruin your entire run. So I pulled my visor down closer to my eyes so that I could only see 10ft in front of me. It worked because I didn't stop or slow down.
I completed the first mile in just under 10 minutes. That excited me, because I knew that I was ahead of myself. It was enough motivation to make me push a little harder. I could vision a little me 1/4 mile behind me and Lordy knows I couldn't let her beat me!  ;)
After a few minutes of pushing harder I wanted to walk ... perhaps I pushed a little too hard. Never-the-less I kept going, determined to beat myself. I got to the half-way point in just over 15 minutes. I was slowing down. But I could still make up time if started trying now. But my legs were aching.
When I could see the end of my run, I checked my watch. I was still winning, so I pushed. I ended up finishing the 5k run in 00:31:13! I was stoked. I had pushed myself hard considering my legs were tired. Funny what we can do when we really try. Unfortunately I felt like I was going to pass out for a brief moment after stopping, but that didn't dampen my spirit.

Beating your own time feels good. But I wasn't even home when I started asking myself if I could beat 31 minutes next time. Because what is 13 seconds?! Nothing really. I have been thinking this entire time, "In a few weeks running will be soooo easy!" ... but if I keep wanting to do better, I need to keep pushing hard, so it will never feel easier. So if some day it does feel like a cake walk, then I'm not pushing myself, and I could do better.

Anyway, I am working a double tomorrow so no running. Guess I have to take at least one day off a week  ;)  
Still feeling my runner's high ... hope you have one too  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ahhh now that's why I run!

I had mapped out a 5k run for today. It was on the bike path so I wouldn't have to worry about  traffic lights. The temperature was a lovely 77F, clear skies and a light breeze (I love Southern California). I decided to take Brutus with me as he had been stuck in the apartment all morning and surely had some energy to burn, plus I like the company some days.
The turn-around for my 5k was on a part of the bike path I'd never been on before and according to the map it was marked. Well ... it wasn't marked and we passed it. It wasn't until two intersections later that I realized this and so we turned around. I was timing my run and was, at first, a little bummed out that the time was going to be off, but then realized that it was like a spontaneously longer run. So I settled back into the run and enjoyed the extra distance. I checked the map when I got home and I had only gone an extra half a mile total, so it wasn't that bad. So I completed the 3.7 miles in 00:39:29, which for me is pretty good. That puts my pace at 00:10:38 per mile. Now ... if I could just shave off that 38 seconds!

I didn't walk for any of my run today and boy did that feel good! And you know when you get to that last 100-200 yards and you sprint for the finish and you STILL feel incredibly strong like you could continue for hours? That was my run today. I felt strong, motivated and energized. THAT'S the runner's high I look for on a daily basis. It's been a while since I felt it that powerfully, so I was a happy camper at the end of it all.

Then it was off to Olive Garden for a three course meal with my fiance. I was glad that I had worked up an appetite! Cross-training in the gym tomorrow night  :)   Keep Running!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

With the sun comes the runners :)

The weather is amazing here in Irvine today. A fabulous 76F, clear skies and a slight breeze. Chest cold or no chest cold, I was getting out there!!! It was my first run since I got the chest cold, so I wasnt sure how it would go. Being afraid that I would push myself too hard, I brought Brutus (My little 1.5 year old rat terrier) with me because I knew he would slow me down just a little bit.

Brutus is a fantastic little runner though. We ran 3 miles in just over 30 minutes. He does get distracted from time to time though haha.
I had to take two little 10 second walking breaks when my chest started to hurt. But other than that, it was like I'd never even taken a week off! I really need to find a route with less traffic lights though because running towards an intersection telling a light to please turn green wasnt working at all. Perhaps I will return to my beloved bicycle path tomorrow.
Onwards and Upwards fellow runners :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Having a cold sucks really bad.

I have had a cold for the past 3 days now. The only reason the cold annoys me is because it comes with a chesty cough, meaning that I cannot run  :(   Luckily I haven't needed to miss work, but honestly, missing my work-outs is much more devastating. I am determined to hit the gym tomorrow fore perhaps some biking just so I can get moving again. I wouldn't launch into a full on workout, especially with the cold still very much in my system. So maybe just a 30 minute cardio session and an easy strength training session after work to get back into the swing of things.
So something has been bothering me lately. I was hoping that if I didn't talk about it, it would just go away and never come back. But that didn't happen. My right knee has been acting up. More specifically, the front center of the knee. Dare I say, my ACL? I hope not! I am hoping that the few days off have allowed this 'kink' to work its-self out and that when I return to the gym, it will be fine. But I must say that I am slightly worried. So to my running buddies ... have you experienced this? What did you do? Did it go away by its self?

Onwards and upwards ... hopefully!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Here I Come!!!

Happy New Year! This is my first post since before Christmas. With three jobs and the holidays I didn't get any time to write, but don't worry, I did work-out! :)

I just signed up for my first race of the year. I am very excited and feeling hugely motivated! It is a 5k and is on February 26th. It is called "The Hope and Harmony 5k" and most (if not all) proceeds go to helping cancer patients get the treatment they need. I figured that if I couldn't be motivated to run for myself, that I would definitely be motivated to run for those who can't  :)
At the moment I am running a 5k at approximately  00:32:00. The last 5k race I ran, I finished in 00:34:44, so I have improved slightly. I would love to be able to complete this race in less than 00:30:00. I have over a month to work on my time, so I am hoping that this is a realistic goal. I will have to run the entire 3.1 miles at a 10 minute mile pace or better. So fingers crossed  :)

There is a 4 mile race on February 6th that I am trying to decide if I'd be ready for. But as of now, I am not sure.  I would like to run more than 4 races this year but I guess there is no need to do them all in one month. But we shall see :)

I hope everyone is starting their 2011 off on the right foot!
Happy Running!