The Kindle is Cool!

My husband bought me a Kindle for mother’s day last year.  I have absolutely loved having it and take it with me everywhere.  Yesterday (and it’s looking like today) are days for staying inside.  We have an unprecidented 9 inches of snow outside, so running outdoors or hitting the gym really isn’t going to be happening. 
You probably wonder why I’m babbling about my Kindle.  Well, I have always wondered how anyone can read while on a treadmill, elliptical, etc.  Maybe it’s just me, but my head bobs up and down WAY too much to be able to read without getting seriously ill.  And while I love the idea of reading while exercising, I just don’t understand how it’s possible.
So yesterday I hit the treadmill to workout.  I knew I wouldn’t do 9 miles on it, but I also knew I wanted a good hard workout.  I decided to bump the incline to 10 and get a good crosstraining workout in.  I stated out with a magazine, but quickly started feeling icky just trying to focus on the little print.  That’s when I remembered – on the Kindle, you can change the font size from really small to obscenely huge (we’re talking 3 words per line huge).  SO….I bumbed the text size up as high as it would go and actually read while on the treadmill.  Yeah me!  It certainly made the hour fly by.
Prior to the treadmill workout, I did a 15 minute Bender Ball ab workout, and at the end of it all, felt great. 

And since it was a day of being locked up in the house, I did do some cooking of course!  I made a chicken enchilada slow cooker casserole for dinner for D and the kids.  I also made a homemade black bean soup and apple tofu spring rolls.  Today will likely be baked goods if I can swing it – my oven has been acting unbelievably retarded for weeks now.  It’s been screwing up a lot of my baking because it’s not holding the temp.  Ugh….

We’ll see what today holds.  I really dread the treadmill again, but do need to do something since I missed my long run because of the weather.

I Knew on Monday that I was Hosed….

All day on Monday it felt like a Thursday…so by Monday night, I just knew this was going to be a long and painful week.

Work was insanely busy and with much drama – nothing I ever really enjoy.  I had more meetings than normal (so it seemed), so more working into the wee hours just to get things done.  I had several meetings that started at 7am, so I got up a tad earlier than normal so I could leave home by 6am.  That’s really, really not my idea of a good time.

This week consisted of a lot of dining out and running around.  To show how up to speed I am, I found out on Tuesday that my kids had a 1/2 day yesterday and a full day off today.  Shows to me just how painfully unaware I am this week.  Fortunately (sort of), D took off today.  He was supposed to take the older kids and some of their friends to overnight laser tag in VB, but it got canceled due to weather.  So what did he do with his day off?  Certainly nothing that I asked, so I got to come home, take Rico to the vet (CONE IS OFF), do laundry, and make dinner.  Sometimes I really love life (insert sarcasm here).

This was also a week of good intentions.  I went to the gym on Monday, dutifully took my rest day on Tuesday (only because a friend told me to), took my running gear with me to work on Wedesday, and flaked off yesterday.  Today was a rest/crosstrain day, and I actually got my butt up at 515am and trucked to the gym.  Before you go thinking that I’m wonder woman – I made an appt with the Fitquest instructor for 615 am.  And as much as I am against anything happening too early in the morning – I never miss a meeting I’m supposed to be at 🙂

Fitquest is a thing at the Y that I’m hoping will finally get me motivated to strength train – something I desperately know I have to do.  It pretty much makes it idiot proof – there’s about 15 machines, and the instructor sets you up electronically with machine settings and weights, you plug in a pin number, and everything interfaces to a computer.  The machine even tells you when you’ve reached your range of motion and if you’re lifting or lowering too slowly.  My goal is 3 days per week.  Maybe even this early morning thing, but we’ll see.  If I’m at the gym in the early morning, it means D is alone trying to get everyone organized in the morning – and organization is not his strong suit!

On top of the early morning gym venture – I actually ran into a guy from work there.  Great – nothing like seeing a co-worker at a ridiculously early hour with curly bed head and yesterdays smeared mascara.  I’m sure my image is shot now.

Tomorrow was supposed to be the second race in the distance series.  That, too, has been called on account of weather.  It’s rescheduled for next weekend, and I must admit that I’m glad.  The weather people are predicting we get between 8-12 inches of snow starting just after midnight and through Saturday night.  1 inch shuts this part of Virginia down.  8-12, forget it.  Watching everyone this past day, it’s like they’re preparing for the armegeddon.  The grocery stores and gas stations have been raided for supplies (fire wood, water, wine…the essentials).  I personally think it’s funny, but at the same time, I’m not an idiot.  We don’t have the resources here to deal with snow (plows, road ice, smart drivers), so I will not be dumb enough to go out and about if we actually get that sort of snow.

Our training plan has us running 9 miles tomorrow.  I’m going to go with the advice of the coaches, watch the weather, and switch my long run to Sunday if I think it will help me avoid the hamster-syndrome known as the treadmill.  The thought of running 9 miles is tough enough – running that far in place….pure torture.

As I’m finishing this, my 6 year old comes into the green room (where we have the computer, books, bar…the walls are green and we don’t know what else to call it) to grab a piece of paper to “draw something important, like hypothermia”.  I know this has nothing to do with training, eating right, etc – but cracks me up anyway. 

I imagine my posts this weekend will be all about cooking.  If I’m stuck at home, that’s what I’ll do (will help me avoid the treadmill too – especially if I use it as storage space for all the baked goods)…

Still Can’t Figure Out Why It’s Called The Great Dismal Swamp

For a good ten minutes now, I have been searching for any information on the Great Dismal Swamp.  I’ve read histories and tales of it’s geography – including that it used to be under the sea.  I’ve learned of it’s link to the Underground Railroad and George Washington’s vision of a man made canal that would link the Chesapeake Bay to the Albemarle Sound.  I cannot – for the life of me – find a history of it’s name.  So if anyone is so enlightened, please let me know.  I find the name a tad oxymoronic since it was not dismal at all when I went yesterday.

But that was yesterday, and today is another day.  I know that I need to go to the gym and do other exercises (namely strength training).  The problem??  I find it phenomenally boring, probably because it’s so repetitive.  I am convinced I would enjoy it (or at least stick with it), if I had a partner.  Alas, none such person exists, so I have to attempt to make myself go.  I actually packed my gym bag last night in an attempt to remove any excuses.  It worked, but I still dreaded it.

We had some crazy storms today, so I was pretty sure I’d have to do my first treadmill workout of the season.  It’s funny how I used to pretty much only run on one, but since this training program started, I really dislike the idea of running inside.  Alas, it was probably the easiest 3 miles I’ve done in months 🙂  I guess it helps when the road moves underneath you at a designated speed.  It felt like cheating.  I did, however, NOT run enough to finish my audiobook, so still no confirmation that I’m right about who the real bad guy is.  And Robert can’t possibly actually be dead – and I know this since I read the sequel already and he’s in it.

Before I ran, I did do some strength training – but admittedly bailed when I just couldn’t take the repetition anymore (get it???  It was boring…but you’re supposed to do ‘reps’….).  Instead I signed up to meet with a trainer at 615 Friday MORNING.  Here’s hoping I actually go!  The thought of morning exercise isn’t fun – especially on a work day.  But I will try…

It was a crazy-busy day at work today.  I had meetings scheduled from 8am until 4pm, with only about a 15 minute break at all.  I brought my lunch, which was a soup and salad thingy, with an apple for a snack.  Breakfast was a smoothie (yeah, warm enough weather where I can actually enjoy some frozen goodness).  After my workout I treated myself to another smoothie (this time purchased instead of made).  Dinner was a black bean wrap and popcorn (it’s a food group).

Tomorrow is hopefully going to be a good day.  I only have one meeting – but it’s 2 1/2 hrs long.  I have it every Tuesday, and usually isn’t that bad.  Otherwise, my calendar is clear, which means I may actually get some real work done.  Oh, and lunch with D, which is my favorite part.

So now I’m going to check some work emails, maybe read (if I can steal my Kindle back from my husband), and possibly watch a show and start knocking them off.  I’m caught up on White Colllar, which I may have announced in a previous post.  We started watching Stargate last night (I think), but I fell asleep.  That was after Project Runway, which I remember, so I must have stayed awake for it.  I’m hoping for a stress-free week…but am pretty sure that’ll never happen.

Today was my Saturday AND Sunday!

I missed my group run yesterday 😦  It really did make me sad because even though I eventually got my miles in, it wasn’t the same.  I found myself dreading the run the entire time, and was feeling overwhelmed when I wasn’t quite to the 1 mile mark, wondering how the heck I’d get through 9!  I kept trying to channel my inner Coach Jerry and remember that running is a head game as much as anything else.  I missed the social interaction of the group, but instead focused on my audio book – which is almost over and getting good.  I think I figured out who the bad guy is.  With any luck, I’ll finish the book this week, and will post if I was right! 

D wasn’t feeling too hot on Friday – and I went to a friends house (to bring them some software) and ended up with her and her husband going out to dinner at 9pm…so it was a late night by the time I got home around 1030.  R has swim lessons on Saturday morning, and I wanted D to stay home and rest, so I didn’t make it to the group run.  I had every intention of running the 9 miles that afternoon – but ended up shopping in Williamsburg, having minor upset belly issues, and then of course getting ready for a friends birthday dinner and comedy show that night.  Explaining the events of that night would take forever – but lets just say that one of our party almost got kicked out of the place, there was only ONE waitress for a table of 22…and no one was getting drink refills or food, when the food did come it was terrible, and the comics…well, lets just say they are comic students, and have to finish classes yet.  Despite all that, it was a fun night and I hope my friend had a great birthday celebration.

All is NOT lost however, as Sundays are typically a rest/crosstrain day.  I did both!  I took the kids to a Family Yoga class at The Space Above in Norfolk, and after bringing them home and having a quick snack (rice cake with sunflower butter), I drove the the Great Dismal Swamp and ran my 9.  I’m not sure why it’s called the dismal swamp (I’ll have to look that up), but it was quite cheery actually!  It was 63 degrees, so there were a ton of people out, which was nice.  I wore a short sleeve shirt and short pants – and was dressed perfectly.  I had my water bottle belt thingy too, since I figured it would take me an hour and a half or so to finish.  Near the end I must have been looking a wee rough, two women ran past me and asked me to run with them the last 1/4 mile.  Their timing was nothing short of perfect, and really made me kick into gear that last little bit.  So to the two mystery runners, thanks!  You restored my sanity when I thought it was toast.

My dumb Garmin’s battery died.  I took it off the charger yesterday (anticipating running), but it was off.  I went to turn it on this afternoon, and it flashed Low Battery then peetered out.  I had a fleeting moment of NOT running right then, but figured that was a bit of a cop-out.  I actually used the digital readout on my bodybugg to time myself.  I was freaking out a bit about not knowing if I’d run EXACTLY 9 miles, BUT….they had mile markers!!!  I got to keep to my still obsessive need to run precicely what I should.  My Dad called when I was in my last mile.  I answered the phone, and must have sounded hilarious to him as I’m huffing and puffing and explaining what I as doing.  He was just calling to check on D to see how he was feeling, but still – I’m sure my exhausted and strained voice wasn’t what he was expecting to hear.

After stopping at the grocery, I made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, and now will hopefully catch up on at least some of my 95 hrs of recorded shows that I’m behind on.  My Dad is a little annoyed at some of the shows I’m behind – he can’t call me and talk about them.  Mainly it’s White Collar and Stargate Universe…oh, and Human Target, and Fringe, and NCIS, and a million other shows I’m way off on.  I do stay current on Castle though, in case anyone wants to chat about it!

3 Felt Like 30

Maybe it’s just me.  And maybe I didn’t do as awful as I felt I did, but yesterday’s 3 mile run felt like forever.  My pace was 12:12, so I know that technically I wasn’t that much slower.  It just felt like I was running through tar.  My breathing was labored, my legs felt heavy, and pretty much nothing about the run was fun.
The weather was gorgeous – about 55 degrees at 6pm, so I can’t complain there – though I was a bit overdressed.  I wore a technical shirt and my running jacket (I love having pockets!), and I could have done without the coat.  As much as I love pockets, running with just the jacket would have been strange.  And I imagine things that shouldn’t – would chaffe.

I worked from home yesterday (MLK day – kids had off).  I was very happy at how much I really did get accomplished, and aside from a one hour conference call, my calendar was clear.  I was able to work on some major projects with very little interruption – better than I get when I actually go to the office.  I was hoping to take a break and run during the day, but it just didn’t work out. 

I’m on the fence on if I’m happy today is a rest day.  After yesterday’s run, I’m not too amped to lace up, but I’m anticipating an ugly meeting from 3-5, and may feel the need to pound pavement so I can avoid pounding heads.  Guess we’ll see how the rest of the day goes!

Finally Had Some Great Weather

Yesterday almost didn’t happen for me.  It’s been a ridiculous week between the hilarious car misadventures, and some not-so-fun drama at the office.  I was really looking forward to the Saturday long run, but have not been sleeping well (waking up between 3-4am every day and not falling back asleep).  Alas, I can thank my doggies for getting me up and moving on Saturday.  Rico was fixed on Friday, so he’s wearing a cone around his head.  It’s awful to say, but it’s extremely funny watching him try to get into spaces (or walk up stairs) with this thing around his head.  Anyway, he woke me up at 430 am Saturday to be let outside.  I went back to bed – finally fell asleep – and turned off my alarm.  At 615, Sammie woke me up because she was expecting breakfast, so I figured it was fate telling me to get my butt up, dressed, and just go get the run done.  I have to do it anyway, may as well get it done with the group!

We’re all congregating in front of the J&A Racing office getting our pre-run pep talks from our coaches Greg, Joel, and Jerry.  Right now, we have to be careful not to let the training get into our heads and mental negativity start wearing us down.  Jerry said we should try and run with someone for at least the first half, talk, and do anything to keep our heads from interfering.  I think that’s great advice, because yeah – it’s daunting to look at the training calendar and see some of the distances that are coming up, and wondering why I ever thought doing this would be a good idea!

H and F couldn’t be there yesterday, but I did run with M for the first 2.5 miles.  She’s a bit faster than me though, so she went on ahead.  At the 4 mi turn around mark, our coach Greg was there checking in on everyone.  The 4 miles back were a bit tougher, but I suppose that’s to be expected.  Back at the starting area, everyone hung out and talked for a while.  Joel told me I was “on his list”, but regardles…he DID say last week’s course sucked.  Truth hurts, but that’s the breaks!

The weather was beautiful, and I was overdressed.  Both Greg at the halfway mark and Jerry at the end made comments to me about having too many and the wrong type of layers on.  I wore a long sleeve thermal-type technical shirt, a long sleeve cotton shirt, and a running jacket.  The thoughts are that I could have done without one or two of the layers, and I should avoid cotton at all costs.  I knew it shouldn’t be my base layer, but I didn’t realize until yesterday that it can cause me to feel over heated even as a top or middle layer too.  I’ll have to pay better attention.  It was about 35 degrees at 7am, but it quickly warmed up into the mid-50’s before our run was over.  I have to remember it’s okay to be cold at first – I’ll always warm up as I’m moving.  I had gloves on too, but took them off at the halfway mark and put them in the jacket pocket.
My pace averaged to be 11:58/mi.  Not uber fast, but I think it’s the fastest I’ve done over that distance.  In our newsletter, we’re being advised to start doing tempo runs this week to increase our speed.  I’m nervous, but I know I can do it.  I’d love to see my pace get better.

I had 2 rice cakes with sunflower butter on the way to the run.  I had great energy.  Dinner the night before was a Hmong udon noodle with tofu and bell peppers dish from my VegNews magazine.  It was yummy, but way too salty. 

Last night D and I went with some friends to a wine tasting party.  We had a great time – stayed out until 2am (A made a TON of money babysitting not only for our kids, but for my friends son as well).  I did drink quite a bit, but I wasn’t driving, so that’s okay!  I woke up at 8 to let the dogs out and feed them, but went back to bed and didn’t get up until noon!  It was LOVELY.  I feel good, though lazy (not good enough to work out today!)….so I’ll be indulging in the Rest part of the Rest/Crosstrain option on the schedule for today!

And on some fun news, I’ve decided to make the Chicago Marathon my first full blown one.  It’s Oct 10th this year, and since my family is close by, they’ll get to come and cheer me on.  I’m scared, but I think it’ll be great!