The Holiday Seasons

This time of the year is typically my favorite, but this year it was not. This year I have a lot of feelings and emotions in my personal life towards some of my family members. I think the biggest issue I have is that I don't speak up for myself. I often times get stepped on and "pushed" into certain things I really don't feel like doing. Not only that, but this constant need to be perfect all the time and say the right thing gets old sometimes. One of my new years resolutions this year is to speak up a little bit more.. Maybe if I did I wouldn't feel so miserable sometimes (plus I think the husband would do a little victory cheer for me if I did). 

Overall Christmas was fine. I ended up getting more gifts than I need, but am so grateful for the love and generosity. It's hard not to think about those children who are disappointed that Santa doesn't come to their house. Sigh.. enough of the sad stuff and the venting, let's talk about happier things... like my workouts :)

Earlier this week I posted about my struggles doing my longer workouts, and although I only did a 6 mile run on Tuesday, I feel like I'm moving in the right direction. Six Mile Total Time = 52:16. My first mile was a 10:00 min/mile warmup (give or take 5 seconds); my second mile was about a 9:00 min/mile and from them on I tried to make the rest of the run a tempo run/negative split. (I pretty much just sped up when I felt good or heard a good beat and slowed down to recover when I needed it). After I was done I felt absolutely great and smiled to myself (not because I'm a psycho lol) because I think I can beat this 2:00 hr half marathon time. I really do; I just have to do it. 

The day before (Monday) I had done a Jillian Michaels DVD workout: No More Trouble Zones and I must say I really liked it. You can actually pick which areas you want to focus on and customize the workout. It was a rest day so I figured a 20 min workout involving my core and total body wouldn't be so bad. I could feel my muscles crying in anguish but ignored them and finished my 3 sections I chose. I must say that I still feel sore lol....Jillian Michaels... seriously kicks my butt every single time lol.....

Today was a cross training day and so I biked. I also ate pretty crappy and figured this low-impact exercise wouldn't make me feel like death lol. I kept a steady and fast cadence for about 40 minutes and called it a day. 

Tomorrow: Four Miles... I think I'll take it nice and easy and enjoy this weather. 

Really Struggling

Training for the ING Marathon has really been a struggle. I've struggled training for other races, but I usually fund my training groove after a couple of weeks. However, it's been several (and I stress several) weeks later, and I still haven't been able to figure out my training groove. Let me tell you a little bit about my struggles....

Lately my long runs have not been running smoothly (hahaha no pun intended) and it has completely sucked. So, when this week my schedule had me running 16 miles I was dreading it. You look at the number 16 and think to yourself - "Holy Crap this is going to take me a while" and you're 100% right. Part of you wants to make it a super slow run, but another part of you wants to get it over with as quickly as possible. The last time I did 16 miles I did it on a cruise ship where 9 laps = 1 mile. About halfway through my run I had to walk every 9th lap. Sounds joyous doesn't it?
Then last Sunday I did 18 miles continuously and I was out of commission for the entire day. So this weekend I figured I would try the run-walk approach at my second attempt at 16 miles. So I set out for my run with the plan of running for a mile and then walking for a 1 minute. I heard this run/walk method works wonders and so I figured it would magically work and I would run/walk 16 miles no problem. WRONG. After the fourth mile I felt like my legs were fatigued. I kept this method up until mile 9. After that it went all downhill from there. The one minute walk turned into 2 minutes, which then turned into walking every 5 minutes. I was discouraged and my legs were on fire. I really questioned whether or not I would be able to do this marathon. 

The last night I tried googling whether or not the run/walk method works for everyone and I stumbled upon this blog post:

This post definitely gave me some inspiration which I needed. I'm going to do this marathon and even though it sucks I'll get through it. Because at the end of the day: "Sometimes the race isn't about what is at the end; it's about the journey.."

Grandpa this is for you...

And Then Life Happens...

I apologize again for not keeping current with my blog. In this new year I am honestly trying to make a better effort with my blogging. I have a good amount of races coming up and I want to take you all along with me :)

Since it's been almost a MONTH (I know!! I can't believe it's been that long either) I will highlight my top 10 workouts/accomplishments/thoughts:

1. Last week's Sandy Hook shooting made me realize how crazy our world is. That day innocence was lost and America was shaken. 

2. On another note, I ran 18 miles last Sunday. That is my longest run EVER. It sucked, I'm not even going to lie lol. I was out of commission for the rest of the day and it made me realize that I will be running/walking the ING marathon. 

3. I signed up for the Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon. This is my race. I will do everything in my power to PR. Wish me luck :)

4. I am walking the Disney Princess Half Marathon with some of my friends. I am so incredibly proud of them (for one of them it's her first half marathon) and want to be there with them when they cross the finish line!

5. I have been running 4 miles in under 32 minutes. I don't think I've ever done it and in the past week I've done it TWICE!! (Maybe those speed workouts are working lol)...

6. I gained 6 pounds on the cruise I went on last week (I've failed to mention my cruise on the blog, but it was for my husband's and I three year anniversary!!!). Even though I worked out every day I still gained weight lol. Damn cruises.

7. It was my three year anniversary last week!!! 12-12-12!!!! I am so incredibly lucky to have a husband that supports me 100%. Who else can deal with the endless races, traveling, and smelly clothes??? 

8. Christmas is just around the CORNER!! This is my favorite time of the year!!!!! Everyone is happy and just generous. So rare nowadays huh?

9. I recently noticed while on my longs run that a lot of the songs I have on my Ipod have the word running it. It's used in different forms, but nonetheless running is mentioned.

10. I've realized the last couple of months that life happens. Sometimes you have to switch up workouts, change the time of day you workout, or just plain run 16 miles on a cruise ship. No matter how crazy life gets, it is up to you to be in control of your workouts. IT's your choice whether you want to workout or not so please no excuses....

That concludes my top 10 workouts/accomplishments/thoughts. From here on out I'll be posting more of my workouts and try to be a little more specific in why I choose these workouts.

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!!

Jello Legs

Sorry it's been a while since my last post! I've been kind of busy this week with work... buttt...... I've got it under control now!

Let's start with the last couple of days. On Sunday I did an easy bike ride. It was the day after the 16 miles and I just wanted to take it easy. I averaged about 14-16 miles an hour and did a total of 12 miles. Now, the fun part of my little bicycle ride is that I cycled through a couple of neighborhoods to look at houses. My husband and I are hoping to buy a house in the next couple of months and I love browsing houses.

On Monday I decided to go swimming, and I'm not going to lie, it was hard! I feel like taking two weeks off from swimming really nulls you training. I ended up doing over .5 a mile but I struggled. About halfway through I ended up getting my groove back and finished up my swim. On my last lap, an aquafit instructor came and kicked me out of my lane. I should have told them I had one more lap, but I moved and finished my last lap in another lane. The most annoying part of moving lanes: there was ONE aqua fit person!!! They totally didn't need to move me. I'm not going to lie I was annoyed, and clearly I'm over it lol...

Tuesday I was scheduled for an easy 4 mile run. I got home a little later than I wanted, and the weather looked sketchy.. so I ran on my treadmill! I wanted to take it easy.. so I started at about a 10:00 min/mile, but I started listening to Demi Lovato's CD and I finished at about 38:52.... Not bad for taking it easy lol... Favorite song: TOGETHER.

Now let's talk about today! My friend N and I had planned on spinning today and so off we went to the gym after work. Before our spin class we wanted to do a little warm up jog and so we hit the outdoors. Now, we ended up taking a short cut back to the gym.....and ended up trail running for a little.

Action Shot!

We ended up doing 1 mile and made it just in time for the start of spin class. I LOVE the spin class we go to. The instructor is upbeat and makes you motivated to spin your hiney off. I worked in that class and I've got to tell you - my legs feel like Jello. The cool thing about the computers on the spinning bikes is that they actually tell you your total trip! Once I figured it out, I made it a point to push myself a little harder. In about one hour I ended up doing 21 miles! Not bad :) I'm hoping next time I can beat that! 

New Obsession: Demi Lovato's Unbroken CD

Are We There Yet?

Today I ran the longest distance of my life. I've never run past 14 miles, but today that all changed.

Since N and I started this DetermiNATION program we have been trying to follow the workout plan they gave us. I usually do my own thing, but decided to give it a try. It was hard to follow since I was also training for Miami Man, but I adapted. Today's training run called for 16 miles.

When I saw that distance I thought to myself that there was no way in hell I'd run the whole thing. I was wrong. I felt great, and not stressed out like I usually am when I'm faced with workout situations I've never faced before. I think I just didn't think about it too much. Not only that, but I avoided looking at my Garmin as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, Garmins are great inventions, but they can also make you a time-Nazi as you constantly look at your wrist to see what the clock says. Sometimes you just need to enjoy the run and not worry about time. Yes, I said that... what has happened to me??

As they dismissed us for the run I kept a slow and steady pace (probably a 6 RPE) and got wrapped up in my music. Which my song of the day definitely has to be "Party in the USA". I actually had to do two loops which kind of sucked since I never like seeing the same scenery more than once. As you make the second loop you feel like that annoying kid in the car who keeps asking: "Are we there yet?" Once you made the second loop you had to go about 2 miles out and hit a turn around to come back. As I got past mile 14 I could feel my body starting to hurt and ache, but I pushed through it. The best part was one of the coaches met up with me at mile 11 and stayed with me the last five miles. I have to say it probably helped me tremendously. She distracted me and kept me motivated; I finished strong.

This training run was definitely a mental victory for me. It confirmed the fact that I could take this marathon on head first. I'm not saying it will be easy, just do-able. My final time ended up being 2:40:49... which ends up being a 10:03 mi/pace. That's absolutely ridiculous and I almost gave myself a pat on the back. Although it was a faster pace than I expected, I wasn't a complete idiot about the run. The pace was comfortable and relaxing.

Tomorrow I'm hoping I can get a relaxing ride in (without clipping in bwahahahaha).  

Weekend Wind Down...

On Friday I decided to spin a little as I waited for Greg to get home from work. Nothing too serious, just 45 minutes of spinning at home. I did a 5 minute warm up with 5 minute hill climbs and two minutes of rest in between. I wanted to work on my "hill" workouts since they help build endurance on the bike. After my workout I took a shower and we went out for some sushi. I'm not a super big sushi person (I prefer the cooked fish) but I love my some Spicy Shrimp Sushi with a side of Miso Soup :)

Saturday I wanted to do a long run. The weather felt perfect and I had a lot to do on Saturday, so I wanted to make this a fast run. The workout was 8 miles. I took off and felt pretty good and pulled off an 8:30 mile for the first mile. I knew I couldn't consistently do 8:30s for 8 miles, so I slowed it down a bit. When the weather is cooler you feel so good running, you don't get that hot sweaty feeling you typically get in the summer. I ran to the halfway point and turned around to a set of dark grey clouds. Now, side note about me, I am very bad at reading clouds. I always think it's about to downpour when in reality there's probably not a drop of water in those clouds. I tried to pick up the pace a little bit more but my legs were in a full out rebellion against my mind. I made it home without feeling a drop of water having a total time of 1:10:15... That's an 8:48 pace. Not too bad my friends... After my run I made some corn bread muffins and some mini hotdogs (my specialty) for Bennett's first birthday party. As I made the food, I couldn't help but eat a mini hotdogs (or three).

Sunday my friend G and I went to a nearby park to practice clipping in to my bike. Yes, I don't clip in... EVER. I know it's probably a stupid thing (considering that my bike pedals are not made for regular shoes, but clip ins), but I just get so terrified of being attached to my bike. It's not like I haven't fallen before. I've fallen plenty of times, and not even with clip ins, but G decided it was time for me to learn and practice. So we get to the park and ride for a little bit as we clip in and out of the pedals. At first I was so nervous of falling, but as time progressed I could clip in and out more easily. Luckily I didn't fall, and will start trying to wear my clip ins more consistently to get used to them. Since we didn't ride that long, I might try spinning or doing a Jillian Michaels DVD.

Happy weekend everyone :)

Golf Course Run

Running on a golf course is always kind of fun. First, there's that feeling of rebellion :) Second, there's all sorts of terrain you can run on: sand, the greens, and the rough.

Today's run was nothing crazy, just a little over 2 miles. I decided to run around the perimeter of the golf course and it was pretty fun. I wasn't really going for time but just for mental health :) My husband was fishing while I ran and we met up at the end. It gets dark so early that I couldn't finish my 3 miles. Drats lol.

Yesterday I ran 6 miles. My legs still felt tight and so I took it super slow. I wore my compression socks  so that my blood could get flowing in my calves, and it felt great :) This weekend I'm doing in between 10-14 miles (not too sure yet)...

Sorry for the short post... but I gotta watch the end of X-Factor!!!

The Aftermath

I took Monday off from working out and it felt great. It's one thing to take the day off because you're injured; it's another thing to take a day off because you kicked arse in a race the day before :)

Monday I was hurting. Not just "aches and pains hurting from participating in a race," I mean full fledge "I just got hit by a car and dragged" hurting. I could barely move for the first couple of hours. I tried to get moving so that all the lactic acid build up and blood could get flowing. Monday's activities included: finding a new Farmer's Market (yay!!), traveling to Publix, and buying some new compression socks at Runner's Depot. See, a sock fair took one of my compression socks and I can't seem to find it.

Today I knew I had to get some sort of exercise in; I can never sit still. So, I did a 45 minute stationary cycle at a low intensity. I had my brand new compression socks on and I'm not sure if they honestly help, but I think they're a God-send. Tomorrow, I run :)

Today my husband and I were watching Criminal Minds and one of the characters participated in a triathlon.
I thought it was ironic that we were watching this today.
The hilarious moment of the night was when the character invited his new girl "friend" to breakfast after the race.
My husband looked at me and said "He's just going to leave his bike and stuff there? That's crap". LOL I love him.

I DID IT!!!!!

I made it :) There were times during the race where I definitely wanted to quit, but I didn't!!! The best part of it all was that I BEAT MY PREVIOUS TIME!!! Race-wise that was my goal and I cried when I saw my time. However, the best part of my race was wearing the ribbon in honor of my grandpa. No matter how hard it was to go on, I knew I had to.

The night before the race I could hardly sleep. This happened last time I did the half-iron distance and so I just went to sleep early and drifted in and out of sleep. When it was finally time to wake up I got out of bed and made myself 2 slices of multi-grain bread with peanut butter and a banana (plus a bottle of water). I was so nervous as I was getting ready and anxious to start. I packed up all my gear and went to the park. As I parked I was absolutely terrified. I had forgotten how it felt to realize that you were about to workout for about 7 hours. Not only that, but the mental exhaustion I was about to undergo. I set up my gear in the transition area and waited until my friend E got there. As I set up my stuff I kept thinking about the stupid wetsuit. I wasn't comfortable wearing it, but knew I would be freezing without it. I almost had an anxiety attack (my chest got really tight and I couldn't breathe as I ripped the wetsuit off of my body) when I was in the pool a couple of days before, and I feared that I was going to have a full out anxiety attack in the water. At the last minute I decided to wear it and prayed for the best. Before the start my friend E, another girl J, and I just hung out and mentally prepared for the race.

Right before the start I put on my wetsuit, I could start feeling myself get anxious and I took some deep breaths and told myself it was going to be alright. I yelled out good luck right before the horn and closed my eyes to pray. The horn went off and I slowly walked into the water as some of the front girls ran in. I finally started swimming and for the first 5 minutes tried to avoid getting hit. We were one of the last waves (waves are start times for triathletes- they're usually designated by age group or weight) so we were merging with some of the other triathletes on their second lap. After about 10 minutes I found my groove and just took it slowly, pacing myself for the two laps we had to do. When I got to the point where I had to run out of the swim for my second lap (they have a race mat where the sensor is underneath- I'm guessing it's to prevent cheating), I ran out and then jumped back into the water and decided it was time to push it. I cleaned up my stroke and started to really pick it up for my last lap. When I came out of the water I felt FANTASTIC and was so proud of myself for not having a heart attack in the water. I almost ran past the "strippers" (strippers- these are the guys/girls who literally strip you out of your wetsuit... How cool is that?) and had to turn back.

In the transition area I rinsed off my feet and put on my running socks and shoes. Even though I have clip-ons I've never gotten comfortable with them and so I always opt for my running shoes. I grabbed my helmet, sunglasses, and Garmin and headed out for the bike. This was the moment of truth. I had been super concerned about the bike cutoff and had to make sure I was right on pace to beat it.

The first about 15-20 miles were absolutely amazing. I felt great and was killing it on the bike, averaging 18-21 mph. This speed is unheard of for me lol. Then.... it happened... Gusts of wind that were like 18-20 mph (I honestly don't know how strong they were but they were stronger than any other wind I've biked against) stopped me. I was struggling just to go over 12 mph and had 8 miles to go before the cutoff time. What was worse was I knew that on the way back I was going against the wind the whole time. I was not excited in the slightest. I got through the second lap and was about to ride through probably the worst part of the race. During the first 40 miles, I went through all the water in my CamelPak and had nothing left. I did have a Gatorade bottle on my bike and felt like an idiot because I couldn't twist off the cap (I should have put it in a squirt bottle) lol. So I pushed onward and battled the wind, I was so weak and my back, hips, quads, hamstrings, and calves were completely on fire. I almost started crying as I realized I had 10 miles to go. After 2 miles, I got off my bike and had to stretch and open up my Gatorade bottle. I cracked my back which was probably the best thing I could have done at that point and continued to head back. After shouting obscenities out loud for many miles, I could see the end. I had never been so happy in my life. I got off my bike and walked back to the transition area. When I got to the transition area, my stepdad was on the sideline and he started screaming my name. That was definitely needed at that point. My parents were awesome :)

I was so tired from the bike and still had to run 13.1 miles. My ankle had been holding up, but I had to make sure it wasn't going to give out on me. What's crazy is my other ankle was hurting, and I think it was from overcompensating but I just couldn't think about it. I started my first lap and felt good. I had a slow jog going on and was thinking to myself that I might be able to pull this off.  I finally got past mile 2 and then I saw my friend N. There she was holding a bright pink sign and screaming my name. It was incredible, because I needed something to get me going and then she was right there. (Last year I had three of my friends, my husband and his mom, and my family at the race and seeing them helped me keep going. It's incredible how friends and family can motivate you, even when you don't think you can keep going). The course went through parts of the park which was cool, but annoying because the public isn't really paying attention as you run by (the zoo is still open and most people have no idea a race is going on). However, the parts that were not in the zoo were unpaved, uneven, and rocky as hell- not the best conditions for someone with bad ankles.

Then I got to the second lap. My whole body was in pain and I knew I had to be smart about how I was going to handle the rest of the run. I decided that I needed to walk and run the rest of the lap. I started off the second lap walking for four minutes to give my body a break. I ran until I knew I couldn't anymore and then would take a 2 minute break. I decided I would also take a break when I saw N so that I could hug her and tell her how grateful I was that she was there. She hugged me back and told me to keep running lol. I love her. I looked at my time and thought to myself that I might actually be able to beat my last half ironman time. I had to come up with a different strategy other than this run until I'm tired and then take a 2 minute break. I decided my new strategy had to be run as hard as I can for 8 minutes, and then take a 2 minute break. With my time in mind, I followed this strategy until I crossed the finish line. It worked.... I didn't know it worked until about 15 minutes later when I got to the time board. There it was... a 6:57. I cried. All my sweat, blood, and tears paid off. It was done and I couldn't believe that I just did it.

My wonderful husband taking my bike back to my car.
Check out my awesome tan lines on my legs lol.
Also, you can see my memory ribbon on my jersey. 
Even though I accomplished such a big task, the best part of the race wasn't part of completing the race.; it was afterwards. I was getting ready to go to the car to put my bike away, but made a pit stop at the bathroom before I packed up. In the bathroom, one of the girls looked at me and saw my ribbon on my jersey. She asked me if I ran for someone, and I told her I did. I told her it was for my grandpa who passed away while I was training. She told me that what I did was pretty cool, and she was right... it was pretty cool. I'm taking a break for the next couple of days, but will be back. This time.. I'm training for my first marathon... It looks like next year is going to be a long year....

Having A lot of Free Time on My Hands

Having a lot of free time on my hands... that's honestly what has happened since I don't workout as hard anymore.

It's getting close to race day and a part of me is scared racing on Sunday. Not because of the possible pain I might experience, but because I haven't trained this past week. I know that sounds stupid, but that's just how I feel. Even thought I've been training for months I still have the thought process that I needed to train this week.

However, a part of me is as excited as hell to get out there and just have fun. I think this injury shifted my train of thinking...for the better. You see, I was starting to get wrapped up on beating my time and kicking the race's butt, but now I just want to have fun. I want to bike through the redlands with a huge smile on my face. I want to run through the zoo and smell the wild animal poo (lol). I want to finish and stuff my face with horrible-bad-for-you food. I want all those things and I think it's because for a brief moment I thought all of those things I wanted was going to be taken away.

I won't be blogging until after my race. So until then... pray for me on Sunday lol...


So as you can probably tell by my post title, I am a happy camper! I'll tell you why :) I GOT CLEARED TO RUN ON SUNDAY!!!!!! Yes, I am shouting and therefore I am typing in all caps. I am so freaking excited. Before I tell you how excited I am, let me tell you about the last couple of days.

So as most of you know, I sprained my ankle on Thursday. It actually swelled up that night and looked horrible. I started experiencing a weird pain that night and thought it would be best if I went to Urgent Care where I had my ankle x-rayed. Everything seemed a-okay but I still made an appointment with the orthopedic. The swelling went down and it looked like everything was going to be okay; however, I wanted to be sure no permanent damage would come about if I decided to be a psycho and run on Sunday. So off I went to the ortho.

I got to the ortho after going through directions a couple of times with my co-worker N lol. I am known to be directionally challenged, among other things. When I checked into the ortho it was insane. I later found out there are 18 orthos who practice there which explains the amount of clients in the lobby. After waiting for about 15-20 minutes I was taken in the back and assessed by one of the doctor's assistants. During the assessment, the assistant ordered x-rays on my ankle and after mentioning my knee, ordered an xray for my knee. Literally two minutes after putting the order in I was taken to the x-ray room and had x-rays done. After I was all done, I was put back in my waiting room where the doctor came in 5 minutes later. He was awesome. He explained every x-ray to me in extreme details and ran some tests on me to make sure everything was okay. After looking at everything he concluded that I could go ahead and run sunday. He did say I had to tape up, but that's a small price to pay. I'm just so happy.

Praying for a Miracle

Two days ago I injured myself during half mile interval training. It was so bizarre. I don't remember falling, rolling my ankle, or stepping on anything. I was just so shocked when it happened that I wasn't thinking clearly. I remember catching myself, having people asking me if I was okay, and sharp intense pain that started throbbing when I put weight on my ankle. I wasn't too far from my front door so I hobbled over in pain.

I cried once I got home. Not a hard cry, but a soft I-can't-believe-this-is-happening cry. I wasn't sure how bad my ankle was, but I knew this type of pain was different. I took my shoe off and the swelling started. I iced it immediately and tried starting my RICE ritual immediately. My ankle seemed in bad shape, but I had faith that I could rehabilitate it semi-quickly. Well, I thought that way until I tried going upstairs. The inside of my ankle felt like it was being pulled in opposite directions. Like the muscle inside of it was separated and all I could feel was a dull pain that seemed to press on the bone. At that point, I thought I was screwed; Everything about this sprain felt different. I tried to go to sleep that night, but woke up in pain. At that point I knew I had to go to the doctor. So I texted my boss and told her that I needed to go see the doctor.

The doctor visit was nerve-wrecking. I wasn't sure what he/she was going to tell me but I knew it would be bad. I was just praying that I didn't have a fracture or a break. So after talking to the doctor and seeing my ankle, she decided to have it x-rayed. After reading the x-ray she said I was in the clear, but told me that there was no way I would be racing next Sunday. I was completely destroyed. I cried when I got to the car, in the car ride to the office, and in my office.

I just couldn't believe that after weeks of training, it was all over. I had sacrificed sleeping in during the week and on the weekends for absolutely no return. I had felt pain and bruised for nothing. I just didn't understand. The hardest part to accept was the fact that I trained before grandpa got sick. He used to tell me that I was so crazy running all of the time. Then he got sick. While he was sick I would still tell him about my runs, and I think talking to him even though he didn't talk back made me feel better. I was doing this race for him. This was before I decided to run with the American Cancer Society, and so this was really his race. I even e-mailed the race director last week to ask if I could wear a ribbon on my jersey in his honor. They told me to please wear it. Now, it was all gone.

Or so I thought... This morning when I woke up, the swelling in my ankle went down. The pain subsided and I can walk on it without overcompensating. I'm not saying that I'll be racing, but I am ridiculously motivated to be completely healed before next Sunday. So I've been icing, soaking my ankle in Epson salt, taking Tylenol, and wearing a brace. I am doing everything I can....and praying for a miracle.

Halloween Run!

I wore a tutu today. Yup, who would have thought?

It was the Saturday group run and we were encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. N is good at figuring out that kind of stuff. So, when she came across orange tutus, cute shirts, halloween hair ties, and socks we could use as arm warmers, she thought why not. And that became our Halloween costumes for the run.

I started tapering off this week so I brought my mileage down to under 9 miles. I had aimed to do 8, but   ended up meeting up with the group coach and did a little extra (8.83). For the 8 miles I came in at just about a 9 min/mile- 1:13. With the 8.83 I clocked in at 1:20. The weather has been incredible so I think that factor alone improved my run time. I will tell you what didn't improve my run time- strong gusts of wind and flooding in the road. What sucks is we encountered the flooding in the first mile, and we had to tread through water that was up to almost my knees. Even though it sucked, I didn't get any blisters at least. Overall, another fantastic group run!!!!

Hurricane Sandy

A hurricane is a'coming!!! And this hurricane sure wanted to make its way towards Florida.

Today I got to go into work later since I was going to stay late. It was awesome because I got to run a bunch of errands :) One of my errands involved returning the Runners World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training. Runners World let you "preview" the book for 21 days and after looking over it, it told me everything I pretty much already knew. I wasn't about to pay $34 for information I already knew.

In my morning I got a mini-spin session in. I keep telling myself to taper off so I did a 30 minute "quality" session with a 5 minute warm up and cool down. The other 20 minutes involved 1 minute full gear fast pace sessions with a minute of rest in between. It was pretty hard.

This afternoon I was planning on running 5 miles with one of the running groups I belong to, but the weather was uncooperative! N and I had made our plans, but of course they were foiled. We discussed what we should do, and I figured I would run around my gym's indoor track. I headed out of work late and did my 5 planned miles. Now, I had macaroni grill this afternoon and I was still full. Surprisingly, I felt okay during my run. Right now I'm not sure how I feel lol. I might have some fruit and call it a day!!! Tomorrow is my "rest" day: so I swim.....

Fundraising Update: I'm kind of disappointed in the lack of response I have gotten from friends. I know a lot of people are going through tough times, but I never ask for much. So when I do I expect some sort of response. Don't get me wrong. I have friends who have donated and they're amazing. However, there are some people that are surprising me. I'm sure I'm readin way too into this, but that's just how I feel. Movin... on....

My First Flat Tire Experience

I actually had my first flat tire two days ago, but it was such a ridiculous situation that I decided it should be today's post title. However, first I will begin with my back-logged fitness events.

Saturday: I ran 10 miles YAY!!! I clocked my time at 1:38 which is pretty good!!! I tried to negative split (when you run the second half of your run faster than the first part) on this distance and it worked!! My first 5 miles was 53 minutes, and my last 5 miles was 45 minutes!!! That's a 9 minute mile for the last 5 miles!!! The weather was absolutely incredible (low/mid 70s) and I got to run with a group which always motivates me! I'm running again with this group the following week, but I'll be tapering off.

Later that day, N and I went fundraising for the American Cancer Society at the UM vs FSU game. Let me tell you something, IT WAS NOT FUN!!! We had some people who were rude, gave us dirty looks, and shot down our confidence when they said no :( Regardless of all that, we still managed to raise over $200!!! Definitely worth it!!! We might be doing something like this in the near future and helpfully we'll be able to make a little more.

Sunday: 3 hours of spin (2 on the indoor trainer and 1 in the gym) and then ran 2 miles. Let me tell you something, it was not that bad. I think it game the confidence I needed, I felt tired, but knew it had to be done. Later that day I ran with the Mitzy another mile :)

Monday: Bike and Swim day. Sigh... so let's get into this story... I decided to do both workouts in the afternoon which I'm pretty glad about it now. So after work I check out my bike and notice the back tire is kind of flat. I fill it up and figure screw it I'll bring my cell if I have to call my husband to pick me up if I'm stranded. I walk out the door and a half mile into my bike ride, the tire goes completely flat. So here I am on the side of the road, and I think to myself- I can totally change this flat. So I pull out my tools, take the tire off and get to work. Well, genius me who bought a new CO2 emergency kit, put the cartridge in before I needed to and it started going off. I tried to stop it but it was too late. So now I was seriously stranded. I call my husband who picks me up; he loves me lol. So we get back and I am determined to get the damn tire changed. Forty minutes later, the tire is changed after fighting the tube and having issues with the chain, but damn it I changed it!!!! I finally get on the bike and head out again, subconciously hoping the tire doesn't fall off. About three miles later, I feel a little more confident about the bike and pick up speed. After hitting every red light possible, I turn down one of the sidewalks where they have freshly cut the hedges. Those damn branches got caught in my bike in my shoes and pretty much all over me. After being thoroughly annoyed and shaking everything off I am on the lest leg of my ride. The ride from hell was from finally over and I hopped over to the gym for an uneventful swim.

Tuesday: I had no sleep the night before so working out in the morning was out of the question. I had decided on a three mile run and .5 mile swim in the afternoon. After work, I ran a nice easy three miles (no Garmin) and changed to a .5 mile swim. My rotator cuff has been bothering me so I didn't have a strong stroke. I just want to get by the swim at this point.

Wednesday: I had wanted to do a run/bike workout but I just settled on a run. I actually had some sleep so I woke up early to run. I was going to do about .25 mile repeats and ended up doing six of them. I didn't time them (again no Garmin) but I definitely challenged my heart rate. After the run I ran two more laps with the dogs and cooled down. The weather was windy, but definitely cool. It was great... I love this time of year when I can workout and not feel like I jumped in the pool. Tomorrow, I bike and run!!


My title post is named curses because that was my first thought when I went to the pool on Wednesday. I'm still pretty bitter about it as you can see, and here I am still dwelling about it two days later. Before I go into that whole story, let me back up and tell you about my week's workouts.

Wednesday Morning: I biked for 45 minutes in my indoor trainer. I started with a 5 minute workout at about a level 3 and then proceeded to do intervals. The intervals consisted of 5 minute high gear "hills" at a level 6 followed by 2 minutes of rest. I did about six or seven "hills" followed by a cool down. After the cool down I went for a little over a mile run with the dogs. Not a bad workout before going into work, huh?

Wednesday Afternoon: I attempted to go for a swim but was foiled again. Once I had checked into the gym, I looked through the pool window and saw all of the lanes taken. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty frustrated. Most of the people at this gym are jokesters. They honestly have no business at the gym, and use this time as a social hour. I literally laugh to myself as I see males and females doing this. At the pool it is completely ridiculous. Since I've been going to the gym I see people tanning (with absolutely no direct sunlight) in lounge chairs by the whirlpool. Are you freaking kidding me??? So here I swim, by myself in the pool, trying to get a good amount of laps in with a decent time. Ok, end vent lol. From now on I'm swimming in the mornings on Wednesdays.

Thursday Morning: HA! I got to go in the pool AND the only other person there is a little old man who does weights in the pool. He's become a regular morning swimmer and keeps to himself, so he's okay in my books. I got in about .6 miles and figured that was good enough.

Thursday Afternoon: I got home late from work, but still needed to get a run in. I talked it over with my husband and he thought I should still run outside. I was kind of hesitant, but decided it was nice weather and go for it. Before Is et out for my run, my stupid Garmin wasn't working so I axed the GPS. About halfway through my run it got pretty dark, and so I booked it back home. Not going to lie, scary. However, I am putting in an order for Mace, and then we'll see who's scared lol.

Friday: Swim again!!! My rotator cuff was actual bothering me today so I figured I better take it easy. I did about .6 miles again and called it a day. Since today is my rest day and I'm kind of falling apart, I say a swim only workout is a-okay.

Tomorrow I run 10 miles... I think I've come to accept sleep depravation.

Doing a Triathlon Backwards...

Ha- no silly fools! I didn't actually do a mini triathlon backwards today, but did each sport in this order: ran, biked, and then swam. Honestly, my logic for this was just for convenience. But first, let me explain some back log.

Thursday I ended up running a good 10K. I told my husband I was going to take it easy and just enjoy the weather, I did have my Garmin on just to let me know my time and pace, but wouldn't do my constant glancing at it for time. So I set off and kept about a 10:30 pace. I had my headphones on and listened to all sorts of mellow music. My hands down favorite mellow music has to be Sara Barellis. When I got back, I had clocked in at 1:04... not too bad for taking it easy huh?

Friday I swam my usual 40 straights in the morning. We were leaving for Orlando this weekend so I knew I had to get everything done in the morning with no potential weekend workouts.

Now for my weekend. I had helped plan a baby shower this past weekend and it was so much fun :) However, I ate absolutely horrible. No, not an exaggeration, pure honesty. I probably consumed about 3,000-4,000 calories on Saturday. Needless to say I wasn't happy with myself at all. So what did I do? Well abs after dinner of course lol. About 300 of them. When I woke up I did about 200 more. I know you can't "spot" exercise, but dammit I will try lol We ended up getting home earlier than expected on Sunday so I decided to run another 10K. This one was done at a little faster pace and I came in at about an hour (my Garmin died on my last 10K and I haven't charged it yet).

So that was my weekend! Nothing too exciting. So let's talk about todays workout. I was initially going to wake up early to workout today but I didn't really get enough sleep so I ditched the workout and planned it for Tuesday. However, when I got home, I figured I should go for it. So I went on my run first because the dogs needed to be taken out. We didn't go far just a mile. After we got back, I jumped on my bike and did an easy 6 mile ride. Riding around here is tough and so I just do the best I can with traffic and construction. Once I got home, I changed into my bathing suit and went to the pool. Here is where I started to get tired. I was aiming to do 80 laps, but stopped short at 54. I was just tired. So I listened to my body and stopped. I figured I swimming two more times and could get some more time in one of those sessions. After calling it quits I came home to relax. Tomorrow I bike and run..again...

Early Morning Run/Swim and Fundraising

I joined the American Cancer Society- DetermiNATION and had a fundraiser clinic tonight. Since I had a fundraiser clinic, I had to do an early morning workout.

This morning, I ran sprints - which consisted of 4 x .40 mile sprints. I did .40 rest in between and a lap to warm up and a lap to cool down. For the sprints, I consistently ran under 3 minutes for each sprint... My best time I believe was a 2:40 minute... It was absolutely crazy and absolutely exhausting so my recovery was extremely slow lol. After doing all that, I swam 30 straights which equates to almost .50 miles.

Overall, I felt good. The sprints were hard, but I really recovered in between. I think that as a runner you have a hard time slowing down, but you really have to let yourself recover in between sprints. I'm glad I was consistent on each sprint, because I feel like it's hard to remain consistent. After the run, I had a rest as I drove to the gym. I must have looked like a mess walking in (lol), but I changed and finished my swim pretty quickly. I found a coin in the pool which was pretty cool. Other then that... that completes my workout.

Now for fundraising.... I have to fundraise about $1,200 for the American Cancer Society. I hate fundraising.... I'm very bad at it and feel like I have to hound my friends. I'm not off to a very good start but I'm really trying here. Anyone who has any ideas... I would really appreciate it....

So Tired....

I'm in bed at this very moment utterly exhausted..

Even though I've had breaks during my training, they haven't really been restful breaks. This continual "go...go...go" has been catching up to me. Today I woke up early after not sleeping very well and biked for 45 minutes. My legs have been cramping, so I needed to get the lactic acid out. After I worked out, I showered and went into work. At work I've been doing an endless amount of reading which makes me more tired.

After work, I swam 1.25 miles. I felt absolutely amazing. I pushed myself really hard and was happy on my accomplishment. The pool was empty too which was nice. After working out, I tried reading some more for work and just can;t seem to keep m eyes open. I'm hoping that going to sleep early will help me out tonight :)

10 Miler on the Treadmill

So the indoor running continues...

I decided to take a break from waking up early to workout, and actually sleep in. Big mistake. Although the weather was beautiful in the morning, it was nice to walk the dogs without rushing. As the day progressed, the clouds got darker and looked threatening. I succumbed to indoor training. My husband thought I should just run on the treadmill since we pretty much never use it, and I agreed. I knew the 10 miler was going to be brutal, so I popped in Love Happens (which I've never seen before) and ran..... and ran... and ran... The time does move slower on the treamill, but I DID IT! My pace was about a 5.7 andI fluctuated speeds throughout the workout from 5.5-6.5.

Overall it was a good workout day. I did ruin all my training with Digiornos and cookies, but hey this is why I workout right? lol

Pink Paddy's Day Ride!

First, let's start this post by saying: I RAN WITH A GROUP AND DIDN'T DIE :) 

Now, I'm not a big fan of riding with groups. I typically don't like the fact that you have to stick with a certain pace group (this thought is probably due to laziness lol) and some of the riders are snooty. However, the group ride today was a charity ride AND it was for a good cause so I figured why not? Plus, a 40-50 mile ride was on my calendar for today and the extra bonus was that it was completely escorted. 

This morning I went with my friend G to the ride. He's kind of my riding friend and I definitely did not feel confident enough to ride by myself. We got there and were kind of unsure about the whole situation. Then as the morning progressed we met some people, laughed a little, and figured we would be okay. As we were lining up to start, the event coordinator told us that it was a no person left behind group. Meaning, they would adjust the pace so everyone could ride together. We figured the pace would be about 16-18 mph which was definitely do-able. We started the ride a little past 9 (it was set for 8:30) and as we started off I felt okay. Scratch that, I felt like I could definitely pull off the ride and at a decent pace. Then as the miles stacked up I felt a little more confident. The group ended up doing about 18-20 mph until the turn around point. 

Some of the girls on our group ride :)

A little before 20 miles, we pulled off into the turn around point and took a break. I felt happy that I could keep up and it definitely boosted my confidence. One of my coworkers had come with her dog to meet us there, so it was really fun!! I took a couple of pictures at our turn around point.

Some friends I made along the way! I'm not sure if they were annoyed with me or amused by my commentary. 

G and Me

M and Me

On the way back, G and I decided to move up to the front pack. I felt like it would give me the push I needed. We kept about a 19-20 mph pace!! At one point the group started laughing at me saying I was trying to sneak up on them all along. I'm sure without the draft they would have schooled me. Once we finished, the event had started and we got to get some food and hydration (fruit punch lol). Overall, awesome ride. Met some cool people and got some of the confidence I needed for my upcoming race. Tomorrow, I run. 

Taking the Hint

I swear I was going to swim today. I mean I put off my Monday workout so that I can get a 1.25 mile swim today after work. However, today turned into a rest day instead.

Last night I got barely any sleep. Maybe 5 hours at the most. I was completely exhausted in the morning, and felt like I could fall asleep at any moment. At the end of the day I was debating whether or not I should even workout or take a nap before my workout. I finally got home and put on my bathing suit to head to the gym.

On the way to the gym a large (I mean army large) family of ducks crossed the road to block me from my final destination. Once I got to the gym I swiped my card and walked to the pool. The always empty pool was completely full of people. I was not in the mood to share a lane. So I took the hint that maybe I shouldn't swim today. So what did I do instead? Gorge on food at Buca of course :) Although it sounds like a stab to my diet, it helped me to carbo-load for the 40 miler bike ride tomorrow.


I am posting while I'm watching the X-Factor so I thought this would make for an appropriate title :) I actually got to run outside today. IT WAS AWESOME! Ok, so not super awesome, because I choked lol. Well not choked, but I have a habit of starting off too fast and fizzling out at the end... and that's exactly what I did today. 

So let me back up and tell you about my workout today. Since today was my run day I had originally planned to do an easy-ish 6 miles. I put my Garmin on, slid on my headphones (with my new Yurbuds) and set out for my 6 miles. As I set off, I felt kinda of zippy so I tried to keep a quick cadence (quick foot strikes) for the first couple of miles. My first mile was under 9 minutes and then the next couple of miles my time increased a little bit each time. I believe my next mile was about 9:15 and then I stayed at about a 9:30-9:45/mile pace.  As with any outside (non-trail) run, I had to be aware of traffic, the weather, and well the crazies. I had my moments of slowing down, speeding up, and stopping. At about mile four I started feeling tired, and so began my crash. By mile five I tried to "kick it out" and well.. I sure "kicked it out" for about .15 mile lol. So, my six miles turned into 5.15. Oh well.... There's always my long run this Sunday.

Since I failed to post about yesterday, I'll do it now. Yesterday I did an easy .6 mile swim. It took my about 30 minutes, which isn't horrible, but it's definitely not good. That afternoon I did a track workout of about 3 miles and at some point during my sprints my legs felt like Jello. 

I can;t believe that there is less than 2 months until my race. On another note, I joined the American Cancer Society group DetermiNATION. I have to fundraise which is a little out my comfort zone, but sitting in that meeting brought tears to my eyes as I watched the short video clips on individual's inspirations. I cried. It's just too fresh. I guess grandpa can come join me on that run too :) I mean I can't just take him to a triathlon.....

Cycling in the Rain

After a weekend off from my workouts, I knew I had to push myself on my workout today....

Like I had mentioned before, the weather has been pretty bad around our area. However, every once in a while I misread the weather and nothing really ever comes out of the clouds in the sky. Today, I set out to cycle outside. About a 1/4 of the way into my ride it started raining pretty steadily. Then it picked up. Then it flat out poured and here I was cycling my little heart out. On my way back home, I couldn't help but smile as I was cycling. Here I was outdoors in the rain without a care in the world. It was absolutely priceless. I mean, it was raining pretty hard and at one point and I thought I should call my husband to pick me up, but isn't that just a weenie move? When has rain hurt anyone? lol. So I stuck it out and had a pretty awesome 12 mile ride out of it.

I was completely soaked when I got home, and my husband laughed at me when I walked through the door. I still had to get a swim in, and so I changed and put on my bathing suit to head out to the gym. I have to wear my two piece triathlon swimsuit (which I HATE doing at the gym) because my one piece is falling out and jumped in the car. When I got to the gym it was packed with an older crowd (this piece of information is important for my story). I got in the pool and as I started swimming laps, my heart just wasn't in it. I swam 20 straights and had to stop, then swam another 20 straights. I figured that it might be better to switch my Friday workout with my Monday workout. I jumped out of the pool and showered off. As I walked back to grab my stuff, an older man came up to me and started smiling and told me I was in great shape. Um, gross. Can't people just keep comments to themselves? The good news is that it seems like this crowd usually hangs out at the gym in between 2-3. I just happened to have the day off and went to the gym at that time instead. Hopefully, I will never encounter that crowd again lol.

Once I got home I showered up and called it day. I'm going to sleep soon, early workout tomorrow. I'm hoping I can get my mini brick in. Let's hope my alarm works :)

Indoor Tracks are My Saving Grace

So I ran this morning.... in the indoor track... AGAIN...

The weather here has been so iffy that I cant risk running outside. On my way home I was trying to analyze the weather, until I saw the lightning bolt. At that point, I had to accept that I would be running on the indoor track. So.. I got dressed and ran 8 miles on the track. You have to run 16 laps on the track for a mile, so I ran 134 laps lol. I kept a pretty steady pace, until the 6th mile. I wanted to spike my heart rate up a bit and so I picked up the pace, and then took it easy on the last mile. I felt fantastic but my legs are a little wobbly. Now, most of you might think that it's boring, but it's actually not that bad.

So let me give you a little background on the indoor track. It's an old track with only two lanes and it is pretty much overlooking the whole gym. When you run around it you can look at all the workout fools below you. Since I have been working out at the gym more, I recognize some of the "regulars". Most of the time these "regulars" don't make any conversation with you, and you like to keep it that way. However, every once in a while one of the "regulars" wants to make some conversation. It's absolutely frickin obnoxious. Like my eff-off face doesn't tell you enough. Anywho, I had two of the "regulars" ask me if I had been running for like 3 hours. No, you moron.. I know you probably haven't been there that long. I politely told him no and went on my merry way. Tomorrow I swim in the morning, and it'll be my last day working out until Monday since I'm traveling this weekend.

Do you want to make your indoor track workout more fun? Try these tips!

Back on the Saddle

I know that I've been off and on again on the blogging stream, but I really do want to continue on this journey. It's amazing to read over my older workouts and see how I felt, what I conquered, and where I struggled. Like they say "there is no strength where there is no struggle".

And just like my quote, I've struggled these last couple of months. My grandpa finally passed away after fighting for his life, and slowly becoming a vegetable. My whole entire family was with him when he took his last final breath, which was bizarre. I had just come back from a trip the night before, and my cousin from Nashville had flown in for that weekend. As much as it was painful to go visit him, I wouldn't have done it any other way. To honor his memory I'll be racing Miami Man in his memory. He always thought I was crazy for working out all the time, so now I can finally bring him with me :)

So let me tell you what I've been up to. I've been trying to work out 1 hr - 1.5 hrs a day with 2-4 hour workouts on the weekends. This is how I've been breaking up my workout schedule:

Mon: Bike/Swim
Tues: Bike/Run
Wed: Bike/Swim
Thurs: RUN
Fri: Swim
Sat: RUN
Sun: Brick or Bike

It seems like a lot and it kind of is lol. However, this is momentary. Today was my Bike/Swim day, and instead of doing both workouts in the afternoon, I did a 45 minute bike in the morning with a high cadence and swam in the afternoon. I swam a little over a mile, and had tired arms by the end. Tomorrow I have a pretty long run since I won't be able to workout this weekend. See, life always gets in the way and sometimes you have to move/change your workouts. Well, I literally am traveling all weekend so I have to workout harder this week and switch some things around. In about two weeks I have another trip where I won't be able to fully workout. Tomorrow's workout will consist of 8-10 miles depending on how I'm feeling. Until then... happy trails :)

Morning Group Run? Sure Why Not!

Saturday morning I joined a group run that the local running store puts on. You could choose to do anywhere from 6-10 miles. Since I had been maintaining 10 miles, I figured I would do the 10.

So at 6:00 a.m. I woke up to run 10 miles, and it was not pleasant. See, I had woken up in the middle night sick from the food I had for dinner. So going that morning was not my happiest moment, but there I was ready to go. The run started, and off I went. I decided after the first mile that I would do all 10 miles and I did. I felt pretty good the first couple of miles and then pushed myself the second half of the run (negative split). My total time was 1:30 which was impressive since I felt like poop before the run started. I personally think the run cleansed me lol. Overall, I'm happy with my run :) I got to see a good amount of people from work and it made my long run enjoyable.

Without my Ipod

I enjoy running with my Ipod, but who doesn't? When a good beat comes on I feel myself speed up and  lose myself in the music. In triathlon word though, Ipods are considered contraband.

So every once in a while I run without my Ipod and I must say that it's peaceful. I let my mind wander and I just focus on running, the sound of my heart beating, and the rhythm of my breathing. With everything that's going on my life, it's just perfect.

Today's workout of the day: a six mile run. Instead of doing my usual six mile run, I did something a little bit different. Over the past couple of days, I felt like I've been neglecting my two dogs so I wanted to take them on a little run. Now one of my dogs went to the vet that afternoon and isn't the athletic type, however, my other dog is a little running machine. So I made the decision to take my athletic dog for a two mile run. However, my brilliant two mile run with the dog turned into a not so brilliant idea. Since it was hot my dog was really struggling and after a mile we had to stop and walk. I felt like she was uncomfortable so I tried to take her to a small canal on the side of the road to wet her feet and cool off. She put her feet in the water, and seemed to become re-energized. However, for the rest of the mile we jog/walked. Overall, we had a blast.

I dropped her off at home and ran the four remaining miles. I started off with a brisk pace, and wanted to negative split the second half. For those of you who don't know what negative splitting means, it's pretty much running lingo for running the second half faster than the first half. I definitely believe I accomplished my goal :)

Some irks about my runs: those dumb summer gnats that get in your face and mouth, stupid peanut gallery comments from cars, and a cramp in my side.

Other then that... perfect! Now for those of you who don't ever run unless armed with an Ipod, you should try leaving it behind one day. Who knows? You might just like running without it...

I Love You Grandpa...

So over a month ago my grandpa was taken to the hospital. He was experiencing severe pain in his abdomen, and it resulted in the doctors finding a couple of other things. He had gall stones, a weak heart, and an aneurism. Things looked pretty bad for my grandpa, but we figured things would get better and he would heal.

So I kept on with life. I kept training, kept working, and went to go visit him when I could. But then things got worse. I got the phone call from my mom that told me they did a CAT scan.. and it was aggressive brain cancer. Brain Cancer. He had three months to live, but I personally don't think he has that much longer. I had gone to visit him a couple of times and it all made sense. He kept forgetting things, looked confused, and would barely recognize me. It broke my heart.

I was completely devastated by the news my mom told me. I cried all night. I didn't really sleep that well. The next day my husband and I went to the hospital. I cried when I got there and I knew he sensed something was wrong. See, he doesn't really know what's going on. So when I started crying, he started crying. I think deep down inside he knows. He's always known, the rest of us just couldn't face it. So I stayed with him, talking and trying to avoid the obvious. I was completely torn inside. I don't really know what to do or how to act. Which is so out of character for me lol.

I know death is unavoidable. It's a fate we all have to face. However, when confronted by it I broke down. I had experienced death with a close loved one before: my grandmother. It was horrible. She had lung cancer and turned into a vegetable with the morphine. I didn't want this to happen to grandpa. I know he lived a long life, but for my own selfish reasons I want him to stay. I love him so much and hate to see him the way he is. So small, so lost, and confused.  So I decided to write in my blog, hoping to find some sort of comfort. I know comfort won't come right away, but it will eventually. I'll be going to see him again soon and each time I see him I'll let him know how much I love him.

My half ironman is in November 11. Whether he is alive or not, I will do this race for him. I love you grandpa.

Just Riding My Bike

Instead of spinning, I rode my bike outside :) Not my favorite thing to do, but after this past weekend's embarrassment I need to spend as much time on my bike as possible.

I need more time on my bike. End of story. I figured spinning might do the trick, but in all honesty spinning is not the same as biking outside. So off I went on my bike ride and my Ipod :)

I decided to ride my bike in the bike lane instead of the sidewalk (I prefer the sidewalk) and what a difference. It was just an overall smooth ride. However, I still prefer the sidewalk.

I ended up riding just over 11 miles. Nothing fancy. No real method to the bike. Just wanted to go fast and really push myself. Sorry there's no real excitement... maybe in my next post ;)

Motivation Man

The way I gauge myself for a half ironman is by racing in an Olympic triathlon. Since an Olympic triathlon is half or a half ironman (hehe that sounds funny) it allows me to look at which areas I can improve in.

So for those of you who don't know what distance an Olympic traithlon entails, here you go. It consists of approximately a .92 mile swim (a half ironman is 1.2), a 25 mile bike (the half ironman is 56), and a 6.5 mile run (a half ironman is a half marathon). That's the distance I raced in this past Saturday. So how did I do? Well.. let's just say that I might need to train a little more in all three sports.

The swim consisted of a full body start swim. That means your body is fully immersed in the water, you swim up to a floating buoy, and then swim when the whistle blows. I've never had this type of start and it sucks because you get no momentum at the start. When they blew the whistle, I hadn't reached the buoy and I scrambled to catch up. I felt all over the place in the swim and I was just confused at the overall direction we were going. Needless to say, one of the most confusing swims I've ever done.

Once I got out of the water (we had to climb a ladder onto a pier), I ran toward the transition area to my bike. I got on my bike and slowly pedaled the 25 miles towards the run. There were 4 over ramps I went over just to get into the turn around point, and another 4 over ramps back. The bike was definitely a huge struggle, and made me realize how much more training I needed. I honestly haven't trained very much on the bike and my lack of training was reflected in my performance. I was the last person in my age group to come in on the bike. I need to do leg drills and just spend more time outside on the bike. I'll aim for doing a spin class once a week with an additional two days a week of cycling. Boo biking.

Now for the run, my favorite sport of the three. I got off my bike and just started comfortably getting into my pace for the run. I wanted something slower than my average pace and I ended up coming in around 10 minutes miles. The whole time I was running, I kept thinking about the heat, the pain in my body, or just quitting, but I never did. It's easy to quit if you give yourself that option. So onward I went, and beat myself at my own mind game. At mile 5 I started feeling a little woozy. I slowed doing my pace and drank a small sippy cup of soda. It seemed to help because I came in at 3:22.

After the race I was in pain and overheated, but I was glad I did it. Although everyone in that race was an amazing athlete, I still kicked that course's butt and damn proud of it.

Because of all my high intensity workouts, I took today easy and did a 4 mile run at a super slow pace and followed it by 30 minutes on the bike. It was an amazing workout. Tomorrow I will spin!

Resting Up

So I've decided not to work out today. I feel a bit sore still and just feel like it's best if I take a rest before Saturday.

Yesterday I was still feeling sore so I ran 2 miles. I was planning on 3 miles, but decided to cut back a mile. I mean seriously... what would an extra mile really do? I ran a half marathon this weekend... I'm sure I made up my mileage.

The weather was brutal. It was extremely hot, and seems like it's only going to get worse from here. I honestly think that my exposure to the heat made me run a bit better in Boston. Running in the heat helps me with my training. I need to start getting used to the heat. I might have to break out my CamelPak soon enough.

Tomorrow I check-in my bike and am excited to head to West Palm for Motivation Man. I'm a little nervous, but I need to realize that the less I care... the better I always seem to do. Time to start relaxing :)

Hellloooooo Boston

This weekend my husband and I had a wedding in Boston for one of my husband's best friend. Although traveling to a new place is always fun, being able to train and eat healthy is extremely challenging.

On Saturday, my husband and I ventured to Boston. I wasn't going to workout on Saturday since I had been burnt out by all the workouts that I had done that past week, but I planned to run about 8 miles up there.

We finally arrive to Boston and get in our cab to make our way towards the hotel. In the cab dive, I started asking the cab driver if there were any good trails or running events going on that week. He answered back saying it was funny that I asked that question since he just found out that there was a half marathon, Run to Remember, the next morning. I decided right then and there.... I was totally going to do it. Now, my husband thought I was insane and it was probably one of the most spontaneous moments, but I had to do it!

So with decision in mind, I had to start preparing for my unplanned half marathon. Now I had many shortcoming that I had to accept:

  1. The most mileage I've done in the last couple of months was 8 miles at once.
  2. I had just gotten off of a plane and had been traveling that day leaving me dehydrated and off my game.
  3. I've never in my life done a hilly course. 
  4. I needed to make sure I didn't overdo it because I have an Olympic tri next weekend.
There are many other factors I had to consider, but those were the main ones. Once we checked-in, we headed to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was at Maggianos which was PERFECT because I could hardcore carbo-load, and carbo-load I did with lots and lots of water.

During this whole time I started telling everyone there about my plans. I figured the more people I told, the more committed I was to this race. I went out for a little bit to celebrate with everyone, but I called it quits early so I could have enough rest for the next day, especially since I had to register at the race (which I've NEVER done before lol). I ended up going to bed early, but got awakened at 2 a.m. by some complete idiots, and didn't get to bed to about 3 (long story lol).

The next day I woke up at 5 and took a cab to the race location. It was absolutely beautiful!!!!! I looked at the course map the day before and saw that the turn around point was Harvard. The course itself gave me a perfect little tour of Boston without a tour guide. I was absolutely in heaven. I knew I had to take it nice and easy, so I relaxed and stretched and just took a look around. 

The race finally started and I established my 10 minute something pace. I took some pictures, and maintained that pace for the first couple of miles. At about mile 4 I remembered thinking that I felt absolutely fantastic and I could probably pick up the pace. I continued to look around and just took it all in. The course had a couple of uphills and I took those hills head on. When I got to the 6.5 mile mark, I realized that I was actually kicking butt and could do well. Once I started approaching mile 8 I started getting a little nervous. That was my point of ending, I hadn't been doing more than that and I just didn't want it to mentally unnerve me. Well mile 8 came and went, then mile 9, and then 10.... Finally I got to mile 12 and I thought to myself... "Holy Crap... I can't believe I just frickin did all that mileage without walking". So I charged through mile 12 and kicked it at the end. I looked up just to see the clock come in at 2:05. I had beaten my PR. I was in complete shock. I was in no way thinking about beating my PR. I hadn't even been frickin training. I knew that the clock was not my official time, but I felt amazing. I ended up having walk back, and the walk back was pretty horrific, but I made it okay lol. 

When I finally checked the official results, I saw 2:01:30...I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day.  

Joined a Running Group

Last night I joined a running group :) The Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runner Club. After months of searching for fellow crazy runner friends, I finally found a group that welcomed me with open arms (cheesy I know).

Before I go into my spiel about the group, let me first tell you that I swam before work that morning. This week I wanted to swim 3 times a week for about 15-20 minutes a swim. I sporadically read my "Your Best Triathlon" book and read a blurb about creating shorter workouts for one of the three sports, but just doing that sport more frequently. The example they used was swimming. So, by swimming three times a week for about 45 minutes total is better than swimming once a week for 20-30 minutes. Therefore, I followed that advice since my Olympic triathlon is next week and like I stated before I'm a little fearful of the swim. I also swam Friday morning, and it felt incredible. I think I'm getting a hang of this whole swimming thing.

Ok. So now Thursday night. Let me start off by explaining that I tried to join two other running groups and had no success. One of the groups I actually tried meeting up with on three different occasions. I went early, called the number they had, and pretty much never had any success. I was a little bitter, but more disappointed than anything. I tried e-mailing another group, but they never got back to me. So when I saw this group booth at the 5K I did last week, I decided to give them a try. This group is a little more publicly visible than the others so that was a positive! They had a facebook page, and I looked it up. They had plenty of weekly workouts, but it seemed like the Thursday night workout was my best bet. So I went to meet my new running group. They were easy to find with their matching orange shirts, and I was instantly excited to join them. I met with the leaders of the group, and really enjoyed talking to them. They ended up pairing me with a girl around my pace (I honestly think she's a bit faster than I am) and we talked the whole time. We did 6 miles! SIX! AND we managed to pull it off with under 9 minute miles. As we talked, I felt like we could easily be friends. She was just really nice, and just overall pushed me. After the run they had all kinds of goodies: waters, gatorade, bananas, and PIZZA! You paid 5 dollars but it was well worth it. I stayed for a long while, but I'm so glad I went. My husband was pretty understanding (which he always is). A+

On another note: My grandpa was put in the hospital for a bunch of medical things. Nothing too horrible, but it was pretty bad. I found out Wednesday night, but I didn't know how serious it was until I was driving to meet up with the running group. I cried on the way there, but was better by the time I started running. It goes to show you again how mentally relaxing running can be. After the run I was in tears again. I went to the hospital Friday morning, thanks to my awesome boss and it was really good. My grandpa had outpatient surgery which was good, and I got to see him before they put him under anesthesia. He was so excited that I came, and it made me happy. He's slowly recovering right now, and should be home soon. It's crazy when you see loved ones in the hospital. I'll keep everyone updated!

Burgers at Lunch = Not a Good Idea

So today was supposed to be my sprint day. Key words in that sentence: "supposed to be" As you can probably tell, I ended up not doing sprints, because of a delicious cheeseburger I had at lunch.

So today some of the girls and I went to lunch! I opted for a cheeseburger and holy ridiculousness it was HUGE. I ended up not being able to eat the whole thing. Yup- I didn't finish my meal. For those of you who know me, that is an anomaly. I also ended up getting fries and a cherry coke. More ridiculous... I know..

The problem is that I'm not very good at getting the healthy option at a restaurant. I mean if I'm going to go out I'm not getting the healthy grilled chicken option. So I get the type of food that I know I'm going to enjoy. So I enjoyed my burger, and hoped it would digest by the time of my workout.

So by the time I got home, my burger was definitely not digested so I decided to spin and run afterwards for a little. So I spent 30 minutes on the bike (RPE about 5) and than ran for 10 mins (Level 6). I'm going to save sprints for possibly Fri.

Tomorrow I'm trying a new running group.. I am so beyond excited it's ridiculous. Shout out to my husband for always being supportive :)

Two A Days Again...

Yesterday morning I started two a days (just for the week until I taper off for Motivation Man next week). I swam for about 20 minutes and then ran sprints yesterday afternoon. I actually loved swimming in the morning, but not having my contacts in was weird. I just felt so free and the pool was warm which was nice.....

In the afternoon I did sprints. I had a 2 min warm up and then did 11 sprints. I did 1 min at a Level 9 and 1 min recovery at a level 4. Talk about feeling my lungs burn. I felt that I couldn't breathe by the end of the workout, and my legs were on fire... I would say that was a good workout. What's nice about the gym I go to is that it has an indoor track. Not that I don't mind my treadmill, but running around a track is pretty nice :) Brings me back to my high school days lol.

Today I did spin with my friend N! Now, finding a good spin class is a pretty difficult task. I went to a spin class last week that completely sucked at the gym near my house. The reasons why it sucked: the music was horrible (just didn't motivate me), the instructor was weird (kept making weird noises during the class), and she didn't make the spin class challenging. It made me realize that I'm too hard on some pretty decent spin instructors sometimes. So today's class was a definite improvement! We did hills, sprints, and jumps. Hopefully these type of exercises make my thunder hips smaller lol. I'm hoping it improves my cycling time during the triathlons lol. Awesomeness... Tomorrow... back to sprints!

Eventful Morning

Considering that Motivation Man is coming up in two weeks, I decided to take a bike ride for my longer than usual mileage (not bad did about 15 miles).

To be honest, I've been struggling with the notion that I might not be ready to do an Olympic distance triathlon. However, the more I push my limits, the better I've felt about the whole thing. Now, you may wonder why the crap I signed up for this triathlon. Well, for starters, I had a coupon code for registration AND what better reason then paying a discount price for something? lol. Second of all, I need to really start gauging myself. If I truly want to do better in the next half ironman distance (which I do), I need to start examining which portion of my triathlon needs the most work. I'm guessing it's going to be my bike. I also need to start losing weight and toning up. The smaller I am, the better it will be for my body (not as much impact on my joints). So there you go... my explanation and self-justification for my craziness. Ok.. so now to explain my eventful morning.

So off I ride in the early wee morning and brilliant me decided to wear my clip ons today, because I never really train in them and I figured I better start trying lol. I'm always afraid I'll take a major spillage with them on, so I guess I don't wear them out of fear. Anywho, so I start my ride and try to find a route as I ride. I encounter a challenge along the way when the sidewalk all of a sudden ends. So I try to clip out, and didn't do it fast enough because I slowly toppled to the side. No real injuries, but a lot of laughing at myself -by myself lol. So I continue on my ride. At the end of my ride, I see a blanket (or comforters) in a pile and it kind of concerned me. I think I was honestly concerned because I watch too much Law & Order and Criminal Minds and always imagine I've found a dead body. However, I avoided going over it (just in case). THANK GOD I did, because when I looked back I could see movement from the blankets and a homeless man's head pop out. I could have easily run over him! That would have been absolutely horrible!!! Anyways, I came back home a little shaken and rattled. Overall, it was a pretty good ride.

Things I learned on my bike ride: Treat road cycling like a spin class. Use your music to motivate you. Linkin Park's music really makes me ride faster, meaning great music to do sprints with.

About a Year Ago...

A little over a year ago I did my first half-ironman. It's insane to think that I did an event like that. It took me 7 hours and 1 minute, and it was absolutely incredible. I remember saying out loud to to myself during the biking (which was 56 miles by the way).... I can't believe I'm doing this. I even contemplated turning around, however, at that point I was at mile 36 and I would be biking more than the 56 miles.. so screw that lol. Once I got to the run, I jogged on the course and saw a buttload of people walking. I thought to myself, you've got this.. go out there and kick butt. At mile 7 my knee started hurting and I hit a mental wall. I realized that if I stopped and walked there it was all over and mentally I wouldn't be able to recuperate. So I didn't stop, and I didn't give up. I finished, and I cried. I can honestly say it was one of the most incredible feeling of my life. Not because the distance was ridiculous, but because I mentally challenged myself to keep going and I did it. Now I can't give myself all the credit, not only was I praying to God the whole time (lol) but I had the amazing support of my family and my friends. Specifically to my husband, my mom, Gus, Mom D, Viola, Alex, and Sarah. I don't think they realized that by witnessing my first half ironman, they have truly earned my eternal gratefulness.

Now, this is the reason I created this journal: to show people that your journey in life is like a run. You've got your good runs and your bad runs. Some days you are more mentally prepared than others, and some runs you train for all your life. However, what gets you through each run is what gets you through life: God, love, family, friends, and your mental state of mind.

I'll leave you with those thoughts of wisdom :)

Mountain Bikes are No Joke..

So let me summarize the rest of my workouts this week.

Thursday- I spun for about an hour. Nothing too hard (about a 5 on the RPE scale)... just some light spinning to keep my cardio up..

Friday- Rest day :)

So now the weekend...

Saturday I actually got to run outside! Hurray! The last two weeks have been brutal as far as the weather is concerned so I've been running at the gym. Oddly enough, running on the LA Fitness treadmill goes by really fast and I'm able to get a 6-7 mile run in with no problem. So when I ran 7.5 miles outside I was like this should be a walk in the park. Not so much... It was extremely hot and no bueno. So I start off doing well at about a 9-ish minute mile pace, until I got to mile 4. Holy hotness it sucked. Of course, being the stubborn person I am, I brought no water. So my dehydrated self continues to run. I ended up walking twice, which saved my sanity. I finally got done and was so parched that I drank a whole bottle of gatorade faster than that hot-dog eater person. Overall, I'm glad I got 7.5 miles in, but I need to plan my run a little better next time. To celebrate my achievement I had a small Confetti Cake blizzard, and it was magical. I also got a mountain bike complements to my husband (hence my post title).

Sunday- The big day! I decided I wanted to try out my new mountain bike. I got my new bike prepped and ready for my ride. So off I went, and I started pedaling around my neighborhood. I'm not going to lie to you guys, I felt like the biggest loser. I don't know if it was because I was a lone mountain bike rider, but I was just not comfortable. Regardless, I was going to ride for at least 30 minutes. I figured I might as well make it an enjoyable ride, and so I rode around one of the neighborhoods looking for houses. After my thirty minutes were over, my butt literally felt like it got kicked. I then made a mental note to myself to get a new comfortable non-aerodynamic seat.

Overall good workout. Tip of the day: Bring water... always... you are not a camel...

Starting HIIT Training...

So I promised I would write so here I am! Let me tell you about my workout :)

Originally my friend N and I were going to go spin, but due to her injuries we cancelled! She's had problems with her Achilles and the injury might actually be getting worse :( The spin class we were going to go to is a KILLER and I was a little bummed that I wouldn't be able to spin. The spin class we take is north of work (and my job is about 20 minutes away) so this tells you how much I love N and how fantastic the class is! Although I didn't go to spin this week, hopefully we'll be able to go next week!

So I contemplated what my workout should be.... Should I spin at home? Run on my home treadmill? Go to the gym? Join the running group I've been trying to desperately find every Wednesday night?

FALSE: The grand decision: NONE OF THE ABOVE!!! I opted for running laps at the indoor track in our gym by our house and following one of the HIIT workouts they had in my SELF magazine. This mini training session is killer!! I had done the first workout on Monday so it was perfect for me to the second workout today. The training calls for three days of high intensity cardio. Each week builds on the previous week, increasing your time doing cardio and your speed.

Once I had planned my workout, I took my happy butt to the gym and followed the workout: 90 seconds at a level 7 with two minutes at a level 2. Do 5 repeats. HOLY CRAP was it hard. I'm so used to doing shorter sprints that holding that pace at 1:30 was difficult. I'm hoping with time this pace becomes easier for me and I become faster.

Tomorrow I'll probably do an hour spin (endurance) workout.

Excuses Excuses...

So here I go again apologizing for my lack of posting. In my defense, getting adjusted to a new life/job/city is hard work. So let's try this for the third.. fourth... maybe fifth time?

Alright, so I'm back on my running journey... and so far I'm off to a great start. However, before we start talking about running let's start with what's been going on with my non-running life. First off, I love the city I moved to- it's a small city that is super family-oriented. One of the major pluses is that we  live off one of the major roads making us central to a bunch of stores and restaurants. So yay food! Next, work has been absolutely fabulous. We've had some major hiccups but we've gotten past them and have been trucking forward. So yay work! Finally, my Husband and I have been getting along really well... Well we always have, but I think this move made us really learn to depend on each other and be a unit (yes a unit). So yay Husband! Psshhh.. and people say you can't have it all- LIARS!

Ok enough of the non-running crap. Well, to begin my "2012 racing year," I started off this season by running the half marathon. Now, I know I wasn't supposed to take it seriously, but it still led the kick-off to my year. I enjoyed my social run way more than my competitive runs lol...

Next, I did my first triathlon in South Florida- the FIU Triathlon. I wasn't sure what to expect during this race, but my expectations were not high; primarily because it was the first year this race was being held. However my expectations were exceed and this race blew me away. The swim was BEAUTIFUL. We swam in the bay and I ended up getting a 10 minute swim in for .25 (not too shabby for not practicing). I felt great getting out of the water, and zipped along to the bike. When I got on the bike, I frickin flew. Now, I'm not one to brag about my biking speed (let's be honest I'm one of the slowest bikers out there), but I did GREAT. I ended up getting a 30 something bike time which is unheard of. Finally, I did my run and it ended up sucking wind. I wasn't sure what was up but I felt like I wanted to vomit. I wasn't out of shape, but something was just not right. I ended up pulling a 27 minute 5K time which was horrible for me. So my total time ended up being a whopping 1:14 and I was so excited!!!! For the record, these South Floridians are no joke athletes... I saw some of the best gear for triathletes during this race. They might not have the athleticism but holy crap do they look good doing it. This race was a great start for my tri season!!

My next race was this past weekend! It was a 5K and like always I contemplated whether or not I was going to make it a fun run before the race start. However, once the race started I decided to go for it and run it for real, especially since this could gauge my progress from the last couple of months. Well, I ended up getting  23:35 and second overall for the females.... Yup- I broke 24 minutes fair and square! So needless to say I was stoked! I felt great during the run, but definitely started off too fast. Overall, this gave me a happy start to my racing year.

So what now? Well I'm back.... I've got a new half ironman I registered for in November: Miami Man. So I need to build up my workouts, gain some strength, and mentally prepare. I'm starting off with some HITT training and also some strength building exercises. I've got a couple of months to prepare, so time is definitely on my side. Slowly but surely I will be at the iron-man level, but for now I'll take it one workout at a time.

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