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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