Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Numbers

January has come and almost gone. I can't believe it. Overall, I am pretty satisfied. I looked at my calendar, and despite taking 3 rest days every week with the exception of this week... I am happy with the numbers. I have had a pretty good work out everyday (since Saturday) this week, so that has helped as well.

Here's what it looks like:

Running: 30.57 miles
I only expect this to increase each month with training for this half marathon. I just hope my legs can hold up. My calves have been pretty tight during my last few runs, and my right knee has been a little iffy. But, I hope that this will be minimal as long as I get back into a good weight lifting regime.
Cycling: 41.36 miles
Well, this has definitely been higher in the past, but it's what happens when you only cicle twice in one month. that's right. TWICE. If all goes as planned, I would like to continue doing a run/cycle brick once a week, or a swim/cycle brick once a week.
Swimming: 7900 Meters
I swam more in this month that I did all of last year combined. I can't complain. I just hope to continue swimming once a week, sometimes twice or three times like this week. I will continue to focus on my form before distance.

There we have it. In the numbers. February is a shorter month, but that will not matter!
Picture taken near Crosby, ND ... beautiful Sundogs

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Improving Form

Some of you had questioned how I motivate myself to leave my warm comfy home to venture out in the bitter cold ND weather. Today was just as bad as yesterday, with the wind chill being the same -42 degrees, but the temperature itself had dropped to -25. However, the sun was shining which made a huge difference. As weird as ND weather is, it somehow has warmed up starting this afternoon and is currently ONLY -12 with no wind. So, leaving home for the gym tonight wasn't as bad as it was this morning. That was brutal.

My swim went well. My friend had commented on how much faster and better I was getting. I shot her a look and said flat out that it wasn't my goal to be faster. I want to focus on improving my form before speed. I was trying my hardest to swim slow, pay attention to my arms in and out of the water, as well as taking a breath every 3 strokes. Why is it that I have a harder time taking a breath to my left rather than to my right? When I take a breath to my left, I find that my left arm is just hanging out above the water too long. Am I turning my head too late? Hmm.

There was a guy in the lane next to us that really knew what he was doing. I was in awe and stopped to watch him a few times. He was doing a little bit of everything but the thing that really caught my attention was the butterfly. He did it like a pro. I hate the butterfly and hated being forced to learn how to do it. I despised it. It was hard and if I never have to do it again, I will be fine with that. It was gorgeous.

Towards the end of our swim she had mentioned doing some sprints. I was up for it. We planned to race to the other end of the pool and I kicked her butt. Royally. It felt good. We did this a handful of times and then she gave up. She is still a better swimmer than I am though.

I'm tired and my arms are sore. I wonder how my lift session after my run will go tomorrow. Good thing Friday is finally a rest day!

OSN: 1250M
- finished off with 100M of sprints
Michael Phelps

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Freakin' COLD!

First and foremost... it is freakin' cold here. FREAKIN' COLD. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this sort of cold weather, I had to start my car today at noon and let it run for a while. Boy, she was not happy with me! It was -12 degrees, -42 below with the windchill... It was so cold that I would lose feeling in any skin that was exposed for more than 10 seconds! Well, the windchill has decreased to -34, but the temp has dropped to -15.

This afternoon, I was able to catch a treadmill for thirty minutes prior to my spin class. Unfortunately, once again, the lady using it before me "lost track of time" and left me with less than 30 minutes. Damnit. Oh well. My right knee was a little sore so I took it pretty slow and steady.

Thirty minutes after my run I was finally on the bike and ready to go. I wasn't enthusiastic about doing all that fancy crap, up down, side to side, etc.; I just wanted to cycle for 45 minutes and make the most of it. You should have seen the crazy old lady in our class. She was wearing some god-awful knee length stretch pants, and at one point she removed her tank top and all that was left was what looked like a training bra! It was rediculous. To top it off... she was wearing knee high black leather boots! I felt bad for her. I think she was completely clueless... either that or on crack!

I think I need to ice my knees this evening and do a lot of stretching. I may have neglected to do that after my "long" run Sunday, which may be causing some knee pain/issues.

ORN: 2.2 miles
27:34 minutes
12:31 min./mile

OCN: 16.36 miles
47:14 minutes
2:53 min/mile

Monday, January 28, 2008

10 minutes

I went to the pool with all the intentions of doing a nice and easy 800M swim. Nothing too difficult, just nice and slow. Somewhere, I got a while hair up my butt and decided that it would be fun to do some sort of 10-minute time trial. Why, you ask? Well, if I am going to do this indoor triathlon in March that I am looking at, they only allow 10 minutes in the pool. 10 minutes only. period.

After swimming about 60oM, I took a nice break and then went for my 10 minutes. Obviously I went out too fast and had to catch my breath too soon. All in all I was able to do about 350M ... only. Pathetic. This will change. Don't you worry about it!

Tomorrow I have a scheduled 30 minute run, and I hope to get in a spin session. I know I won't be getting up in the morning which means I will be doing these back to back.Hmm. Should be fun.

Remember that nice weather I had yesterday? Well it was nice again today. But you can't get too comfortable with this kind of weather in January... in ND. We are currently under a winter weather advisory with blizzard like conditions. Not much snow in the forcast, but I guess the high tomorrow is supposed to be somewhere around a whopping negative 40 degrees with wind chill. YUCK.

OSN: 1050M
10 minute time trial = 350M

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Days

After lying around reading and watching basketball all day yesterday, I was ready to get out of the apartment as my ADD was kicking in ... which a couple could vouch for at dinner. Dinner at Outback was good .... and so were the margarita's ... we had to take advantage of the 2-for-1's prior to 7pm ... It just looked pretty bad when all the glasses took up the majority of our table... can someone please come and take a few of these away?Afterwards we checked out a local band, Serious Sam, at one of the bars in town. They were just a cover band, but pretty good.

After church, pizza, and a disappointing Celtics game, I was itching to get my "long run" in. I had talked previously about the nice weather we were going to be getting today and I just had to take advantage of it. 3.5 miles was on the "schedule", but I was hoping
to do more than that. I probably overdressed; wearing pants, tank top, long sleeved shirt, zip up jacket, light weight mittens, and a head band. The mittens were gone about 10 minutes into it. After avoiding small puddles, packed snow, and ice patches; I had completed one large neighborhood loop consisting of a close 4 miles. What a great way to finish off the first week of this half marathon training. If I could have it my way, it would be nice every weekend so I can do my "long runs" outdoors and get the feel for it on the road, rather than on the thrillmill.
ORN: 3.91 miles
Fair 34°F (Feels Like 26°F)
The image “http://image.weather.com/web/common/wxicons/52/34.png?12122006” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Congrats, to Jess on completing the Miami Half Marathon! Way to go! ... and nice job, Steph, on your endurance ride today... 38 miles?? You're hardcore!

I am off to watch some b-ball and read my book!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

If you haven't ready Vanilla's post, Advice for a New Runner, it's a must. It's so true... and it made me chuckle. I think it was/is me to a T.

On my way to the gym, I passed a handful of runners. They must have been part of the running group from the YMCA, training for the Fargo marathon. I thought they were crazy for being out there. The sun was barely up, and supposedly it felt like it was 15 degrees below zero.

I went for a dip in the pool. I was a little hesitant with this head-cold-thingy going on, but I couldn't pass it up and I was dying to get back into the water. Forgive me father, for it has been three days since my last workout. If I would have timed it a bit better, or thought about it ahead of time, I could have participated in spin afterwords. As I was heading to the showers, I could hear the spin bikes being pulled across the floor above me. I will remember this the next weekend that I don't have a long run on Sunday.

The weather has finally reached a decent temperature (above zero)... for January that is. The sun was shining this morning, and my car started without making sound as if it were frozen. It is supposed to reach 32 degrees tomorrow, and if that is the case ... my plan is to run outdoors. 30 degree weather is awesome this time of year!

OSN: 1200M
sore arms and legs!

Now, it is time for some college basketball!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rest and Relaxation

I went to work this morning not feeling any better than yesterday. It felt as if my head was in a fog. My balance felt off, and no matter how many times I plugged my nose and mouth and tried to pop my ears, it didn't help. This afternoon it seemed as if things were starting to loosen up and it actually felt like air was moving through my right ear. However, my left ear has been ringing all day. It's so annoying. I am going to take another evening of R&R; watching my Harry Potter movie and then reading Water for Elephants..... with some blogging as well. I got to see what you're all up to!

I should really get up and run in the morning tomorrow, but something just keeps telling me that I should just take that extra hour of sleep and enjoy it; preventing myself from getting more sick. We are attending a boys basketball game friday night, and then if I am feeling well enough, a friends band is playing as well. It's all up in the air.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

poop, basketball, and early morning run

I am sorry, it has been a few days. It's been a busy week. Let's recap the week so far...


Monday: I was hoping to do a good three miles on the thrillmill prior to my short swim, so I could take Tuesday off to take in a double header basketball game. Well .. the three miles didn't happen. I guess everyone is still sticking with their new years resolutions. The gym was packed! I was only able to find a 15 minute slot ... and I didn't even get the full 15 minutes! Better than none, I guess. After my short run, I headed for the pool for a scheduled 600M. I was more than half way through with my swim when I noticed a long brown thingy in the bottom of the deep end. Ew. Use your imagination! I pointed it out to my friend. We decided we were done swimming in what could have been poop-infested water. The lifeguard was informed, and the band-aid was fished out.... still. gross. yuck.

Tuesday: REST DAY ... nothing but watching some high school basketball.

Let's take a moment of silence for the loss of a great actor... one of my favorites, Heath Ledger.

Wednesday: I was up early and at the gym at 5am. I really do like this better than in the evening. It just feels so much better. I was hoping to go to the pool tonight but that has been scratched. I ended up taking the afternoon off, taking a half of a sick day. I went home and slept like a rock for 3 hours and then went to my doctor appointment. My ears/sinuses have been bothering me for the past week on and off and I guess I have some sort of viral type thing. I was given a prescription, but advised to maybe wait it out a day or two just to see if it will leave on it's own. The doctor noticed that I take care of myself and am in pretty good shape. He asked if I ever get any symptoms of asthma when I run... which I ocassionally do, especially in the cold weather.

Tomorrow, if I am feeling better, I will try to run. If not, I will do it Friday morning!

Monday ORN: 1.15 miles
Monday OSN: 700M


Wednesday ORN: 3.25 miles
38:14 minutes
11:45 min/mile

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Triathlons and Half Marathons

I was out of town this weekend, visiting my wonderful sister and brother-in-law in the Twin Cities area. We celebrated a friend's birthday friday night and despite all the drinking, Steph and I were still able to get up at a reasonable time and make it to cycle 60, a spin class, at Lifetime Fitness. I was in heaven. It has been over a month since my last spin session. Afterwards, she gave me a tour of the gym and I was just in awe.

When I returned to ND today and began reading the comments on my previous post, I was excited to see a message from Steve stating the date of the indoor triathlon at the gym my sister belongs to. Then came the disappointment. I was truely upset to find that it conflicts with another committment of mine. I so wanted to do that tri!

Now I am back to square one. I need to find a triathlon to participate in this spring/summer and have no idea where. A part of me was hoping to do one in the area, but can't seem to find one that doesn't conflict with some other things. How does one travel across country for a triathlon ... with all that stuff... especially the bike?! This is new to me... any suggestions as far as great races for beginners and traveling?

Tomorrow brings the beginning of my half marathon training. I hope I can continue to swim and bike on a regular basis as well. Swimming has been a great form of cross training for me in the past couple weeks.

OCN: 25 miles
1 hour
587 calories

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow + Wind = Winter Weather Advisory

I seem to be in a blur today, running in 10 different directions. It's that time of year again ... grades will be due soon (which I have about 15 students), but that also means progress reports are due ... and that includes written reports.

I left work today as soon as I could, ran over to the gym and actually got 33 minutes on the thrillmill. It wasn't my scheduled 45, but it was better than nothing. I finished my run listening to this.....




It was nice to be able to squeeze that workout in prior to having dinner and a couple beverages with my Dad, whom is in town for the night!

The weather is getting uglier here... it snowed earlier this evening, that white fluffy snow that looks fake. Now the wind is picking up and causing nasty road conditions. I hope they get better before tomorrow as my Dad is traveling west to get home and I plan to travel east ... to the cities to see my sistah!

ORN: 2.83 miles
33:02 minutes
11:40 min/mile

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Comfort Comes First

The meat of this post has nothing to do with running, swimming, or the gym for that matter. Even though I am sick and tired of getting shafted on my 30 minute runs. When I start increasing the length of my weekday runs, I might have to either go at the butt-crack of dawn (5am) ... or save it for later (after 7pm) ... even though it is extremely hard to get myself to pull my ars off the couch after sitting there for a bit!

On a Non-running note ... Have I mentioned how God-awful-flippin-stinkin-face numbing-fingers tingling-cuss words-cold it is here? Just to give you a little taste of this, although you will never truly know unless you come here, it was negative 15 degrees when I left for school on monday. With windchill, I believe it was negative 25. Yesterday it wasn't as cold, probably 7 degrees, but we had 35 mph wind gust that felt like ice scraping across your face. ... there was possibility of frost bite in a matter of minutes. Today.... not as cold, but still dang windy.

So, where am I going with this post?

Besides looking for sympathy? Come on, give it to me... YOU imagine going to the gym to get into the pool, swim your swim, get out shower, just to crawl into a freezing car with leather seats that sound like their going to crack open they are so cold. YOU try to imagine motivating yourself to crawl out of your warm bed, change into running cloths, only to run your ass to your car parked in the garage to go to the gym at the weee hours of the morning. Bleh.

Still, where am I going with this?

It's not going to go away. In fact, it's only going to get worse. Not just for one day. Not just for two days. But for the next week ... at the least.

Stacy ... what is your point?

My point ... which there really isn't one besides looking for sympathy ... we got an email from our principal today. No, we are not canceling school because of the weather .. but he has offered us the next best thing. He stated that if we are going have to go out in this weather, we might as well do it in comfort! So, thursday and friday he has offered us the opportunity to wear jeans, sweatshirts, sweat pants, etc. Come comfy! I love it!

I am going comfy tomorrow! Too bad I don't own a Celtics sweatshirt... my Dad would be proud! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Run Forest Run!

I had on my sidebar (and noted yesterday), that my workout for today would (hopefully) consist of 30 minutes on the thrillmill, 30 on the bike, lift both upper and lower body, and abs. In the midst of my run I realized I forgot to sign up for the bike.... ahhh.. damnit. I knew I wasn't going to get one as soon as I was done with my run ... so I canned it. I can do that, you know.

With my 28 minutes and some change (due to a late start), I focused on running at a faster speed. Every time I ran, it was atleast at 5.5mph ... all the way up to my 7.0mph sprint at the end. After my run I jumped right into my lifting; followed by some good ab work. An hour later, I was finally finished and ready for dinner.

I am going to use tonight to relax and catch up on some blog reading; flipping back and forth between Biggest Loser, American Idol, and the T-wolves on the boob-tube...

ORN: 2.51 miles
28:21 minutes
11:17 min./mile

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smooth like buttah!

Do you ever have those workouts where you just feel like you could do it over again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that? Well, I had a wonderful run yesterday, and my swim today went very smoothly. I started with 50M breast, then 7 x 50M free with about 30 seconds Rest Intervals (RI). From there I did 4x100M free style with 1 minute RI, nice and slow. I finished my swim with 2 - 100M free style sprints.

The pool was so busy that there were 3-4 people in each lane. It was nice though, because it kept me going. I like to go fast, kicking hard to getting that blood flowing in my legs again. I almost contemplated running afterwards, but figured I would save it for tomorrow!

OSN: 1000M
50M breast
7x50M free (30 sec. RI)
4x100M free (1 min. RI)
2x100M free sprint

Tomorrow? 30 minute run followed by a 30 minute bike and lifting, abs, and stretching. Only 1 more week before I start training for this half marathon!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Run

Sioux hockey was good this weekend. Especially since they swept Michigan Tech with a score of 4 to 1 both nights. I can't complain ... the Sioux haven't had a home sweep since probably 2006. They have had this terrible habit of winning friday night's game big, and then losing saturday night.

I returned back home early afternoon today and went to the gym for the scheduled 40 minute run. All I was hoping to accomplish was a nice and easy 3 miles. I started slow, probably doing a run 5 walk 1, and after every walk break I would increase my running pace by 0.1 . Towards the end of my run, after I had accomplished my 3 miles, I had a good amount of time left and worked on some speed and did a bit on a 5% incline. Once I was done, all I had in me was to do some good stretching and ab work. Schedule called for lifting legs, but I passed. I want to have fresh legs for in the pool tomorrow! It's been a week.

ORN:
3.56 miles
42:36 minutes
Pace: 11:57 min/mile

Now, I am going to watch the Giants and Cowboys while I attempt to put away ALL Christmas decorations and such ... and possibly do some cleaning. video

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Almost Friday

Last night I took the night off from the gym as I participated in 1 of the 2 sessions for CPI training... an intervention training for behavior students. I hope we get to learn how to restrain kids because there have definitely been a few occasions this year so far that I could have used that. I think I will find the training beneficial, especially since I am party of the "Crisis Intervention Team" at school.

This afternoon I went to the gym to do my 35 minutes on the thillmill. Well, we all know how dificult it is to get on those machines for more than 30, especially this time of year. It didn't help that this chic was on an extra five minutes, turned back to look at me as I am standing there waiting and asks "are you waiting for this machine..." ... "ah, yeah!"

I only got 23 minutes. But a strong 23 minutes of running. A little over 2 miles. That's sub 12 minute miles! For some reason, although the run went fine, an hour later my knee was clicking again. Damnit. This better stop before I start training for the half marathon. I think it might have to do with me walking a little strange from a sore hamstring ... due to lifting tuesday night. I hope that more stretching, icing, and strengthing of the legs will help.

Tomorrow's Friday, payday... which means it is also "jeans day". And then I am off to GF to get in some SIOUX hockey!

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all! Good luck to all those doing their half marathons this weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Detention

The usual reasons for children serving detention at the elementary level consist of the following examples: repeated late work, repeatedly not handing in any homework, repeatedly not following classroom, hallway, or bathroom procedures (Boys Town Method), etc. Nothing too serious.

When I looked at the list for detention today (since I am hosting it in my room this week), I wasn't surprised when there was only 1 student on the list. A 2nd student was added later in the afternoon. What a bore. I am glad I had things to do and I didn't have to really "watch" them. 45 minutes of them sitting there and doing homework. Blech.

I remember being that age. I was scared to death of just the "idea" of detention and what it involved. With that being said, there was only 1 time that I took part in afterschool detention. And it wasn't my fault. I am sure most of you parents out there have heard that before, but it's the honest-to-god truth.

I was in 3rd grade. There was a new girl in our school and I had somewhat become friends with here.... you know, coloring together during free time, playing on the tire swing at recess, and a few after school get togethers at each others home. Well, one afternoon, I took the bathroom pass and headed for the ladies room. While sitting and doing my business, here this so-called-friend shows up and is talking to me over the top of the stall. She was standing on the toilet. She was loud and the teacher came and found us. We both got in trouble... thus, we both served detention. I think our friendship ended right there and then!

I don't think it is that way for kids these days. I really don't think they veiw it as a bad thing so much! I know these two students could have cared less!

********************************************************************************************
This evening I had my first really good run in a long while. Schedule called for 30 minutes. I was able to hop on a thrillmill a couple minutes before 4, thus giving myself 32 minutes of solid running. Everything felt good. I forked out 2.86 miles and then spent then next half hour lifting (working on both legs and arms), and then some good solid ab work and stretching.

Booyah!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blogland Book Club

Okay.

I have created a new blog for our book club.


If you are interested in joining... please let me know. I would like to get email addresses of all those who are interested so I can add you to the author list.

Then we can get going on some other things ... like choosing a book for January/February!

Now, I am going to chillax before heading to the gym for a short run and short swim!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

3 days on/3 days off ... and Blogland Book Club

Last week I started off the new year with a bang. 3 workouts in a row. And then what?

Then, I took Friday off and went home to Bismarck. I didn't do anything Saturday morning. I had 3 miles scheduled for today and thought I was going to do it when I returned .... but was feeling quite car sick and very hungry. Now I can't get myself to do anything. I am completely wiped!

This week will be better, though. It's just those weekends away .... they completely throw me off. And I have two more weekends away... in a row!


***************************** BLOGLAND BOOK CLUB *************************************
Here's a few ideas I had:
  1. Start a blog ... for the book club. (think of Blog title)
  2. Read 1 or 2 books per month ... depending on the length? Maybe just one, since everyone is pretty busy with training?!
  3. Write posts ... in regards to what has been read, any thoughts or questions for discussion relating to what has been read ...
  4. Vote on ideas for which books to read (fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.)
  5. I know I had other thoughts... but just lost them.
Let me know what you think or any ideas you have. It's all open for discussion... Maybe I should just open up a blog and we can start posting ideas/comments???

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The New Year

2008 has started off to a great start. Despite staying up late to ring in the new year, I was able to pull myself out of bed (or off the couch) and get to the pool tuesday morning. Instead of doing my scheduled 800M, I pushed a little further and cranked out 1000M. I showered and headed up to GF to visit some well-missed family. My cousin and her boyfriend were home from England for a couple weeks so it was nice to see them. I might have drank a little too much, but it was fun.

After returning to Fargo yesterday, I went to the gym to do my 2 miles. I ran 4, walked 1. And it went. Well. I was going to bike a bit and then lift, but I scratched the bike and just lifted. The gym was swamped with people working on their new year "resolutions" and I just didn't have the patience.

Today after school I headed for the pool. For some odd reason, they had lap swim from 4-6, which is a whole lot earlier than usual and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity! I ended up swimming 1200M. It felt good and was probably one of my best swims to date. I am still working on consistency and endurance. This will take a while, but I am okay with that!

Tomorrow I was hoping to do an early morning run; possibly 40 minutes... but I just got home from a basketball game, packed for the weekend, and am pooped. I am leaving town right after school for home. There's stuff going on in the Bis... and this girl couldn't resist! I hope the weather is nice at home... maybe I will get in a couple miles on Saturday.

I am still seriously thinking about doing some sort of "Blogland Book Club"... keep me posted if you are interested or possibly interested ... and let me know of any ideas you might have!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008 Goals

Here are some things I would like to accomplish in 2008; broken into three categories, Life, Health, and Fitness.

Life: I love to read, and I told myself that I would pick that back up once I was done with graduate school. I have about 10 books to read on my bookshelf! I have also thought of starting some sort of book club; whether here in ND, or a virtual one in blogland. I also love to paint. I haven't really done much since highschool and I would like to get back into that. I prefer to do landscapes, farms, etc. As long as I have a pic to refer to, I am willing to attempt it. I would also love to do some more traveling... and I hope a race or two might require me to do so!

Health: I want to do the following 3 things - Eat better. Sleep better. Take my vitamins... everyday. Plain and simple.

Fitness: I have many races I am looking at for 2008 and will probably not decide on until later. I want to try a few different races and distances, as I have only done 5K's in the past. Here's a few of the races I am looking at in 2008:
And then there are the races I have done in the past ... and then some that I am possible looking at doing.... if they work into my schedule...
  • Danskin Triathlon
  • UND Homecoming Race - Grand Forks, ND (end of Sept./early Oct)
  • Homerun 10K - Fargo, ND
  • 5K (or 10K) Turkey Trot - Bismarck, ND (Thanksgiving Day)
  • 5K Jingle Bell Run - Fargo, ND (First weekend in Dec.)
  • Zoo Year's Eve 5K - Bismarck, ND (Last Sunday in December)

If my first half marathon goes well, I would like to attempt one in August/September out of state. I have a few ideas, but I am always open for more ...

In training for my first real triathlon, I would like to take the time to really improve my endurance in swimming. With my running, I am not looking to improve speed. Instead, I want to be able to build my mileage, slowly, and without injuring myself. I have been looking over the Jeff Galloway plan and have heard such good things about it.

Happy New Year's, y'all! :)