25 September 2012

10 weeks to 13.1 miles!

In just about 10 weeks I'll be running a 1/2 marathon.
Gulp.  I'm actually really excited about it, even though I think it's going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done.  

The actual running 13.1 miles will be easy.... it's the training that's going to be hard.  We're talking early morning runs, split day runs, and long... long... distance runs.

Fortunately for me the weather in Arizona couldn't be nicer right now.  It's starting to cool off, the light is changing and fall is... falling into place.  It'll be chilly that first weekend in December when I actually run the race, but early morning runs will help prepare me for it.

This morning was my first training day of the 10 week cycle.  Now, I'm the type of person that likes to make my breakfast in the morning, sit down and really enjoy it.  I'll take 30 - 45 minutes to eat in the morning, so I get up pretty early as it is.  I work at 7am, so I usually leave around 6:40 and I typically get up around 5.

This morning, however, (day 1 of training and 2 mile Tuesday!) I got up at 4:15 am.  I had set my workout gear out the night before (because out of sight = out of mind!) so it was easy to get ready. Shiny new sports bra for bigger chested girls. Check. Heart rate monitor. Check. Running pants, lucky socks, shoes, shirt, head phones, iPhone armband, iPhone. Open DigiFit app. Get my music going. Throw my hair in a pony tail and I'm good to go.

I'm still not exactly speedy. I ran down my street and back (a little over 2 miles) in about a half hour.  I ended up with ~13 minute mile.  That's pretty good, if I don't say so myself. Especially since my only goal for this half is to finish. I don't care what my time is (though under 3 hours would be nice!) and I don't have any PRs to try to beat.  Simply finishing will be enough for me.

So I did my little jog.  My street was super dead that early in the morning. The only other people I saw was a pair of cyclists and a few passing cars.  There's a police station right in the middle of the route, so it's a relatively safe street, but even so it's not very well lit in areas and I found myself feeling not entirely safe that early in the morning.

Since it's just going to continue to get darker and darker in the morning, and I have to be at work at 7am, running later in the morning isn't an option.  This means that I'm going to have to get used to the dreaded treadmill. There's just nothing exciting about running in a stationary place for very long.  Even so, it's something I'm going to have to deal with because it's still close to 100 in the afternoon so running after work outside isn't an option for me.

So I plan to figure it out.  Thursday's will be split days since they have more mileage than Tuesdays.  For now I can still get up early and go running in the morning, for at least 2 miles.  I could do 4 miles (1 hour) if I really wanted to, but I'd have to eat breakfast on the run.  Not something I enjoy but doable.  Then in the afternoon I can hit the treadmill and rack up the rest of the miles I couldn't hit in the morning.  It would be great if I could run all my miles in one session, but I'm not fast enough yet and I'm OK with that.

The weekends will be easy, of course. It's just a matter of getting my butt out of bed in the morning.  I'm planning on replacing the Saturday run with a hike instead. I love hiking, and from now until May... 'tis the season!

In other news...
My boyfriend and I moved into a 2 bedroom apartment this last weekend.  We went from a downstairs to a 2nd floor (top floor) and it was hell.  We moved Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  He did a lot of work on Friday, but I started as soon as I got home (5:30pm) and we went until about 10pm. We decided we wanted to spend the night in our new place, so we moved the mattress over.  Which was probably a good thing since the majority of the heavy things needed to be moved on Saturday.

Saturday morning I hit up Starbucks and then had breakfast on our patio (now facing east and overlooking the pool).  I was up at about 5am and started moving by 6:30am.  We worked all day and into the evening.  We got pretty much everything moved over by around 5pm, and then the organizing began.  We started small, and the Garebear got most of the entertainment room set up.  It was after 10 when we went to bed.

Sunday was another early day.  I got up at 5:30, hit up Starbucks (again - mmmm coffee!) and had another delicious breakfast on our patio.  Then we had to pick up a U-Haul and drive 40 minutes to his old storage unit to pick up the rest of his stuff... including a large sofa, large-sized coffee table, huge bean-bag chair, 3 bookshelves, boxes of books & DVDs and the dining room table & chairs.  Whew!

After we got it loaded up onto the truck we drove 40 minutes back home... and unloaded it.  Getting the sofa up the stairs was probably the hardest part of all of it.  It was RIDICULOUS.  But we did it! Yay!  We finished getting the last of our things from the old apartment and cleaned up the old apartment by 3pm.

Poor guy had to work that night (at 5:30) so he just relaxed for a while.  But me... oh no.  The apartment was in utter chaos.  Things EVERYWHERE. I needed it to be more organized. Put away. Clean.  I'm just that way.  It was driving me batty.  So I sat still long enough to eat and was up until 10pm again that night cleaning and organizing and setting things up.


By the end of the weekend I had the kitchen set up 95%, the living room 95% set up and the dining room 50% set up (a lot of the boxes are still in there).  Last night I was able to set up my closet.  I would have done that first, but maintenance had to fix something in there (as well as a few other misc. items.

My plan is to have 95% of the apartment put away and organized by Saturday morning.  Garen is in Tucson for work all week (bummer!) and he's super bummed about not being able to help, but I'm leaving him plenty to do. Bwa ha ha.

I'm also making curtains!! I bought the fabric yesterday. I'll be sure to post pics of the new place once we get it all set up. Especially the curtains, which I'm super excited about.

And... that's the update!  Stay shiny!

17 September 2012

The Bruise-tastic Workout

What's black & blue & white all over?
Me, after I've been moving for 3 days.  Not quite the funniest one liner ever, but so true!  And no, I haven't been moving... not this weekend anyway.  Oh no, the move is yet to come, but there will be one!

Let me rewind.  My boyfriend and I have been living in a 1 bedroom apartment for the last 9 months.  We've been talking about upgrading to a 2 bedroom for the last 4 months or so, but we wanted to wait for him to get into the groove with his new job and there weren't any 2 bedroom apartments open in our complex.

So a few weeks ago we went into the leasing office and had a chat, told them we were interested and asked what they had available.  They had 3, 2 bedroom apartments coming on the market, and we could move in either October 16, October 5, or September 22. 

We were planning on taking the one that opened up October 5, but unfortunately with Garen's new job, his days off rotate, and that week wouldn't work for us.  And October 16th my best friend will be in town, so that won't work, either.

After some discussion we decided that September 22nd was the best time for us, even though by the time we decided we only had 14 short days to prepare for the move.  Garen has Friday and Saturday off, and doesn't work until 7pm Sunday night, so we'll be able to get a lot done.  Unfortunately he also has to drive to Tucson on Monday (after we move) and will be in Tucson for that whole week.  Which means I have to spend the first week in our new apartment alone.  It also means I have to do a lot of the set up myself, which sucks.

The plan is to move as much as we can on Friday, finish up on Saturday, then clean the old place.  Sunday we'll drive down to his storage unit (which is an hour away, believe it or not) and finish moving up the rest of his stuff - which includes the couch and the dining room table & chairs.  Yay for no more storage unit!  He's going to make sure all the technology is set up the way he wants it, and I'm going to finish cleaning our old apartment, then Monday he's off to Tucson and I get to spend my week setting up the rest of the apartment.

Moving, however, is a GREAT workout.  I actually really enjoy it, even though it's a huge pain in the ass.  We're not moving far - just a few hundred feet away, but we are moving to an upstairs apartment, so that's a little bit of an extra workout for us.  I'm not worried, though! I'm excited!

I can't wait to see how many stairs I climb by the end of the day!  My FitBit will tell me, which is super neat.  I bet I get a whole bunch of steps in that weekend!

This week, however, is going to be a challenge.  We can't really "pack" because we don't have a lot of boxes, and we're going to be so close that it doesn't make sense to box everything up and then unbox everything once we get over there.  Which means the apartment is in chaos until we can start moving things over on Friday.  It's just something I'll have to deal with.

Oh, and I'm going to make curtains! I'm really thrilled about that.  Maybe I'll do those the week that Garen is in Tucson, then it can really feel like home when he gets back. I'd love for it to all be done so he doesn't have to worry about any of that.  Plus, he'll be more motivated to clean since he'll want to contribute in some way.  He's cute like that.

Other than that it's been pretty normal. I've been getting my workouts in - I did 4 miles around the block on Saturday which felt awesome.  I probably won't do as many this week or next week since I'll be dealing with the move, but since that involves a lot of heavy lifting and steps, I'm kind of counting it.

Stay shiny!

10 September 2012

September Update

It's that time again!
Time for an update!  Things have just been so crazy and intense that I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging, which is really a big bummer.  I'm going to do something about it, though, yes I am!

Ok, so I've been reading NerdFitness religiously. Steve's most recent post opened up my eyes to a few things that I thought I had overcome, but it turns out I really haven't.  I've slipped back into some habits that I need to, once again, check.  Mainly, biting of more than I can chew.

I'm the type of person who thinks you have to go hard or go home, so I take on a lot at once... like, way more than I should.  Then, when I fail (naturally) I get upset and I don't want to try again, because it didn't work the first time, so why should it a second or third time, ya know?

Anyway, moral of the story is that I'm once again having to check myself and slowly transition into things and not take a bigger piece of the pie-o-life than I can handle.  There's a lot I want to do... I just have to be patient.  Not one of my stronger points.

Work has just been nuts.  I feel like we're constantly going a hundred miles a minute and it makes it really hard for me to want to do anything when I get home other than sit in a dark room with my eyes closed doing meditative breathing.  I really think working out would seriously help with that stress, but as I'm sure some of you know, it's so hard to get back into the groove once you've fallen off the dance floor.

I'm resolving that problem today, though. Yes, TODAY! That's right!

So here's the deal, I have to start training for my half marathon in just about 2 weeks. September 24th is the day I begin! Then for 10 weeks, I'm half marathon training bound. Race day is December 3.  My goal is simply to finish - preferably in under 3 hours, but we'll see. I just want to cross the finish line.

To gear up for my training, I first need to get back in the habit of actually training. Yeah. I've been bad (with working out - my eating's been great!).

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday will be my workout days for the next 2 weeks.  I've set a modest goal of 30 minutes of fitness on Mon, Wed & Fri, and a full hour on Sat.  Preferably doing some kind of yoga.  I can always do more, but I can't do less!

But I have more than just fitness goals.  Again, I'm starting small, making small changes (not changing 50 billion things at once, right Steve!).  But here they are:

September Goals:
Workout for (a minimum of) 30 minutes, 3x/week (Mon, Wed, Fri)
Workout for (a minimum of) 1 hour, 1x/week (Saturday... or Sunday)
Eat a salad 5x/week

Pretty small goals, but one's that will make a big impact, methinks.  

While my eating has definitely been on point, I feel like I haven't been getting enough greens, so I'd like to up intake by committing to eating 1 salad 5 days a week.  My salads are pretty simple.  It's usually some kind of organic spring mix, a small handful of chopped walnuts, a small handful of craisins, some kind of protein (usually whatever is left over from the night before) and home made balsamic vinaigrette (oil + balsamic vinegar).  Sometimes I get crazy and just do the lettuce and protein & balsamic vinaigrette.

I haven't taken a look at my October Goals yet... but I know that my October & November goals will both be along the lines of my half marathon training.

Some of you who know me know that I love to write, and that I participate in NaNoWriMo.  Unfortunately that is something I will have to give up this year to train for my half.  I LOVE NaNoWriMo but as it takes place the entire month of November and requires a LOT of time, I just can't split myself in two.  I have to fully dedicate myself to one life changing event at a time, and right now my health is way more important than my dream of becoming an honest-to-goodness author.  Some day that will happen, but I need to first get healthy to ensure it can happen.

Also, I'm feeling the pressure of my 10 year High School Reunion sneaking up on me.  I've always said that I was going to be a bombshell when my HSR came around, because I was the nerdy, dorky girl that was kind of overweight (but not obese) that everyone picked on. And I do mean everyone.  So I really want to show them up - selfish, I know.  It's really not about them, it's about me.  This is something I promised myself years and years ago when I first gained weight.  

Unofficially, I want to be at my goal weight by the time the reunion hits - which will be sometime next summer.  June or July, most likely.  I can only control how much I weight I drop to a certain point, you know?  I have to be maniacal about my fitness and my food in order to get the best results possible, but I'm not going to push my body past what it should be.  

Meaning... I'm not setting a goal of reaching 110 pounds, when I know my body can't actually reach that.  And I'm not going to try to drop 3 or 4 pounds a week, because that's insane (for me).  A modest goal of 1-2 controlled pounds per week, hard work, sweat, good good... yeah, that's what's going to do it for me.  And wherever I'm at when that reunion hits... well, I know it's going to be a better place than I am right now!

I think once I finish my half I'll take a look at my long term, 6-month goals (bringing me up to the dreaded HSR).  Right now, I'm just concentrating on this chunk of the last few months of the year.

Stay Shiny!