Thursday, August 21, 2014

Decisions Decisions

It's been a crazy 8+ years with this running thing.
It truly has.
I started running because I was gaining weight rapidly with no provocation so I tried to fix it the best way I knew how and that was throw some kind of different exercise in there (I was a gym rat) to help.  But I needed so much sleep (and very little food; no really, I was NEVER hungry), that I couldnt keep up.
And then after several different doctors they told me what was wrong and we began fixing it.
Fast forward to the next few years and I was running all the runs, meeting all the peoples and at times running myself and my body into the ground (having had to stop a few times to recover from an injury or two).
Then I got all crazy and went off rail and really ramped up the long distance running with 3 marathons within 99 days (except I had to drop to the half in one just so I could in fact keep running and finish the last one of the 3)
I got thin, buff, and strong.  I was in the best shape of my life and managed to stay in great shape until...
So 2 years there give or take, gaining some weight, losing some fitness, but hanging on for dear life to my running love..
And here I find myself back home in this great State and enjoying everything life has to give.
I'm back running normally, just a bit slower than I use to, losing the weight, gaining back some of the fitness.  All great things.  Great and wonderful things.
But I am also spending a lot of time in the gym.  It has always been my first love, and I have figured out, my aging body responds very well to what I do to it in the gym.  Plus I spend a lot of time with my family there as well.  So its a win-win.
Additionally I am finding it harder and harder to fit in the running with the time I like to spend in the gym.
I am sore a lot from lifting and pushing all the heavy things.  Not a horrible sore, but a sore that makes you go gah! I don't wanna run because running hurts.
But I do want to finish what I've started because well, I love bling :O)  And plus I kinda made some commitments to others and to myself that I want to see through as I said.
Its not that I don't love running anymore, I do.  What I am finding is that quite honestly, I just don't love it like I use to love it.  Where once I thought I was just done with the full marathons, I might actually be done with half marathons too.
Except I have 4 more bought and paid for.  Thankfully 3 of them are within 4 weeks of each other and then that will be over.  And honestly 1 of those I probably will end up not doing (Miami).  With me getting in at $35 I won't lose my shit over it and paying almost $450 for an airline ticket and a hotel for 2 nights...well, I dont know.  Seemed like a good idea at the time (not just the cost, but I signed up when I was in the middle of the polar vortex up in NE and ANYTHING WARM sounded like the best thing since sliced bread).
I am not saying that I won't ever do another half marathon, because I think thats delusional.  But after this cycle of races, I am going to do 1 a year, maybe 2.  October and January.  Or January and February.  Depends.
I plan to keep my running to a minimum, a couple of days a week 3-4 miles, and run 5-6 on the weekend throughout the Summer of 2015 and probably into September (still technically Summer) then I can decide whether or not I will run Houston again.  This will keep me in shape enough to where I can go out and run a 5K or 10K because I do love the Spring racing season in Houston.  Plus I have already signed up for 1 of the 6 Houston race series (that has a race at different local hotspots).  Registration is only open for the New Years Day race (10K) at this time so of course I signed up the first day for the deeply discounted rate.

Honestly outside of the yearly Houston half marathon in January, well that just seems good enough to me you know?  We shall see.  I will have to enter the lottery next year for it, then I will have my 5 years at the half so I will have guaranteed entry from then on out if I want it.
Or maybe I will take up volunteering at races more than actually running them.
While I did have a 'break' while living in NE, it wasnt really.  Sure I didnt run or train like before, but I still trained for freaking Chicago and a few halfs and that shit ain't easy to do up there.
I couldnt WAIT to be back so I could run and train etc.  And sure I have SO enjoyed it, but I am enjoying so much more now.  There is so much to life, and I wasted so much of it on various things throughout my life, some bad, some good.
Now, as I've left and returned...and yes gotten older and had some true one on one time with myself up there.  Well things just aren't what they appear sometimes.
That goes for a lot of things to be honest.
So yeah, I want to spend more time in the gym, more time enjoying the simple act of running, not feeling pressure to do it or having to do it.  I want to do things that bring true joy to my life.  Things I smile about days afterwards.
So there you have it.
I'm gonna get through this training cycle, get a few more blingy blings for my wall and then just chillax.
Its gonna be great!
And....before I go, there might be something I have on my bucket list for late 2015 and has NOTHING to do with running.  But does require a lot of hard work, perseverance and dedication.
I'm still pondering it...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week in Workouts

Tired.  Exhausted.
I so did NOT want to do a darn thing today. 
But I figured if I go to the gym and not run outside (HOT), I might have a chance at salvaging something.

What I managed was 40min on the treadmill and 10min on the stairmill. 

Better than nothing at all.  And with the amount of people at the darn gym on Mondays to begin with, I just didn't want to be there. It just all seemed so overwhelming to me for some reason.

One of the things that gets me active is the fact that for 8 hours a day humans, for the most part, sit on their asses.  This is not good for us and directly contributes to someone being overweight and/or obese.  So in my mind, going home at the end of the day and doing nothing is just unacceptable.  Unless of course its a rest day or your body truly signals you that you in fact, do need to rest.

Considering the effort I have put in the past 2 days AND normal life activities on any given weekend, I know my body could use a bit of a break.

It had to be done.  I had to switch my rest days this week because I was just worn the f out.  I almost got my ass in gear around 6:30 but then figured I had waited this long already and my pj shorts felt SO good...

So basically I laid around is said pj shorts, on the couch, watching television until it was time to go to bed.

After thinking about it further, I might just switch my rest days to Tuesday from Wednesday, to give the whole 3 days on, day off, 2 days on, day off schedule a try.  Once my long runs on Saturday start tapping in over 10 miles, not to mention the speed work every other Saturday (definitely had my legs hurting by Sunday night into Monday), Tuesdays might be a better fit for me than a Wednesday rest day.

Gonna give it shot! 

Woke up feeling a LOT better (rested) than I have the past 2 days.  Yep, I think the Tuesday night rest might be in my best interest until all these half's are over and done (mid-February).  Which by the way I have made a decision about my running past that point and what 2015 looks like after my last scheduled half marathon early February.  More on that in a separate post.

1 mile on TM
2000m on rower - I didnt think to look at time cuz my niece came over for me to show her the correct way to pull but I THINK it was like 12:26 or something like that. Close enough for the time being
1 mile on TM

Then: legs/abs workout
50 walking lunges (no weight)
Leg press
Weighted floor crunch
Squats (weighted)
Leg Extensions
Hanging knee raises
Bench rebounds

1 mile sprint on TM
Whoa.  My legs and booty be sore when I woke up this morning.  Actually my whole body is sore as hell. 
Its a cardio day:
4 miles
1 mile stairmill
9.5 miles with the group

It was of course, hot.  And humid.  I had a few choices on start time but since I had 9 miles on my schedule and the 3rd start was for 9 miles exactly, thats when I started.  The time was to be 6:10 which ended up being closer to 6:30 since we had to wait for the 2nd group to show.  Ugh ugh and more ugh.

I've decided I am going to be starting with the 2nd loopers from now on and if I have to add on I have to add on with the 3rd group.  They typically start anywhere from 4:30 to 5am and until it gets cooler, thats what I am going to do.  I can take any temp as long as its dark outside.

Anyway the 9 mile route was actually 9.40 which is fine.  I round up :O)
So this run actually went very well!  I was a bit worried.  I was sore from the week, had a bit of a sore throat.  We had a SAG at mile 4 and 7 which always helps when they have COLD COLD water and COLD COLD WET TOWELS!!

I wore my darn (new) water belt and it was OK.  I still hate them.  At mile 7 though when we saw Leo, I gave it to him since I was almost done.  Man what a RELIEF!!!  I also left the group at that point because they were going a bit too slow for me and I was ready to be done.  Nothing against the slowness, a few of them were at mile 21 for the day, and yeah they were tired (with 23 miles to do I guess you're gonna go slower at that point!)

The last 2.4 miles I felt so free having dumped off the water belt.  And unfortunately those last miles were also too much sun!  There was SOME shade depending on the curve of the sidewalk so that was nice.

But yeah, great day for me considering.  I feel like I am acclimating just fine after having been gone from this kind of weather for 2 years.

And I officially joined the group on Friday (which means I paid for my training) !!

It was a long day/night on Saturday, and because of my food intake Saturday night (Texan game nonsense), I didnt sleep well.  I drove out to the fam's, etc. etc., so when I finally got home late Sunday afternoon the last thing I wanted to do was hit the gym.

But I did.  And you know I was PROUD of myself for it too.  I don't normally give myself a pat on the back but I literally did just that after I left the gym :O)

2 miles elliptical
Shoulders and chest

Lifted heavier this round and while it was challenging, I completed it.  Of course, I certainly feel it this morning.  In a good way.


And yes, for the record, I AM running my miles mostly inside through the Summer.  I have done this previous summers here in Houston except for my mid week longer run during marathon training.

Now that a) I know I can train some on a TM with little to no impact on game day effort and b) I'm training for a half and not a full, and finally C) my long runs are still done outside...then yeah until the weather cools off I will continue to do so.

There was a time when I would get up in the morning to run before work, but those days are over.  Now I get up early so I can enjoy my coffee, the news, and the peacefulness of a new day dawning.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week in Workouts

I think I am going to keep doing this on a weekly basis.  I do keep more detailed notes in a Running Calendar/Notebook that I get every year.  I think I went last year without one?  Cannot remember now.  Sam got me one the first Christmas I knew him and I love them.
However, and even though I know I don't have a lot of people that read here anymore, there are a few of you still, and I feel like if I put it where someone can actually see it, I tend to go harder and not slack off unless I really REALLY want to or need to!
3 miles running
LEGS - oy vie
Gonna hurt so good
I got that leg workout in that I said I need to do at least once a week.

Lordy SO tired today; wanted to have my rest day today but knew I'd regret it if I couldn't enjoy it tomorrow.  I don't know what the deal has been but both yesterday and this morning I woke up extremely tired and just felt 'off'.  A couple of other people then posted about it (them) on Facebook and who knows?  Maybe it is the moon or some weird thing like that?
5 miles and it was pretty awful but it got done.  I just kept telling myself, if it takes an hour it takes an hour.  Just keep going and don't give up.  But damn I was so tired and my legs felt heavy.
Then this came on my iPod in the last mile and I got a renewed sense of awesomeness. I swear I loooooooooooooooooove me some Iggy .... Girl got flow fo sho!!!
Rest day
Of course I wake up this morning unlike Mon and Tues in that I don't feel tired and weird.  Guess the moon-funk or whatever it is, went away. 
I do feel sore though.  I thought my legs by now would be in a world of hurt, but eh, its just a little bit of hurt.  I could totally go swimming or take a class after work for an active recovery day, but I am taking my deserved rest day!!!
Today we started a DietBet!  Well just 3 of us, but thats OK.  Online at there is some serious coin going down.  Ain't nobody got time fo dat ;o)  Besides, our little threesome do not have a lot of weight to lose, but for someone who does, I think the DietBet site is a good place.  Definitely motivating especially if you like money and who doesn't like money?!?!?!

So in 30 days I gotta lose 4% or I lose my buy in amount ($25)
This is NOT going to exactly be easy.  While its just a few pounds for me (5.02), it is HARD to lose.  But I am going to give it my best shot and the idea of losing $, even just $25 is unacceptable! 

Today's starting weight: 127.0
Interesting to note that all 3 of us had the .0 after our weight which I found to be odd.

Our last weigh in will be: September 4

I took before photos, but I am not very good at that to begin with; Might post before/after photos in September if there is any real noticable to the camera difference.
3 miles treadmill
1 mile row - 9:31 (getting faster)
1 hour Zumba
This Saturday I had track work on my schedule.
This is completely foreign to me.  I do long runs on Saturdays not speed.  But hey its all good.  Its been 2 years since I have done speed work of any kind and it showed.  I didnt beat myself up about it either, but I know I have some work to do and I'm willing to do it.  I ended up being the only one of the group with track work, except there was supposed to be a couple of others from one of the slower groups, but I never saw them. 

Good thing was that I got to 'sleep in', which means I showed up at Lukes at 6:00 :)

I started out with a 1 mile warm up (dont even know the pace)
4 x 800
Pre Nebraska, and at my tip top shape (2010-2011), my 800's were closer to 4:10
This Saturday, not so much.
My best was 4:35 and my worse (the last one) was 4:55.
Didn't help how completely awful hot and humid it was.  Needless to say I was slinging 'rain' left and right around that track.  A hot mess for sure.
After each 800, I walked 400.
Then I did a mile repeat, which honestly at 10:37 after all that nonsense above, I was strangly OK with that too.
I NEED to do my 1 mile time trial this week but dang I dont know when its going to get done.  I need to this to properly calculate what my speed work needs to be done at to improve.
Another mile cool down.  I still wasn't ready to be done working out, so I took advantage of some of the football players equipment and started doing tire flips up and down the 100m portion of the track.  I am sure I looked a crazy site to those that had already started showing up for football practice.

I was tired for sure afterwards, but had a lot going on the rest of the day, so no rest for the weary.

Here's a funny picture taken at the store Saturday afternoon

Me as JJ Watt :O)

Texans preseason fun
B texted late morning to go ride at TH but it was WAY too hot so instead B came over for pool time instead.
Morning: Active recovery: swimming
Lost count of laps; something like 24, maybe 26 plus
8 laps pool running
Various other water exercises: push-ups, tricep dips, LOTS of leg kicks till my quads were on fire!

Evening: gym
Back, biceps and triceps plus
KB's, weighted ropes, sled pushes/90lbs of weight stack

I honestly didn't plan on going to the gym.  I had had an active day, but around 5:30 when I got the text to go, and I HAD been thinking about it, really wanting to get in weights work...well I just did it and was glad to have afterwards.  An extra session never makes me feel bad :O)

Needless to say I slept like a ROCK last night and straight through to almost 6am!  Unheard of!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weights and Measures

Here is something revolutionary I think!!  Ha.  At least for me it has been.

If there is one thing I am horrible at, its portion control (for the most part).  I am good when it comes to the not good for me stuff, but when it comes to what is 'good' for me, I think a portion of good = infinity.
Um.  Not exactly.
So since I apparently have been (mostly) failing at getting the extra weight off, I figured I needed to exhaust all options.  And this is one that I had never had to worry about or do.
Well I obviously had measuring cups already, but I lacked having a food scale.  After doing a bit of research, the one pictured above is what I ended up with.  For the price its amazing.  I can even put a plate or bowl on it, zero it out and add the food for the right weight I should be having for that food and that serving.
Its been both amazing and eye opening to say the least.
For things that require measuring in cups, half cups etc. well that is easy enough but eye-balling is SO off.  Lord.  I've done OK with what the serving ends up being; but it makes me sad for ice cream.  A half cup of ice cream isn't anything near what I would normally scoop out!  But I have managed it.  When I am done, thats it.  I know I cannot have more.
There have been times where I was surprised that 4oz of that or 3oz of this were more than what I thought it would be, and then there is the sadz (like with the ice cream).
Oh and for the record, since 4oz is half a cup, 4oz of chicken or beef is MORE than a half a cup.  Scale is for measuring things like protein, fruit, some carbs (think potatoes, not mashed), etc.  Just wanted to be clear...for those that might be measuring EVERYTHING in measuring cups you're doing it wrong..
And also last night when I wanted some Tostitos (bought on a whim)...a serving is 7 chips.
Sad panda.  But I had the 7 chips with my salsa verde and managed to be happy about it.
I have been doing this now for 3 weeks?  Yeah, 3 weeks.  And it is paying off TREMENDOUSLY.
I weigh and measure 98% of everything.  Obviously when I am out I cannot do that, but I can eyeball pretty good and then well...there are times when I just say, eh, its CHEAT TIME!!  Like at the movies this past Saturday.  Lord knows I ate about 5 servings of popcorn.  Eh.  No harm done!
 Basically on Sundays I do my meal prep for the next few days/week, and along with my containers I have my scale and my cups ready to go.
I measure/weigh out my 4oz of protein, a cup of vegetables and 3oz of a carb.  This is what I have been having for lunch every day.  My breakfasts are usually pre-servings, easy, like boiled eggs, toast, protein smoothie (I obviously measure the almond milk and protein powder) those are easy.
Dinners have been just as simple.  Salad ingredients in a bowl generally.  Or I will have 4oz of protein, along with a salad.  A lot of my dinners are determined by how hungry I am.  Sometimes I am not hungry much at all, and I will fix a small salad, or my 4oz of protein and 1/2 cup of grain or a cup of veggies.  Just really depends.  Sometimes all I want is to make a protein shake.
My snacks are easy too.  Its going to be yogurt, a piece of fruit, a boiled egg.  Something like that.  I am TRYING not to eat ANY snacks, and sometimes I do alright but sometimes I am truly hungry.
I am not thrilled with this process, but given the factors and what I have been trying to do, this is what is working.  Its true you cannot outrun a bad diet.  Add in my age, my hypothyroidism and nearing menopause and well, weight management let alone weight loss is HARD.
I think I mentioned a few posts back about I had weighed and I had in fact gained 10 lbs while in NE, but even more than that, the extra weight/puffiness/bloating associated with it AND premenopause has settled in in a not very becoming way, so its even harder. 
Any woman reading this needs to prepare now.  Even someone like me, in the best shape of her life in 2011/early 2012 (for the most part of adult life, in shape, maybe not healthy, but in shape nonetheless) ... well nature is nature and it gets HARD I am telling you.  If you are not paying attention to your health now, you better start.  Because if you wait, ... Well, just don't.  Unless you just don't care or just don't believe me, but thats not my problem, or my business.
I can TRULY see a difference, but I havent gotten back on the scale.  When I weighed myself about a month ago now, I was 128.8.  Ugh.
My feel good weight is 118-120. 
And while I am certainly not fat, or overweight, I personally feel like I am and at the end of the day that is all that matters.  What I feel like.
I need to weigh again, but I would rather wait.  I like what I am seeing in the mirror and how my clothes are fitting again.  I LOVE seeing the muscles and definition coming back.  My back and arms are always the first to improve but now I can see it in my shoulders and overall arm and mid-section too. 
I put on an old pair of Lulu speed shorts yesterday, my smaller size and they FIT without making me feel fat or poofy.  I am not at the point where I will run in a bra and shorts again, but its a goal.  Ah, the good old days.  Actually when I think about it sometimes that might have been a downfall when I moved to NE.  You just dont run uncovered up there, even when its hot (bible belt, small town and all), so since I always had to be covered up, I didnt worry about my center so much as I did here in HTown...Now that I am back, sure would be nice to run half naked again!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I do need to do is put more focus into my legs...Ugh...I hate doing legs, and my heavy cardio days like last Monday I thought would help, but I've GOT to get more weights work done.  I could see a definitive difference in how my upper body is looking compared to the bottom half.
My plan is to do some legs on Mondays, since my rest day right now is Wednesday when most likely thats when I would experience DOMS.
So for now, I am going to keep on keepin' on because it IS working. 
All I can tell you is eyeballing portions anymore and/or thinking I can eat what I want, when I want is clearly over.
50 may be the new 30, but not when it comes to metabolism!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

What My Week Looked Like - Workouts

Cardio day at gym
3 miles treadmill - 32 min
1 mile stairmill - 14 min - this thing KILLS me.  I always choose the fatburner program option and right now, I put in level 5 for 12 min, then there is a 2 min cooldown.  I am going to keep it at 12 min for a while to see if I can increase distance with a faster level...but damn the amount of sweat that comes out of my body shocks me.  Granted I was a sweaty beast coming off the TM to begin with but this just intensifies the sweatage seepage.  So gross.
1 mile elliptical - 12 min
1 mile rowing - 9:55 - I alternate my grip on the rower whenever I am going to row a mile or more.  Overhand grip will work your shoulders, chest and upper back more, while an underhand grip works the biceps, triceps and lower back more. I am really good at rowing for some reason and can get distance easily due to an 'efficient pull' every time.  I love, love, love rowing!

1 mile warmup - elliptical
500m row
1 hour weights - shoulders and chest/heavy on shoulders today
1 mile sprint - treadmill

Rest day
Thank goodness.  Had a bit of an 'issue' late afternoon; definitely not a good day for activity of any sort

4 miles treadmill
30 min Zumba - was supposed to be full hour but my left knee was CRAZY hurting and I knew I needed to stop.  Came home took 4 ibu and started icing.  I was PISSED too.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this instructor and her class is SO fun.  She is just beyond awesome so yeah, I was NOT happy. 

Rest day
Still on ibu and icing...walking up stairs hurts as I found out when I got to work.  Man I am gonna be pissed off if this hurts me this weekend.  Its the INSIDE of the left knee which is just weird.  But I also realized my running shoes I wear more often than not are ones I got in January when I was here for marathon weekend.  Oops. Off to 3point5 to get me another pair (60% off) :O)

Up at 4:10 and running at 5am
5 miles w the group then
We ran across the street to the junior high track for speed work
3 miles of speed
8 miles total 

The knee was fine other than it ouchied a bit towards the last couple of miles. 
I'll be glad when my new shoes come in. 

Boy was I sore this morning!  It's been a while since I've put much effort into my running.  Next weekend should be interesting as my Saturday running/workout is all speed work.  

2 miles warmup on elliptical
1 hour weights - back, biceps and triceps
60 KB swings alternating between 20lb and 30lb
1 mile sprint 
20 min in the steam room

LOVE Sundays at the gym!!  Not crowded at all.
Was going to do the 2pm Zumba class but I was STARVING!
Food > Zumba 

I like my 4 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 1 day off schedule.  It breaks the week up nicely and I love having a Tues or Wed off as complete rest.  Sometimes one of those days I do an active recovery day, same for Sunday.  Sometimes I go a bit harder on Sunday, or I just do very light.  Today was NOT light :)

And all the hard work is paying off too!!!
I really saw a difference today :)


Monday, July 28, 2014

Junie Lately

Did I ever formally mention that I did in fact join the swank-swank gym?  Well I did and I am LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVING it.  From the steam, sauna, whirlpool, lap pool, THE CLASSES OH THE CLASSES!  Anyway yeah I love it.  Plus the real reason I joined is so that I have big heavy things to pick up and put down over and over.  LOVE MY LIFTING!
Today I have a very quiet day at work which is very unusual for me of late, so I thought I would pop in, write a bit.  I have a couple of other titles drafted out but I didn't feel like writing about any of that today.
I am also loooooooooooooooving my new job here, well its my same job but different company I guess really. 
Know what else I am loving?  Katy.  Cinco Ranch.  Whichever.  I don't live in Katy proper, I live in Cinco Ranch which is about 8 miles S (ish) from actual Katy Katy.  My work address is Katy, my home address is Katy, but neither are Katy proper.  Oy.
I really do just love it out here.  Its not the Katy of yesteryear thats for sure.  Every thing and I mean EVERYTHING you have in Houston, you have here basically.  Same restaurants, even the smaller ones like Black an example.  Walking around LaCenterra Saturday evening after dinner out it was obvious that the popular spots in Houston have branched out to reach Cinco Ranch.  Which is super duper nice for me!
So yeah I kinda love it here.
Ah, also I am indeed joining a running/training group out here as well.  Saturday went very well with them for the 2nd try and I think its gonna work for me.  We'll see anyway.  I have a few goal races and/or times through February so we will see if their approach helps or does nothing for me.  There is a lot about it thats kinda crazy and not what I am used to.  An example would be that my longest long run for a half is 17 miles.  AND its 2 weeks out from whatever date race day is. Oy.  Not so much the 2 weeks out, which is normal I guess, at least for me, but not 17 miles.  LOL.

I am very excited just to be living LIFE again.  I don't want to dwell much anymore on what was so wrong the past 2 years, but dang I am just so happy!

One of the things I have been enjoying is buying some new clothes. I never bought much up there in Nebraska due a lot in part that you had to order everything online too (unless you REALLY like camo), and what I did buy was for the colder and COLD weather, so buying things for Summer and able to wear 9 months out of the year instead of the other way around has been fun!  I just bought a few more items and I am good until next year at least!  However there are some things that now will be going into a box and donated.  There were still a few things I couldn't seem to part with yet again when moving but its time and I made up my mind on that today.  

My goal of living more minimally has to have its rules and one is that if I am going to 'replace' items then I need to just do that.

Its just so much darn fun being able to shop again!!

I/we spend a lot of time at the pool.  Goofing off and visiting mostly.  But racing laps as well which is always a hoot.  The amount of time I am spending with family and friends is good for my heart and my head, whether its at my pool, eating out, getting together at whoever's house it is this time around.  I cannot believe how blessed I am.  I mean I always knew it but until I went away I just didn't truly realize you know??

I am not seeing all of my friends as often as I would like mainly because no one really seems to be willing to compromise and thats OK.  I get it.  I've offered up and invited and suggested and well quite frankly, I'm kinda over that.  For the most part if I am invited to do something, I am going to make the effort unless its just something I cannot do or don't want to do.

Kinda like I don't wanna make the drive into Houston every single Saturday to run with KW, I would love to see my KW friends every weekend but I'm OK with not too.  And I have a lot of friends actually that live in Katy that I never got to see before, that I do get to see now.  So its never gonna be lose/lose! 

One thing I haven't replaced and am definitely ready to, is a man in my life.  Its something I think about often, and I am in fact ready.  I've made so many changes in myself over the past 3 years or so and being in NE, well I wasn't looking to stay there, so a steady man wasn't something I was looking for necessarily.  But now?  Yeah I am definitely open to a REAL relationship.

So I'm meeting and greeting and just keeping myself open to possibilities.  That too is fun you know? 

So if you know anyone....

TaTa for now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

How Or IF I Should Choose A Running/Training Group

I started training for my first half marathon on my own way back in early 2006.  I had done a couple of 5K's, and even a 10K.  I remember my first 10K was that Feb 2006 (Rodeo Run), and I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud.  It was pouring rain and I still remember calling my momma from the car afterwards.
If I remember correctly I ran it somewhere around 1:12.  Those were the beginning days fo sho!  Now my PR for the 10K stands at 58:xx
Anyway...I trained for my first half on my own.  Sure I knew there were other runners out there, I saw them ALL the time as I ran at Memorial park, or up and down Memorial and around the bayou.
Sometimes I of course would see packs of people running together but I had no clue that there was such a thing as a running group let alone a training group!
I don't really remember how I found out about it...I know I was blogging at the time.  And I found a Houston Running Bloggers page/message place.
I still wasn't sure about it all but by the time my first half came around (October 2006), I had met a lot of people in one group and joined.
It was these exact people that convinced me right after that half that since "I was already halfway there I should just sign up for the full in January".
And so I did. 
I continued to train on my own and longer runs with the group; really it was just the last long run before Houston, where everyone meets up and runs the first 20 miles of the course and then you get carted back to your car at GRB.
Then after that first full marathon in January 2007, I wanted to keep going, but I knew I was missing something.
There were quite a few people who read my blog and I think it was through email that I was first told about Kenyan Way.
Anyway, the rest of that KW relationship is history, and everyone knows my love affair with that group!
So yeah moving away for 2  years and losing the group and a LOT of fitness that took me years to get to; kinda ruined me.
But coming back home I was elated to be able to be with KW if only for Saturdays (logistics)!  A lot of my close friends are with KW and I love all the perks.
So for like the first 3 weekends I would drive into town to run with them and it was great.  Even though I feel completely out of shape, it still made me do better than I would on my own, so the competition to keep up and not look as out of running shape than I am...still the getting up at 4:30am, drive 30 min, run 6-7 miles and come home?  Yeah that wasn't making too much sense.
It was suggested that maybe after my runs get longer than 9-10 miles then maybe it would be worth it (I am just SPOILED with the diff routes, and hydration set ups every couple of miles!!)
Anyway, I ran a couple of times on my own at TH: its closer to me and it has water fountains and its shaded.  All pluses, but I could see it getting boring after a while and I miss the group atmosphere (even though I am SO not a social talky talk runner).
Then I met a few runners at work and we started running together at TH.  Better but still not ideal and the same route just ugh.
I do love TH, just not ALL the time :O)
So I began researching for training groups out in the Cinco Ranch area and there are in fact quite a few!  I mean you have Katy, Cinco Ranch and of course Fort Bend county all to service runners of every kind I suppose!
I have reached out to them all now I think...and while some were interesting to where I thought I would 'fit' all were the same in as 'you carry your own fluids'.  Oy.  My one thing over everything else is I HATE CARRYING MY OWN WATER!  Sure I did it when I trained for so long by myself, but once I started with KW ... Well I am just spoiled rotten.
So finally I was down to the one that I thought would probably be the worst fit (its a Galloway training group).  After many emails back and forth with a couple of their directors, communicating my current fitness, past races and fitness and what my goals were going forward and also what exactly was I looking for in a group?
So after seeing their distances/paces/intervals for this past weekend, and me only doing 6 miles (starting next weekend I begin moving towards end of October half so I will be at 8 miles and wanted to cut back from 7 to 6 this week). 
Once they figured where I might be a good fit, I knew what time to show up and where.  I didn't have a lot of hope for this; I am running high min intervals and these guys never go over 3/1's!!! 
But I was SURPRISED when I finished this run FASTER than I would have had I ran my usual Saturday intervals!  What?!
Plus at the end, we did parking garage hill repeats and I actually ended up having a great Saturday morning.

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand and know that Galloway runners have BQ'd and are in fact, faster than some 'run all the way' people I know.  Probably me at this point!  And the book along w the philosophies are solid, tried and true.  Really all I have as far as a goal in mind is to get back below 2:15 for the half.  And I KNOW its totally doable.  I just have to put in the work.  And this group also does speed work and hill work a couple of days a week as well (just like KW).  My next half is end of October, and that is not my time goal race, but I have 4 more between now and first weekend in Feb 2015.  ONE of those I have indeed picked for my 'comeback'.  I don't really expect myself or my desire to beat my current half marathon PR (2:06), but I do want that sub 2:15 again!!!!
Of course there are some downsides to this group:  no every 2 mile water stations; carry your own hydration (which didnt seem to bother me this time for some reason).  With such low interval ratios I wouldn't ever get back up to running a half marathon non-stop (which was completely normal and doable for me pre-Nebraska; and I need to decide if thats even a thing for me anymore, if I can meet my time goals with run/walking).  And I am sure this was just because the 2 guys were trying to 'sell' me but dang they talked the ENTIRE time and expected a conversation back.
This will NOT work out for me long term!  Ha!!
So basically I am going to give them another go this next Saturday; run with a different set of folks and we'll see how that goes.  If we have a constant theme here where everyone is chatty chatty, and expect me to be, then that won't work.  I can carry my own water, but don't expect me to be social when I am actually running.
So this is my last resort I guess you could say.  If this last group doesn't work for whatever reason, then I will start driving in to Houston on Saturdays again so that I can have varying routes, and course support.  With higher mileage Saturdays just around the corner, I have to have something to fall back on to help me get through the remainder of the hot summer running/high mileage days.
Stay tuned!