Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot (and humid) As Sin

Seriously, it's way too wet here.

Even when it's not raining it's *moist*. Damp. Sticky. Gross. My garden loves it:

We have broccoli!!!!!!!!

Look hard enough and you can see an itty-bitty tomato!

...but I could really do without.

And on top of that, today is Monday. Monday. I think, of all my run days (okay, I know, there are only 3-4 of them a week), Monday will be the worst.

First of all, it's Monday. First day back at work after a busy weekend (because all of my weekends are busy), and I feel like I'm always just a little extra sleepy on Mondays because I never manage to get as much sleep as I want Sunday night. Next, it's my first run after my long run. I remember when we were training for Cinco that Tuesday runs were always the hardest, and now my Monday runs are the same. My legs tire out quickly and I just feel a bit more fatigued. And finally, I'm not used to giving up part of my Monday evening for a run. I spent all day waffling about this run...doing the back and forth, 'will I-won't I' in my head, strongly convinced either way at different points during the day.

But when I got home I walked in, looked at Nigel and Stewart and said, "FINE. I'm going to do it. And I will like myself for it afterwards, but I will not like this run. And I will extra not like not taking puppies with me."

(Really, it was just too humid to take them with.)

Speaking didn't feel quite so hot when I got home from work. I actually think it got warmer as I ran. I was even thinking about wearing shorts all day at work and then didn't because it felt cool out so I threw on leggings and a thin, loose fitting tank before heading out.

This, my friends, was a very silly mistake. I swear I almost died. I was very hot, very sweaty, and very drippy when I got home. I was actually having trouble trying to mop the sweat off my nose and chin and ears before it dripped on the floors and sinks (gross, I know).

My route was another thing. Every part of this run tempted me to quit. I've already mentioned that it was hot and humid (but did I? Did I mention the oven like compression of moist air I had to swim-jog through? Oh...I did? Yes well, it was so awful it bears repeating). The skies looked so ominous - really dark to the south, and I couldn't tell which was the storm was going - that I decided to just loop around my neighborhood three times because it's slightly over a mile a pass and I had to do three miles.

Well, that didn't pan out.

I made one loop and started bartering. You know, "Oh, it's so hot, you only have to do two miles..." and I decided I need to make sure I stayed out for three by turning my route into an out-and-back. So after a one mile loop, I ran a mile away from my house before turning around and heading home.

For how hot and dreadful it was, my splits weren't too bad...I stuck with the 5:1 that I've been doing lately:

Like I said before, I was drenched when I got home. It was like all the condensation in the air was materializing on my skin, combined with my own sweat:

I filled my water bottle, peeled off my sweaty running clothes, and jumped in the shower to wash the run off. I was so tired afterwards I probably could have just laid down and fallen asleep, but I got up and made dinner instead (Mexican Lasagna aka Enchilada Casserole, if anyone is interested).

And then I made cookie dough. We have a party coming up this weekend and I will not be doing everything on Friday, darn it! (Cam and I have a pool party to go to instead!)

It's shaping up to be yet another busy week, and now that my evening has wound down and I'm oh so tired, I'm gonna call it quits. Bed early tonight, woohoo!

Have a great evening (or a great Tuesday, if it's Tuesday for you!). Peace out!


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekly Run (and workout) Recap

Happy Sunday, world!

This will be one whollop of a post since I want to get "caught up" so I can try to start blogging more regularly during the week about what goes on day to day - but I want to back up to a conversation I had a little over a week ago.

Last Friday at work I was talking to the woman who sits behind me (her name is Karen) and mentioned that Cam's brother Brennan called me the day before but I couldn't answer, and then I started telling Karen that Hen always calls at the worst times because I'm always in the middle of something and can't talk. And she just looked at me and said, "Be honest - are you ever not busy?"

Well...the woman has a point. I've now meandered my way through two weeks of training, studying, and persisting in my goal to not work OT. My brain doesn't stop spinning unless I'm asleep (and even then, sometimes not), and I'm seriously wondering how the next few months are going to end up.

I will say, however, that I'm very focused on training. Pretty much everything else (apart from my workload at work) is flexible, but I can't run the half if I haven't trained for it, so that's taking the top spot at the moment.

I got three runs in this week, and my mileage is getting closer to the actual training plan. Last week felt like such a bust (for example, my "long" run was supposed to be 4 miles, but I decided to settle for 5k since that's how long Color in Motion was...and it ended up being only 2.7...#failwhale), so I was determined to do better this week.

Then Monday came around. Monday was a bad weather day...they were predicting terrible storms in the afternoon (when I run) and it was 85 degrees and about 98% humidity. And I was tired and had to cook dinner for 4 people. So when I got home I decided to forgo my 3 mile outdoor run in favor of the elliptical, but with one caveat - I had to exert the same amount of effort I felt I would on a run, for just as long as it would take me to run 3 miles.

So I got on my elliptical, put on an episode of EastEnders, and went to it. After 5 minutes I couldn't believe I had 30 left. after 10 there were still 25...and so on. But I finished all 35 minutes. I'm still not sure how or why, because I just wanted to stop and play with my dogs instead. But I did it.

If you follow me on Instagram you might know that Tuesdays are leg days, which means I don't run on Tuesdays. To me, there is no point running 3 miles and then trying to effectively squat or deadlift - it does nothing but hurt your form or prevent real gains by making you go light on weight (in order to achieve good form). So Tuesday Cam and I did the stationary bike for 10 minutes, then went and turned our legs into jello.

And for this reason (and because I need a day to be able to make appointments after work), Wednesday is also not a run day, so no news there!

Thursday, however, is arm/upper body day, which means it's perfectly suited for a run. I felt pretty good on Thursday, and managed to pump out 3 miles in 34 minutes (and then decided I should just finish our 5k since I was supposed to on Sunday...):

It was a good run. Perhaps because it was drizzling almost the entire time which kept me nice and cool...or perhaps because I finally had the confidence to wear shorts during a run!

Aside: This is a really, really huge thing for me. For a very long time (since I was about 12-13) I just haven't worn shorts. We can talk about body image and confidence and the evils of the media and whatever until the cows come home, but everyone has that one thing they really don't like about their body...and mine is my legs.

But on Sunday during the color run, I was hot. And I thought, 'I'm not sure I can spend all summer running in leggings...' So on Wednesday I stopped at Target and found a pair I felt that maybe I could wear. And on Thursday I put them on and thought I actually looked kinda decent...and decided this was such a momentous occasion that I should take some pictures for the blog before I left for my run:

Sorry it's blurry and the lighting is terrible!

I look half possessed in this one...

annnd post-run, very sweaty selfie:

I feel like that outfit was very well coordinated. So matchy-matchy. was a big deal for me. I purposely brought only those shorts with to Cam's so that I'd have to wear them and couldn't chicken out and wear leggings. And I actually think they looked pretty good! They certainly kept me cooler...which is good news for the rest of the running I have to do in the middle of the afternoon this summer!

Anyways...arm day went well, Fridays I haven't been running, and that just left Saturday's 5 miles to get through.

Ahhh, five miles. Haven't done five since the Cinco de Miler. And I'll admit...I was nervous. Especially because I decided that, as part of my training, I need to try and do my Saturday runs in the morning. On race day, the half starts at 7:00 am. Since this is my first half, I want to aim for race-day conditions as often as possible. Which meant I was up yesterday at 6:30 and started getting ready to go.

I had a glass of water and a protein smoothie (1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 cup mixed soy/coconut milk, 1 small banana, 1 tsp cocoa powder, about 2 tsp peanut butter) and read some blogs, then put shoes on my feet, Nigel on a leash, and headed out the door.

I decided on a path that I could loop back home to around 3 miles if Nigel needed it - it's his first run since surgery, and though it wasn't hot out, I wasn't wearing a fur coat. This ended up being a good plan because right around the 2 mile mark he was slowing down, and by 3 miles he looked ready to be done (as did I...). So I dropped him off at home (3.25 miles) and squeezed the remainder of my run in, finishing in just under an hour:

I really, really expected to hate this run. I expected it to be long and hard and want to quit and question why I'd signed up for the half in the first place. But it was a good run. I mean, yes, I was tired at the end, but I didn't feel like I needed to lay in bed all day to recover. That said, I'm still terrified by next Saturday's 6 miles (right before a family party too...eep!), but I think I can do them!

Because it doesn't end there. After my run I quickly showered, had 2nd breakfast, and then headed out for some errands before going to Cam's. And then he and I went to the gym and did a fatigue workout...basically where you do an exercise until you can't do it anymore, rest, and then try again. We started with bench (I benched just the bar while he added some weight) and managed to get 23 reps before I couldn't lift the bar anymore. Then I did 10 push ups (on my knees) and then Cam did his set. Then I went back at it and did 14 bench press reps and 5 push ups. My final set was 11 reps Bench, 3 push ups. We followed it up with higher reps of some other exercises (bicep curls, rear fly, lat pulldowns and tricep pulldowns) and then hit the hot tub.

And boy was I beat. Totally exhausted. We went home, had lunch, and showered, and right when that was finished his parents called to say they were bringing home 66 20-lb bags of rock and needed help unloading.

So we did that too. I hopped in the truck and handed bag after bag to everyone else to pile in front of the house, determined to do nothing else when we finished.

It was a lie.

I studied, then Cam and I went for a walk before dinner (and a movie)

And then I did nothing else.

Because whyyyyyyyy would I want to do anything else after that kind of day?!

And now, I'm enjoying my Sunday, and I'm off to relax for the rest of it. I hope your weekend was just as enjoyable as I found mine!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

For real...the Color in Motion 5k!

Let's travel a week back in time, friends! Back to last Saturday, after the pageant, on the eve of the Color In Motion 5k.

...when the two friends who were supposed to go to the race with us decided not to because they hadn't trained. It would have been the first race either of them had done, so I totally get it - I would have been scared into oblivion. But it turns out most people walk color runs! I had no idea because I'd never done one before, but if I had known beforehand I definitely would have tried harder to convince them to come. Like 85% of the people there walked the race, and it would have been totally fine with Cam and I to do the same.

But anyways...Cam and I woke up bright and early on Sunday to leave by 6:45...which ended up being almost 7:00 and got to Wilson Beach in Chicago at about 7:45. We were one beach down the road from where we needed to be (Montrose) but the turn in for the parking lot was hella long for Montrose Beach, so I think we actually saved time by walking over. We went and paid for parking then started following the spattering of people in white "Color In Motion 5k" shirts over to the race start.

Unlike the Cinco De Miler, I had not put in the effort to pick up our race packets ahead of time. The pick up location wasn't convenient, and I didn't think it would take too long once we got to the race site.

Boy was I wrong.

The line for the registration tent was - I kid you not - over 1/4 of a mile long. I haven't done many races so I don't know if this is normal, but it definitely was not like that for the CDM (but perhaps that's because they had multiple days and locations for packet pick up...or it was a smaller race? No idea).

So at 8:05 we got in line and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And used the port-a-potties.

And then waited more.

Here we are, waiting.
We finally got up to the registration and had to pick up 4 packets because I wasn't going to leave our friends' packets behind even though they weren't there - and I'd also paid for 4 extra color pouches. There was a separate (albeit wayyyyy shorter) line for the extra color, but we managed to get a guy handing out shirts to grab us the color packs by saying we didn't care if they were all the same color. So we walked away with our shirts and bibs and 4 blue and 4 green packs of color by 9:15.

We changed into our white shirts:

(Extra terrible picture of me)
...and headed for the corrals. (PS...cotton shirts are HOT! Not doing that again!) We waited in the corral line for about 10 minutes before our wave finally started. We actually ended up at the very, very start of our wave because they ran across with the tape to separate waves right when we were about to cross. So we just stood there like sheep for a few more minutes until they let us go. (Not joking, Cam and I actually 'baa'd' like sheep a few times...:P)

The race started with a blast of orange, and off we went, agreeing to 5 min run/1 min walk intervals.

Not that it matters, but because so many people walked, I don't think we were ever actually passed. There were a few people we leap frogged with throughout the run, but for the most part the crowd was continuously changing because we were running.

I can't even remember the order of the color stations, but by the time we got to the yellow station one of the guys throwing powder said to Cam, "You have too much pink in your beard...I think you need some YELLOW!" And threw a TON of powder over Cam. It was really funny...everywhere we go, someone comments on his beard. I won't lie, I'm very excited for him to trim it because it's starting to suffocate me every time we make kissy-faces, but I will admit it's amusing in its own right.

Anyways, Cam was having asthma problems with all the dust and powder, and I told him we could walk the last mile because of it. I also spent the past week getting back into the swing of things, and by 2 miles a brisk walk sounded way better than running another mile in the sun. So we slowed it down right as my Garmin hit 2 miles, which happened to be just after we ran past the lot that we'd parked in.

Cam asked if I was sure we'd gone two miles, because there was no way we walked a mile from the car to the starting line. He was right (as I suspected) because the course ended up only being 2.7 miles! Cam wanted to pick up the pace for the last quarter mile, so we ran that through to the finish and then grabbed water before heading out.

I have to say, I was really surprised that the course ran short, because both the CDM and Corporate Challenge ran long, so I expected this course to be slightly longer too. Instead, it was almost half a mile short! But were our splits...nothing exciting:

And let's not forget our after pictures ;)

Jeez my hair looks stupid.

I never take kissy-face pictures, but being covered in colored powder just made one seem right :P

Crazy (mad) eyes!
And now a super cute face one.

So overall the run and color throwing parts were fun. The benefactor was the Special Olympics so I'm happy with the cause. I wasn't super impressed with how the run was organized, but you can't win 'em all!

Before the race I was thinking about trying to set the powder color in the shirt so we can wear them over again, but the sweat stains we both had kind of ruined the look I thought we'd get. Instead I'm going to tie-dye them the various colors that the race had...that way we both still have a nice momento from the run and can re-wear our shirts (since not all of the powder washed out). Perhaps there's another "after" photo in the future! (if I remember...I'm so bad about those things!)

And before I go...I'm really excited because last night I discovered a really fun sounding virtual run club that I'm going to give a try... so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Otherwise, I'm out! I'm going to try and do a weekly run-recap tomorrow if I have time...but let's be honest, 4 posts in one week might kill me ;P