Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Going with the Flow

Hey There!

How is your week going? Can you believe it's already the last day of February?

Mine? Emotionally so far, it has been a WRECK.

Since Sunday I've been feeling really off in my mood. Work has been really stressful lately with things not going the way I want or would like them too, and it seems like every time I think I have things figured out SOMETHING comes along and messes it all up! I consider myself to be a fairly adaptable person, but for this week... it's just plain annoying. Sometimes I wonder if the more adaptable you ARE the more adaptable people expect you to BE. Thoughts?!?!

Ok, let's shift moods and talk about some healthy movements, shall we?

Mondays have come to be my Cross Training day in my workouts, and today was no exception. I've been really enjoying these random body weight circuit training workouts from Popsugar Fitness. They have TONS to choose from (including ones that use actual weights).

All of the workouts I've completed have 3 circuits with 3 exercises in each. You are suppose to do each circuit 3 times before moving on to the next one. I toyed around with the idea of running through all 3 circuits once and then repeating it two more times, but I like returning to the moves quicker in order to  improve my form by repeating the one circuit 3 times before moving on to the next one. (Did that make sense?)

I have done a different one every week for the past 6 weeks or so. Each one is deceptively challenging, and this one did not disappoint.

Im not sure why, but that first circuit was insanely difficult! It was probably those runners lunges and the fact that all 3 workout required using your arms for stabilization. My shoulders, biceps and triceps were really sore by the end of the third round. I've gotten some really great definition in my arms lately, but I still really lack the strength to do that darn elbow plank reach.  

This was completely reaffirmed with my post run workout today!

On the schedule I had a 5 mile run. It was really cold out this morning (39 degrees) when I headed out the door, and I was desperate to move fast and warm up. Im finding that I always love the way I feel on my Tuesday runs (aka the days after cross trainings). My legs always feel refreshed/ready to run and I tend to finish really strong.  

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I'm sorry... is that a 7:45 pace for my 5th mile?!?!?!?!?! Why yes, I believe it is! My 2nd mile was partially uphill (that little 8:53 mile in there), but that is still an amazing time with or without the hill. Everything just felt right about this run. The only thing that always trips me up is my breathing in the first mile on really cold mornings. I've considered getting a balaclava to help, but I just feel like its not cold enough for long enough in the year to need one. My lungs will probably hate me for it later. 

When I got back home I did a quick in home circuit training  Standing Core Workout with the 5 lb medicine ball I have at home.

I didn't follow the pins directions exactly, but instead set my interval timer for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds of rest and did 10 rounds (10 minute workout total). After doing the above pictured workouts I added a regular plank, alternating side planks and a reverse plank.

Lessons from this workout:

1. I do not like sumo squat crunches (In hind sight this may have been due to me standing wide    enough for the move)

2. I have no idea how to do the torso twist front chop in lunge (ie.. research your workouts and practice before attempting a move)

3. I can not hold a side plank (on either side) for 45 seconds

Note to self: Gotta get to work on that upper body strength goal and continue to work on my planks.  
 Overall It felt really good and I enjoyed having a good time in my workout today. 

In Self Confidence News:
I am definitely starting to feel some definition in my legs, thighs and butt that hasn't ever been there before. It may just be me, but I feel like my glutes are A LOT firmer than usual. My dresses have been feeling shorter and I can feel the definition in my hamstrings in a way that I've never noticed. I feel like the difference is the addition of regular strength training to my workout routines. This is the first time I've ever been consistent with it for more than a month. I usually get bored or just hate it after a couple weeks and do see the true results. I'm really proud of myself for sticking with my goals on this one.

What are some things that you're working on in your routine (workout or non workout related?)

What is one thing that you can compliment yourself on today?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Long Run


Happy Sunday!

I hope you're getting to enjoy the tail end of this weekend. I've been feeling really off today emotionally. I've been a little snippy and just in a funk and I'm not sure why. Not sure if its sleep, over training, stress, waiting too long to eat (Hangry anyone?), the rude lady that yelled at Adam and I this morning while we were walking Plissken or just the fact that I hate that the weekend is almost over... but I'm finally getting to relax and trying to shake the funk.

But, lets not focus on the negative. Lets talk about all the awesome things that came out of this weekend and some of the lessons I learned along the way.

I ran my first 10 mile run in over a year on Saturday, and I did a pretty awesome job at it.

The run felt pretty great. I really tried to keep myself moving slow until the final miles which was when I let myself push a little harder. I'm still not quite near the right pace for a 1:45:00 half marathon (which is in like 4 weeks), but I'm certainly under 2 hours which is more than I can ask for. 

This run was great for two things:

1. I finally got to practice a run while including fuel. I took a Vanilla Bean Gu at around mile 6.  I've bee using this Gu for years. The flavor is light, it doesn't upset my stomach, it has a nice hit of caffeine and helps to push through those longer runs. I take about an entire mile to eat a Gu. When I eat them faster I always end up feeling overly full and end up having GI issues. It definitely helped me push through the last few miles which brings me to...                                                                                                                                                                                               2. I just got to run long and pushed past my fear of the 10 miler. I have been fearing this run since I came back to running in April. One of the things that added to my injury in December 2015 was some major GI issues that I kept having when trying to run 8+ miles. I've still been struggling with my fear of not being able to do these miles, but this run showed me that I can do it. I'm excited to see how the                                 rest of my training goes from here. 

As with all runs/ workouts, not everything is good. There were definitely some tough moments that I am going to learn and grow from. 

1. I made one of the biggest running mistakes on this run and wore all new clothes that I had just got from Old Navy. I am IN LOVE with their Activewear line. I think 90% of my outfits are from there. I had ordered this shirt and these shorts. I really liked the shirt and the color is very nice. I was most excited about the shorts. I was hoping they were long enough to cover most of my thighs, AND they came with a media pocket on both sides. Sadly the shorts rode up on me the ENTIRE 10 miles, but my phone stayed in place! Basically, they'll be fine for short  runs (no pun intended) but not for long runs. 

2. I need to get out of my own head sometimes. I feel like I started feeling sluggish at mile 5 because I knew I was going to be taking in a Gu at mile 6. It was like I was dragging myself down even though I was feeling good and strong. This came back to bit me in the ass in my final mile. I felt myself starting to take short cuts just to have the run be over. I could easily start to beat myself up over it, but instead I'm going to be grateful for this experience that is teaching me that my physical game is strong/solid, but I really need to work on my mental game at this stage. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to start enhancing my mental muscles, but i imagine its going to include a lot more podcasts, positive affirmations and possibly adding some meditation to my daily routines. The idea has been showing up in various ways in my life lately, but I'm not ready to commit to it yet. 


I already mentioned I've been feeling off today, and it even bled into my 5 mile run. For whatever reason, doing easy runs just feel awful to me. I always feel slow, my form feels really off and I just overall hate doing them. This once was no exception. It was slightly raining, but humid and I just couldn't find my groove through the whole 5 miles. I know that easy runs are important to training for recovery, but I just hate them. 

The rest of our Sunday was filled with running errands and meal prepping and now we're watching the Oscars! Adam is a big film buff so we have to watch!

Here were my workouts for this week:

Monday: This Popsugar Work Out I found on Pinterest
Tuesday: 4.75 mile run @ 8:57pace (Easy) 
Wednesday: 6.2 mile run @ 8;24 pace (Tempo Run)
Thursday: 4.75 mile run @ 8:07 pace (Sprints) 
Friday: REST DAY
Saturday: 10.2 mile run @ 8:38 pace (Long Run) 
Sunday: 5 mile run @ 8:57 pace (Easy Run)

Looking forward to another great week of workouts. Just finished up some meal prep and resting with this little snuggle bug pictured below! Have a Happy and healthy week!

How was your week?
Does anyone else feel this way about easy runs?!?!
Are you watching the Oscars?
Do you meal prep?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Return... again!

Well, Hello There!

How the HECK are you?!

Me? I'm feeling FABULOUS!

It's been over 2 years since I last wrote here..that's a really scary thought. But I've recently been feeling really motivated to share my life so I figured, "Why the heck not?"

A quick recap, because My life and my goals have changed DRAMATICALLY since I last posted.

1. I broke up with Tyler. 
I finally saw through all the horrible and emotionally abusive bull shit that I was dragging myself through in that relationship and decided to call it quits in September of 2015. It was not a very easy decision by any means necessary, but it was the best decision for me. There were a lot of other things that went on at that time, but I'm not going to go into it here.

I will say though, that I am REALLY glad that I made that decision for myself.

2. I am forehead deep in a very loving relationship.
When I ended things with Tyler there was no longer any internal confusion about what I wanted in a relationship and what I felt I deserved to have in my life. I was very fortunate that all of it came to me almost immediately in my current partner, Adam. Adam and I have known each other for approximately 8 years through my work at Chili's. We reconnected at the end of mine and Tyler's relationship and it has been the best thing to ever happen to me.

I did a lot of shaming myself for how quickly I got into this relationship, but through the process I realized that I was over my previous relationship almost 3 years prior to the break up. I'm also the happiest (and healthiest) I've been in the past decade. We live together in Los Angeles, we have an adorable dog ( a Shih tzu named Plissken)  and we're both into running and being healthy (most of the time) and most importantly EACH OTHER!

3. My Mom passed away in October 2016.
This has been the toughest of my changes. My mom and I were best friends since I was a little girl. There isn't a minute that goes by that my heart doesn't ache for her. But, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer while I was in Grad School (October 2012) and she fought a really hard and debilitating battle for those 4 years and 14 days. While I'm definitely grieving (and learning how to grieve) I am also at peace knowing she is no longer in pain or having to go through chemo's or surgeries and being just plain miserable.

4. I suffered from my first real running injury (and lived to tell about it)!
In October/November of 2015 I started training for what I thought would be my triumphant return to the LA Marathon. I was getting into the best shape of my life (because I was compensating while going through my break up) and went a little too hard with the squats/lunges one day and pulled a muscle in my right groin. Just typing about it makes my thigh hurt.

I WAS DEVASTATED to say the least. I took my last run on December 24th, 2015 and didn't lace up again until April 1st. It was the worst 3 months of my life. I was an emotional wreck, I felt like a beached whale and nothing I was doing was helping (and I did a lot). I turned to walking, swimming and yoga and it kept most of my demons at bay... but it just wasn't running.

Since then my whole last year has been a really slow progression to getting back to where I was at. I was really afraid of getting reinjured again so I took my time and focused a lot on healing myself in the moment and learning how to prevent future issues.

5. I decided to start training and racing smarter. 
My last half marathon was in October of 2015. I PR'd in under an hour and 45 minutes (say what!) and it was the greatest feeling ever. As you can tell, I was injured shortly there after and havent decided to race.... UNTIL NOW!

I am currently registered for The Wine County Runs Half Marathon in Paso Robles California. I am hoping to run in under 1:45 again, but we'll see how this goes. Adam will be doing his first race (the 5k) so I'm extra excited about this event.

If I perform well at this event I will be returning to the Shoreline Half Marathon in Ventura, California in July the weekend of my 31st Birthday. I promised myself that if i stayed healthy and smart for both of these races that I could then train for the Long Beach Marathon in Long Beach, California on October 8th. The Ultimate goal is to have those 3 races go well so that I can run LA Marathon in the spring of 2018

These seem like slightly lofty goals, but I feel extremely ready for them. My biggest issue right now is trying to just take it one day at a time and not think of it as a "Year Long Ordeal". I wont be registering for any races until I have completed the one previous to it so as not to put any undue pressure on myself.

As I've been getting back to my core "base" training I've been feeling the need to get out and speak about it. I'm not sure if the blog will go to a daily or weekly thing, but I'm thinking it will be a "When I feel like it" sorta gig. I may also be adding a daily Vlog (A Video Blog) component to this, so keep an eye out! I'm still messing around with the idea of recording myself and how it would actually work... but I'm liking the idea more and more each day.

I'm sure there's like 1 million other things that have happened in the past 2 years, but these seem to be the most important and the most life changing. Please stay tuned for my training highs and lows, my tips and treats and all the fun randomness that is me.