Saturday, February 22, 2014

Love Your Heart 10k race

For the second year now, the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) has sponsored a "Love Your Heart 5k/10k" race here at Ft. Campbell.  February is Heart Awareness Month, so the name of the race is very appropriate. One of the main goals of the race is just to get people out of the house and acitve on the course. The particiaptes can be walking their first 5k, or their 50th. Everyone on the course is celebrated.

A few friends and I ran the course last year. They ran the 10k, and since I was returning to running I participated in the 5k. For 2013 the weather was horrible. It was FREEZING cold, very gloomy overcast kind of day. I had on ear warmers, gloves, long sleeve shirt, coat and tights and it took all three miles of my race to warm up!

See, don't we LOOK cold?!?!

This year the hospital made a few adjustments. The place was changed so more people could find it (thus making the course flatter) and the starting time was pushed back. Both had their pros and cons. Since the race started at 0930, I dressed in capris and a long sleeve shirt for the anticipated 42-degree weather. Yeah.....I should have dressed a little lighter. I told my husband that if I had been alone, I would have taken my shirt off, it was that hot!! I think my Garmin showed a temperature of 52-degrees. Very un-February like.

The race was pretty good, but there could have been bigger water stops for this warm weather race. I loved how flat the course was, as there was only one small hill we had to conquer, and I beat it! In fact, I passed several people on that hill, and did not see them for the rest of the race. 

I am pretty satisfied with my results. My last 10k race was Labor Day and I ran that in 1:13:26. My Garmin today gave me a final time of 1:10:02. I was TWO SECONDS slower than what I wanted to me! GRRR!!! But I also took 3 minutes off my time! YEAH BUDDY!! Maybe those speed workouts are truly working.

These guys would finish the last hundredish yards with 
almost every person in the 10k. What an awesome 
morale booster it was to run with them!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Looking back

For most people, they do not like to look back in their past. They might have experienced some tragic event, or had a heart broken. But for me, I look back over this past year and smile at the gains that I have made in my fitness journey.

Last January 31st I registered for the Women's Half-Marathon in Nashville. I was not a serious runner at that point. Running three miles was considered my "long run". But I signed up for the race before I could chicken out, and in the summer trained with Fleet Feet Nashville to help me achieve my goal. Not only have I check off "run a half-marathon" but my confidence in running has taken off as well. Here is a list of accomplishments I have done over the past twelve months.
  • Run a 10K--first one
  • Registered for another 10K, instead of the shorter 5K that is offered
  • Run a 5K PR (took three years, but hey....better late than never)
  • Registered for a 15K--first one
  • Registered for my second half-marathon
  • Started running speed workouts....and found out I LIKE them!
This might seen like a short list, but taken into account the small amount of time it has occurred over, and I am pretty proud and excited about it. I still have no desire to run a full marathon, but I do see more half-marathons in my future.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weight on Wednesday--02/05/2014

Another Wednesday, another weigh in.  I do weight myself during the week as well, but I don't put those numbers on paper. I feel that would be TOO many numbers, so I decided to only "officially" track myself once a week.  Good thing, because the day after the Super Bowl was not pretty!
So here are the numbers:

1/29/2014  ---2/5/2014

Weight 149 148
Fat 35.9 36.3
BMI 24 23.9

Not exactly the best with my body fat percentage going up, but life is always about improvement and learning what to do.

I also started taking my body measurements, because as we all know, I can still weight 148 pounds, but if muscle is denser than fat, I will be skinner in inches and the scale will not budge.  On that front, I do have some good news!

Bust37 1/236 3/4
Chest31 7/830 3/4
Waist35 1/834 1/8
Midway36    34 3/4
Hips39 1/239 1/2
Knee-Left16 1/816 5/8
Knee-Right16 1/216 3/8

I do believe some of these numbers are pretty spectacular! Losing 3/4" off my bust in two weeks? Heck yeah! And losing 1" off my waist? I'll take it! Or rather...not take it. So while my weight is staying the same, it seems that some parts of me are slimmer. I can tell you that I dug out a pair of shorts that are a size 6, and they fit! I have not worn them in three years at least, probably more like four years. But by golly, I am going to keep working out, and will stay in those shorts all summer long! (And when I say "they fit", that translates into "they zip up and I can sit in them, but losing a few more inches would make them look a lot better.")


Monday, February 3, 2014

Pump....YOU UP!

I recently started going to the gym to lift some weighs. But I realize that I am a follower. A homework completer. I don't necessarily need a personal trainer to get me through each workout, just one to create a workout for me. And while I have a list of exercises in my workout book, trying to decide what to do each day is just not my thing. My head starts to swim, and I usually just "phone in" the workout.

At the gym I go to the most often, I saw an advertisement for  I had no idea what exactly it was, but decided to check it out while watching mindless tv one day.  It was pretty interesting, and had a place where you could click through and decide which plan you wanted to follow. You enter stats like your weight, what is your final goal (transformation for me), how long you have been consistently lifting weights, what kind of body you would like to have, and come up with an end date for your goal.  I chose to have a swimsuit model's body. HAHA!  That will probably NEVER happen, but it was the option with the most body fat at 20%, which is the most realistic for me.

Yesterday, February 2nd, was Day One for me. And I can tell you that after the workout, my triceps hurt more than they have hurt in years! Even though I am not directly reporting in to a personal coach,  I am logging in my workouts and that makes me want to push myself a little bit more.  But the workout felt great, and I am very excited to have a roadmap to this adventure.

Day One was 3 sets of 12 reps for each of the exercises:
  • Wide Pushups--on my knees
  • Dumbbell bench press--done with 10 pound dumbbells
  • Cable Pec Fly--finished with 16 2/3 pounds on each side
  • Narrow Pushups--on my knees
  • Overhead Tricpet Dumbbell Extensions--done with a 10 pound dumbbell
  • Tricep Pushdowns--finished with 60 pounds
That last one was really exciting for me, because I started my first set on 40 pounds, and for the next two sets did it on 60 pounds! Holy cow, my arms will crush you! :)

Seriously, after two days on this program, the "newness" has not set in, and I am eager to go to the gym each day to do this workout. While it is not running related, my ultimate goal of losing inches and body fat will hopefully help in my running adventures with a faster time, and more enthusiastic athlete.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weight on Wednesday--01/29/2014

I'm back to writing my weekly entry on my weight on Wednesdays.  Mostly because this blog is kind of like my personal diary for the entire world to reader, and it gives me an outlet to get all of my thoughts out. But also because I know that I am not the only person out there struggling with accepting the body they have, and I feel the constant need to change something about it.

 The last time I wrote in September I was holding steady at 148 pounds. And in the 18 weeks since that last entry, sadly nothing has changed. Actually, some things have changed, and I do have the numbers to back it up.  Let's start at the very beginning of the year.

My husband is on his own weight loss journey, joining Jenny Craig once again.  He was very successful in losing the weight in 2008-2009, but the hardest part of it was not losing it but rather keeping it off. And over the five years after leaving the program, he has regained the weight.  I decided that in order to keep us BOTH on track, I would purchase a new scale for the house. You can program it for up to four adults, and it calculates your weight, body fat, and BMI.

Being a numbers person, I made a spreadsheet to keep the dates that I weighed myself, as well as all of the numbers that the scale provides.  Here are numbers for the month of January.



YUCK!! How is it that I am exercising three to four days week, eating around 1200 calories, adding in more veggies and healthy eating, and not losing weight??  Talk about frustrating!! The silver lining in the numbers though is the fat percentage. It is slowing decreasing, which is good.  But clearly what I am doing is not working as quickly as I want it to. It seems that it takes only a few moments to put the weight on, and forever to take it off.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The only way to run

Looking forward to 2014, I was trying to decide what was going to be my next BIG race.  There are several half-marathons that I was debating about, and I asked around to local friends, friends I made through the Fleet Feet group I trained with, and workers at the Fleet Feet Store.  Do I run the Tom King Classic Half-Marathon (here in Nashville), the Country Music Half-Marathon, or the Finish on the Fifty in Knoxville? Each had their advantages, with the first two being local, and the last one finishing on the fifty yard of Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. If you know me, you know I am a HUGE UT fan, so that would have been pretty cool. The Tom King also finishes on the fifty yard line of LP Field where the Tennessee Titans play. That's cool, but the UT one just had more allure to me.

The drawbacks were pretty huge as well--CMM and FOTF have a lot of hills, which is not fun to train on, or run on for that matter. The Tom King one is pretty flat, but running in March is always a crap-shoot. It can either be really nice outside, or bitter cold. Of course, we are having that exact same kind of weather this week in Kentucky, so there goes that argument. I really struggled with the decision on which race to run. I feel like I am still new enough to running long distances that all three would be crazy....doable, but crazy.

The deciding factor was training. What was going to be my method of training? How do I do it? Knowing myself, I found that running with a training group, while can be costly in money and gas to get there, was the only way to keep myself accountable to getting those long mileage run in the books. So I chose to run the Country Music Half-Marathon and train again with Fleet Feet Nashville. It is what works for me, because I know I can go out the door with the mind set of running 8 miles, but with no one with me, it is easy to say "eh, four miles is enough for today".  This mentality will only defeat me on race day, and running with a group, and friends for that matter, is the only way to get those long runs in the books!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Award Winning Runner!

The first after the half marathon last year was the Harvest Hands 5K in October. Initially it was a race I did not want to participate in being so soon after such a long race. My mom convinced me to run it if she paid for it, and the first 100 people to register also got a free pair of Swiftwick socks. SOLD! Sign me up!

The morning of the race, I drove to the site and got everything prepared. I pinned my bib on, laced my car key onto my shoe laced (and prayed hard it did not fall out), and made sure my Garmin was fully charged!  When the gun went off, I stepped over the timing chip and away the group went, out of the parking lot of Greer Stadium, and turned left towards Ft Negley Park. And that is when I saw it....a hill. A HUGE hill. Oh no!! And at the beginning....oh well, here goes nothing.  

I managed to get over the hill, and the rest of the race was a pretty uneventful race. We ran down (and then up) a smaller hill, through a couple of neighborhoods, and then finished on the Nashville Sounds baseball field. My official finishing time was 33:26 which is TWO SECONDS slower than my personal record! How frustrating it was to finish two seconds later!!

The event organizers had a station at the end where you type in your bib number, and a receipt is printed out with your time, pace, race rank, gender rank, and age group rank. But at the top of my receipt were the words "Awards F 5k 35-39: 2nd Place" What what WHAT??

The award ceremony was pretty short, since this was the first year the race was conducted, and there were not many people who participated. And the reason I actually placed. But in the end I scored a pretty hefty coffee mug, a metal and a homemade bar of soap. It was some sweet stuff for a race I initially did not want to run.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Goals for 2014

Every January 1st, millions of people make New Year's Resolutions. They will eat better, go to the gym more often, start taking better care of themselves. And for the first week to ten days of the new year, they are really good about it.

But then life gets in the way---kids need help with homework, work gets too busy, your parents want you to come and visit. Resolutions go the way of the 8-track tape.  

I have previously heard that a better way to keep these "resolutions" are to call them "goals", and of course you have to shout to the whole world your plan so that someone will keep you accountable, right?  And that is EXACTLY what I am doing with this post!  

My "big picture" goal for 2014 is to run a race each month. Sounds impressive, until you break some of it down to see that some races will be a 5k or 10k.  Here is what my calendar currently looks like.

January-- Nashville New Years Resolution Run 5K Run/Walk
(Note: this was on January 4th--my time was 33:03.5 which is a new PR for me! Took me three years to break, but I did it!)

February 22nd--Love Your Heart 5K/10K
(Note: I am running the 10K event)

March 16th-- St. Patrick’s Day Kegs & Eggs 5K/10K
(Note: I am running the 10K event)

April 26th--St. Jude Country Music Marathon and 1/2 Marathon
(Note: I am running the half-marathon. I'm only half crazy!)

May 18th--Little River Days 5K Run

Five months of races on the calendar so far. I have added more 10K races in place of doing my long runs for the half-marathon training. And variety is the spice of life, right?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My longest journey

After a few months hiatus, I just logged back in to see that I left you hanging from my last adventure! SO sorry about that! How could I tell you all about my training, and never tell you about the race I actually did?!?! Silly here it goes.

My Women's Half Marathon took place on September 28th, in Music City U.S.A.  The day before I pulled the kids out of school at 1pm so I can drive down for the expo.  According to friends who ran the Country Music Half-Marathon, this expo was smaller. But that was fine by me.  It was still pretty big, and for a first timer, I think anything bigger might have been TOO overwhelming. I picked up a couple of Sweaty Bands (pictured here and here), and a pair of sunglasses that do not fog up. A great shopping trip, and a perfect atmosphere for getting pumped up for the big day.

I had a relaxing evening at my parent's house with the kiddos, and slept as well as I could. I was nervous about missing the alarm, not getting there on time, all sorts of things that might make one nervous before their first big race. But when the alarm went off at 0430, I was up and at the coffee maker before anyone else was that morning. My two English muffins with strawberry jam, and away Dad and I went to the starting line downtown.

When I arrived, I looked for the Fleet Feet Training group, and my friends and I gathered together for some last minute conversations and encouraging words.  We assembled at the starting line together, and after the gun went off, we ran!  Tony was our pacer and kept the interval timer, telling us when to run and when to talk, but after the first couple of miles, we all kind of fell into our own pace. Tony and Carolina sped up, and Ken and Cathy fell a little behind me.

My overall time was 2:44:08, with my mileage splits from my Nike+ listed below.

MileTimeChangeAvg Pace
24:11- 0:53 (7%)11'39"/mi
36:04+ 0:14 (-3%)11'53"/mi
48:06+ 0:09 (-2%)12'02"/mi
1:00:24+ 0:16 (-3%)12'18"/mi
1:12:36- 0:06 (0%)12'12"/mi
1:24:25- 0:23 (3%)11'49"/mi
1:37:16+ 1:02 (-9%)12'51"/mi
1:49:12- 0:55 (7%)11'56"/mi
2:01:30+ 0:22 (-4%)12'18"/mi
2:14:16+ 0:28 (-4%)12'46"/mi
2:26:55- 0:07 (0%)12'39"/mi
2:40:01+ 0:27 (-4%)13'06"/mi   

The official site also listed my time for the various distances throughout the race as follows:
  • Overall: 1645 out of 2643
  • Division: 315 out of 462
  • Gender: 1594 out of 2559
  • 5 km---36:27
  • 6.7 mi---1:23:33
  • 10 mi---2:01:42
  • Pace---12:32
  • Chip Time---02:44:08
  • Clock Time---02:46:44
Overall, I am moderately pleased with my finish. I had three goals on finishing the race:
1. Finish vertically (not crawling over the finish line)
2. Finish under 2:45
3. Finish under 2:30

I achieved two out of three goals, which was not too bad.  The first nine miles of the race were not too terribly bad, but I have to say the only thing I remember from the last 4.1 miles are burning feet. They felt like they were ON FIRE and the only thing that moderately sounded appealing was soaking them in a cooler full of ice. 

I have to admit, the next day I was not running up the stairs two at a time, but I was also not sitting on the couch moaning and groaning about aches and pains either. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I rebounded from the race.

Now....are you ready for more exciting news????