I feel like an inadequate blogger. I don't know where my time has gone lately. The weeks this year just seem to fly by and there has been little time to sit and update everyone on what has been going on. Bad blogger! I'll just start with today and work backwards :)
I am in the "longer distance than I care to admit" phase of marathon training right now. For me, anything over 15 seems to take a little more focus and time commitment than I would prefer. Too bad George Jetson doesn't live in my neighborhood to help figure out how to do those 20 miles at warp speed! Actually, I do good right up to about mile 15 then start fading a bit. I do LOVE the fact that 15 miles seems like nothing. It seems so crazy considering I had a hard time building up to a 5k a little over a year ago. There must be something to this training thing!
Today involved a last minute decision about where to run. I loved Tribble Mill last week and the lack of big hills but wasn't looking forward to the mental aspect of having to go around it 7 times to get the mileage in. Stone Mountain, well, it is my favorite but with some tightness in my left calf from one of my workouts this week I wasn't sure that hills were a great idea. I have NO idea why my calf feels like I had picking up 100 pounds weights with it. Do you ever have mystery muscle soreness for reasons which you can't recall? It would be different if both hurt. Nope, just the left one. So strange...
Back to the run... Tribble Mill or Stone Mountain or some nice flat road with air-conditioning or fans overhead and some nice person set up every mile or so with dixie cups of water, it didn't matter where, I really just wanted to find the easiest place to log my miles. As I was getting in my car, I was reminded that my parking pass for Stone Mountain runs out on March 31st and that made the decision for me.
I couldn't pass up one more run before I had to ante up for the next park pass. I remember when I bought it last March, I was worried that I might be wasting my money much like someone who joins a gym and only goes once or twice. The passes or $25 or $30 and I have, in one or two previous years, purchased the parking permit and literally only driven into the park that one time I bought the permit and had the sticker on the windshield subconsciously taunt me the rest of the year for not working out. I am proud that I got my use out of it this time!
The run today was mostly uneventful. The first 15 miles were easy enough (it is all relative, I wasn't setting PRs but just cruising along trying to make it 20 miles). I think next time I might run with the water belt. Normally, I stop every 5 miles as I pass the car to drink water and grab a GU gel which works great. Today I noticed that I really start feeling more dehydrated in those last few miles. I really wished I had some water with me and by the time I got to the car, I was not feeling that great. Sort of a combination of thirst and nausea. It was kind of odd. I will say I did not hydrate all that well yesterday so I might have been less hydrated starting the run than normal and that is really the only thing I can figure into the equation. Lesson learned. Note to self, what is more uncomfortable, puking in a parking lot or wearing a water belt? Hmmmm..... :)
FIT Link! I know! I know! What is going on with FIT link? Well, much to my surprise, last week I lost 2 pounds. Six weeks into the program I have met my goal. YAY! I am always suprised when I lose because going into it, I would have said I had not lost weight. My cohorts were stepping on the scale and dropping big numbers and I just knew I was going to be the one to walk away in shame over having not lost anything. I continue to feel like I am eating so much food. It is healthy mind you, but it feels like a lot. I wanted to participate in the group to get help with nutrition and I can say that it has helped me in that aspect. I do think about meals differently now. I am MUCH more conscious of getting in the right servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc. I still work in some junk from time to time to satisfy those cravings but it is much less than I had in the past and I even catching myself turning away from the junk in favor of a healthier choice. Shocking.
Last week was a lesson on alcohol and how is slows your metabolism. Sort of a scared straight for a few people. Did you know 1 drink can slow down your metabolism by 33% for up to 24 hours. Yep, you heard me. Two drinks? 77%. You can drink ONE glass of red wine but you need to chase it with mass quantities of water to equalize everything back out. All you social drinkers be aware! You hard core drinkers, well... you have some work to do.
Other nuggets of wisdom from the class:
1. Starchy carbs really should only be eaten after a workout or in the morning.
2. Any excess food you take in gets stored as fat. You might have already known that but you mostly think in terms of excess carbs. Excess protein can be stored as fat as well. Anything over and above what your body needs becomes fat.
I ROCKED the strength test both completing the task in record time and planked it out for THREE minutes along with a fellow fitlinker on my team to earn our team an extra 25 points. Woo hoo! The challenge was 15 pushups in one minute, 40 squats in one minute and plank for two minutes. I did the 15 pushups in 21 seconds, the 40 squats in 35 seconds and held the plank for 3 minutes for some bonus points. (Did I mention the winner of this 8 week challenge gets free personal training?) Going into last week, I had a rough 2 weeks with travel but am back at home and back on track. I got to do my half-way point measurements and have lost 1% body fat and several inches here which is always good! I had a few great zone workouts this week and am ready to peel off some more inches and gain some endurance in the home stretch of the program.
In other news.... Spring has sprung and so has my desire to get back out on the tennis court! I miss it! I have decided that after the Ironman in September, I am going to focus solely on running as the race type of choice and work in more tennis. The Ironman is something I want to do just to prove to myself that I can but ultimately, I think I would be just as fulfilled running the occasional half marathon (my distance of choice) and playing tennis. Perhaps, I am just a little burnt out on the obligation of the training schedule, not sure. Either way, I am scaling back in a way to give myself some breathing room. Deep breath in, exhale out :)
I am truly looking forward the ING half marathon next weekend! It was my first experience at anything over a 10k and am looking forward to the repeat. Next weekend will be crazy as I am picking up my race packet on Friday, have 2 tennis matches on Saturday, race on Sunday, tennis on Sunday afternoon and then leave Sunday evening to pick up my Mother in Shreveport and drive her to her new home (an assisted living facility) on Monday and then drive back Tuesday. Whew!
Have a great weekend! I have tennis tomorrow afternoon and am really looking forward to getting back out there. Somewhere in between, I will be working on washing my seemingly endless piles of workout clothes! Is it just me, or does it seem like you are always washing workout clothes? one last thing, speaking of tennis... the new ratings came out last week and I got moved up a level from 3.0 to 3.5 in USTA - woo hoo!