CLE Half Marathon – Done and FUN!

I had a blast doing the 2018 Cleveland Half Marathon on Sunday. Yes it was rainy. Yes it was cold. Yes I was more than a half hour slower than the half I did last fall.

But I actually had so much fun, I couldn’t stop smiling. Took pictures. Posed for pictures. Enjoyed myself fully for over 3 hours… actual time: 3:25:22.05 or a 15:41 average pace.

I would definitely do it again or recommend it to a friend.

Now 4 days later, I’ve already done several long walks and this morning an exercise class too. I feel strong. And I feel really proud of myself for doing something hard.

Awesome experience. Well organized race with many many volunteers. Because of the rain, the spectators were light, but they came out after 10 am when the sun started to peek thru. (The race started at 7 am)

https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/61629/IndividualResult/QCMz?#U27606806

My plan going forward is to continue training – both bike and running and break my PR in Akron after a summer of working out.

Advertisements

Saturday Morning Strength Training

Yesterday the sun was out and I took advantage of it by taking my dog with me on a 4.7 mile run. Last night went to a running store ladies night and had a blast. Got a new gym bag!

Rainy yucky day today! Woke up late (7am) and didn’t get to the gym until 9. Moving slow today, but I got my second day of strength training in! Wednesday I did a similar routine with the exception of bird dogs in place of the the tricep hammers. And only 20 kb swings. And no deadlifts. And not as many chest press with 20 lbs.

Definitely got stronger in just these 3 days between Wednesday and today. Will be interesting to see next Wednesday!

  • Started at the roller- rolled glutes & calves. Then walked a lap/ran one.
  • 15 leg lifts
  • 15 pounds on squat machine with a 20 pound weights on either side – 3 reps
  • Walked a lap/walked another/then ran one.
  • Chest press 20 pound weights times 15 reps, 15 lbs 15x, 10 lbs 15x.
  • 15 leg lifts
  • Swing kettle bell purple 20lb one – 25 swings
  • One arm dead lift high press, 10 times each arm
  • 25 kettle Bell swings again with 20 purple.
  • 5 dead lifts one legged each leg.
  • Walked a lap/ran one.
  • 15 leg lifts
  • Smith machine 25 pound weights on either side, 15 squats low. (Not so heavy and felt like I could have done more, but I was so sore after Wednesday I thought I better see how this goes.)
  • One lap walk.
    8 pound hand barbells in training room, triceps hammer in chair position, 15x.
  • 15 leg lifts

Done! Chatted with a friend. Whole workout took about an hour. Now I am home and ready for breakfast.

What Went Right – and Wrong – in the Akron Marathon Half

For my race, about 90% went right. And I shouldn’t say “wrong” but rather, what I want to improve for next year.

Cool weather to start, much warmer by the end.

I was dressed right:

  • White tech Adidas shirt,
  • Tightest thin Danskin bra.
  • Red bandana.
  • Baseball hat with my prescription sun glasses.
  • Thin black yoga tights with grey inset, just below the knee.
  • Cotton undies pink with pocka dots (does it matter?).
  • Pink (new) swiftwick socks
  • And relatively new, but also tried out with about 15 miles on them, Ghost Brooks 10 LE
  • with fleet feet (speedy feet?) super speed (whats the brand name!?? insoles.
  • Headband with headphones with flatspeakers.
  • NorthFace fanny pack. I know. Ugh, makes me look old fashioned. However, it contained my bee sting kit and smartphone. Gotta have it. Key and ipod and glasses case since the sun didn’t rise until after the race started and I would have forgotten those sunglasses.
  • Early morning I was tempted to bring a sweatshirt, but I would have had to throw it away.

My fuel plan was pretty good

  • quarter orange slices alternating with peanut butter every mile past 4 until mile 10.
  • And diluting gatorade/Powerade with water at ever water stop.

I ended up coming home with half an orange (cut up 2) and at least 2 servings of peanut butter. I had it if I needed it. Also ate a shot block, one bite at a time after mile 7. Came home with 3 sections.

Body Glide (ride glide) check

Full breakfast at 4:45 am check (2 fried eggs in coconut oil, spinach, toast with butter)

Hand held water bottle (new from Expo) Nathan with a pocket for some of that food/fuel. (This was a GOD send on this hot day) I had frozen water in it that stayed frozen until around mile 7.

Good thoughts: Negative splits. that was my plan/mantra throughout. And I achieved that! More about that and my pace in a separate post! (good stuff!)

My friends came to cheer me on. A tremendous boost. And a nice surprise.

Better to improve for next time:
New headband with flat speaker plan.
Better music for the last 3 miles.
Bring protein powder for when they hand me a water at the end for quicker recovery.
Oranges and peanutbutter are a weird combination, taste wise.
The cherry flavored shot block wasn’t doing it at the end, my mouth was puckery.

Second Quarter 2017 Goals

First quarter 2017 was a big success. I participated in my gym’s challenge and nailed it.  Even lost 4 pounds in the process, even though that wasn’t the point of the challenge.  It was going to the gym EVERY DAY for 66 DAYS.  I made 62 of the days.

Met lots of new people. Even joined a Facebook running group and have been running 2 times with them. Did lots of new classes. Hit my fitbit step, stair, calorie burn and active minute goals like no tomorrow!

Now for 2nd quarter 2017 goals:  Nutrition challenge!  I’m going to nail this one too. My eyes are on the 147 mark so I can be 25 on the BMI scale.  162.2 when I weighed in last Thursday on my 60th birthday.  This morning: 159.2.  Whoot! In a week.

Not an April Fools Day joke!

I was actually surprised how strong and fit I look. It is still in my head that I am heavy and out of shape.  When I look at this photo I am reminded how hard I have worked over the past 10 years to lose it and keep it off.

What did I do differently this past week? Not much, except to actually log everything I ate in MyFitnessPal.  So weird how it actually makes you lose weight when you log it.  Only thing I think I did differently so far was not eat a bunch of peanut butter with my granny smith apple at 3 pm each day.  And drank more water for sure. Crazy!!

Some of my strategy:  Each morning I follow a few key individuals who have set what I consider Big Hairy Audacious Goals (by getting and staying fit) and they help me to stay focused: David Garcia – an LA TV producer who runs up skyscrapers for fun, Sean Anderson – a radio personality in Oklahoma who focuses on taking care of himself (what a concept!), and  Lori Kimble a graphic designer in New York state turned soap business owner. All of them have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for years.  My 70 pound loss (with 50-60 pounds of it staying off since 2012) seems insignificant compared to them, but I am inspired by their strategies.

And that’s the who point of this blog is to keep my healthy diet motivation. I can’t give up, gotta keep working it.

Love listening to Sean’s podcast! It’s awesome.

I’ve been following Jason Fitzgerald’s strength running too and making a chart for staying injury free so I do my therapy moves first thing: right glute, right calf and left shoulder. Of course I work both sides, but I’m trying to not re injure myself.

My other 2nd quarter 2017 challenge: The Ultimate Fitness challenge as a partner for my running buddy. Lots to work on there. More later about this in another post.

Also. Made the commitment to run the half marathon for the Akron marathon! Whew. I’m running a 13:30 minute mile right now due to the weight I gained (5-10 pounds in the last 2 years) and want to get back down to keep my joints from hurting. And maybe I can get back to my 12:30 pace too!

Big year this 6.0!

 

 

Preparing for Sept 24

 Map my run

Whoot – I ran the farthest ever (since 1977 anyway!) when I did 6.4 miles. Okay, so a walked a bit of it to catch my breath!  The speed isn’t exactly right… I was MUCH slower.

One hour and 26 minutes later I finished. So, I think I’ll be ready for my 5.8 mile race as a team member in the Akron Marathon Relay later this month. Yes, it took me forever, but I did it! Maybe I will run the course this weekend like I did last year.

fitbit 7.01 miles screen cap

Before the run, I had only 0.41 on the mileage!

The app didn’t work for part of it (note the running thru the fields and thru houses at the 2nd mile!) But when I compared my fitbit to the mapmyrun, I determined it was 6.4 miles. I only got 5.74 credit on the MapMyRun. So far that app has messed up the last 6 runs!

Status update: Exercise, Weight, Food and Sleep

Summer is almost here and it’s time to evaluate my status.

Why is logging exercise so much easier than logging food?

Exercise
I only went spinning once (May 4) in the last 6 weeks, but lately I’ve been back in the biking groove and have logged 99 miles in the last 2 weeks:
May 31 – 23 miles
June 2 – 5 miles
June 3 – 20 miles
June 5 – 6 miles
June 6 – 24.1 miles
June 9 – 20.5 miles

I’m training right now for the MS150 mile bike ride the beginning of August, so I’m biking a lot. My plan is to just keep running a little in order to keep that part going so I’m ready for training  for the Akron Relay as soon as I’m done with the MS ride.

My running/jogging/walking  in May:

  • May 2 – 2 miles
  • May 5 – 3.5
  • May 8- 2
  • May 9 – 2
  • May 13 -2
  • May 15 -2
  • May 19 – 2
  • May 21 – 4
  • May 22 – 3
  • May 27 – 1.4
  • Total for May 23.5

The 23.5 miles is not bad, for just maintaining a few miles. Most of the miles are super slow with the dogs. At around a 14 minute pace. More of a jog than a run! For June, I am going to go for another 25 miles total. Maybe a bit more than that. And hopefully at a 13 minute pace or a bit more.  Maybe run and THEN walk the dogs. Somehow I think I can run with the dogs, but they interfer with my shoulders and my left one has been hurting lately. That’s probably why! I fell skiing in Jan 2015 and it healed after about 2 months, but the past month it’s hurt. I bet that is why!

June (so far)

  • June 7 – 2.4 miles slow but with no dogs to blame my slowness on!

I’m not focusing on running right now because I’ll hit that hard in August. But I think I should probably plan on running 3 or so miles each time so that it won’t be a big adjustment when i start running 4 miles in August and then 6 a few times in September. I just want to maintain that I can run, not build the miles or the speed right now. If I get around 30 to 35 miles running in June, I’ll be very happy.

Weight
Meanwhile I have been hovering at the 159 and 160 lbs – back and forth on the scale. Not where I want to be, but it is better than it had been. Too much of this year has been well above 160. Especially when a year and a half ago I was hovering 149 and 150… That was before I got hurt and took 2 months off from the HIIT intense boot camp type workouts I was doing 3 days a week.

June 2015 to June 2016

I downloaded a new app on my phone that is a weight averaging app. If I had to eyeball the past year, I’d say my weight was more in the 158 average… but if I look at just March thru June, it’s definitely OVER 160. It’s weird how it creeps up so easy. I did really well weighing in almost every day.

What else is weird is that two of the 3 times in 2016 I got down to 156 were both from vacations! (Jan 12-19 and March 5-12.) I find it so much easier to keep the weight off when I’m not sitting at a desk! Not so much even the activity, but when I do stand up from the desk, I find I go to the kitchen! Perfect transition into food:

Food
I have been trying to do whole30 – at least not eating anything that came out of a package for the past 2 weeks (actually 16 days, but who is counting!) Been working on this the past 2-3 weeks and when I look at the chart, I think it is actually working.

I really like this pinto bean recipe that I have with tomatoes, celery, carrots, avocados. The dressing is lemon, olive oil and cider vinegar… so it’s good. The only ww point things are pinto beans and avocados. It is good for maintaining if I don’t eat too much of it.

Lots of egg white omlets with spinach and mushrooms with a whole egg dropped into the middle of the egg whites. No bread. Granny smith apples with Almond butter. Yum. best. snack. ever. When I go out to eat: salad with chicken, ranch on the side. I have had one beer and one glass of wine in the last 3 weeks. Tried to do a taco recipe but too much sodium or something. Mexican doesn’t work for me. Chicken in the crock pot. With veggies. Awesome. Roasted veggies. Always good. Mozzarella cheese – snuck it in there, probably should have skipped it.  Tuna over chopped veggies – A winner. Tuna over quinoa – Okay.

As far as tracking food. Boo. Really bad. Like D- or F.

Why do I find it so hard to track beyond lunch? Breakfast. Easy. Lunch and snack? a struggle but I write it down. But after 3 pm you’d think I never heard of the concept of tracking. Mental block.

Water
Not very good. I’m trying to not buy the favored waters because of the whole 30 and artificial flavoring. Plus the ones I like are 75 cents each. For water! And I like to drink 2 a day. What a bad thing with the plastic recycling too. SO I have stopped buying them and stopped drinking water like I should. Tap water doesn’t do it for me. And putting fruit in the tap water in the fridge? Well the last pitcher sat there for more than a month and the fruit got really really water logged. Not the right answer for me. Maybe I’ll just buy the artificial water this week and see how things go.

Sleep
Mediocre. Go to bed early enough, but still getting up way to early. Probably on 5 good hours and 2 or 3 toss and turn hours.

Maybe I’ll try going to be a little later to see if I sleep more soundly. It’s just my very best sleep is the first 5 hours.

Goals for this month:

  • Track all 5 elements: I’m great at tracking exercise and weight.
  • Exercise: Keep up the lots of miles on biking 2 or 3 times a week. Maintain with a run once or twice a week, short and slow miles.
  • Weight – drop a few pounds (2 would be great!) Today’s weight: 160.6
  • Water – drink it! come on, that’s the easiest goal to make the one you really slipped up this past month!
  • Food -Keep going on Whole30 but TRACK the food. Not just breakfast and lunch, but water and dinner.
  • Sleep – keep working on it. Less screens. Less caffeine. More meditation. More relaxation.

 

10 Reasons Why I Exercise in the Morning

Why do I like to exercise in the morning more than night time?

This is how a typical fit bit chart of my workout days look. Busy before 8. Sitting all day and all night.

This is how a typical fit bit chart of my workout days look. Busy before 8. Sitting all day and all night.

  1. I get it done – If I get to the gym, I get my work out in. It is as simple as that!
  2. There are so many other things to do at night.
  3. I am a morning person
  4. I feel like even if I don’t accomplish one damn thing today or have lots of set backs and frustrations, at least I did a good thing by getting my workout in.
  5. I have lots of energy in the morning. Next to none at night.
  6. I sit at my chair all day. If I do 78 steps in 15 minutes, that is a lot.
  7.  Days that I don’t work out, my bar tops out around 250. Sad. I saw one day that was only 150 steps for the top bar. A true couch kinda day.
  8.  Days that I work out, my bar is set around 600. On a non-workout day, my fit bit says my most work active time is walking the laundry downstairs, folding and moving it back upstairs.
  9. Most of all I can enjoy the after buzz all morning. I guess they call it endorphin hormones floating around. Truly addicting. I just feel great like I can take on most anything. My muscles are tired but it is a strong tired, not a exhausted, don’t feel like doing anything tired.
  10.  Working on websites, marketing plans, collaborating with other people in meetings is exhausting, but in a totally different way… All brain synapses get used and it is a completely upper head-type of tired. Not legs, arms, chest, abs, glutes kinda tired.
  11. I work out with Jerry G and Jerry L. Both are incredible athletes. Both talk all thru the class. VERY motivational. Push way beyond my limits to keep the best people in the class challenged. GREAT music. Don’t seemed phased by much of anything. Both have a very early class (5:30 am or 5:45 am) so by 7 am, I’m not only done, but I’ve done some cool down laps and stretched as well.
  12. My head is filled with all kinds of stuff at night and I never get in the zone of working out. It’s not like in the morning when it’s a clean slate
  13. Dinner before is not good cause I can’t work out very well with a full stomach.  Dinner after is too much because I’m really starving and eat too much.

Guess that is 13 reasons, although many of the reasons seem the same! It feels good, I get it done and by nature I’m a morning person!

 

If you like to exercise at night, why do you like night better?