Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have fun!

All winter running felt like a chore, so more often than not I decided not to do it! Over the past couple of weeks I got slapped in the face by reality, and had to accept the fact that ready or not, the June 6th half marathon is approaching whether I'm ready or not.

I took a tip from Christine's blog about other activities she does for cross training, and dusted off the jump rope. I then challenged Sleeping Giant to a jump-off (hollllaaaaa). Are you wondering who won? Come on, do you really think I would blog about this brilliant idea if it was not I that prevailed?

We then took turns running intervals on the treadmill, this was actually fun. First we walked for 5 min, then jog at 4 mph, then a run at 5 mph. During the rest period, we each did some cleaning up around the house and getting ready for the following day. There was no fighting for treadmill time or sacrificing household chores to run.

If you have a buddy use them for inspiration, push each other! Friends push each other to bring out the best in one another and want success for the other. A "Friends" use competition to foster her insecurities and hopes to win to make her feel better. So, be sure to find a FRIEND and not a "FRIEND"! I'm so lucky that Christine and sleeping Giant are friends!!!

13 Goals for 13 Miles

Hello kittens...

Hope your early Wednesday morning is going well! Mine is off to a sleepless start, so I decided to post a blog.

Leslie had a great idea about creating a list of ideas/tips to help her along with training for her next race. I decided (since I copy everything she does) that I would do the same thing. So here's my little list:

13 Goals for 13 Miles:

13. I will always remember a very important comment that my Dad made in regards to running (well, life in general). "Christine, always go the extra mile... it's never crowded and never goes unnoticed." Now I know he plagiarized that quote from somewhere, but my Dad is one of the most goal-oriented people I've ever met. What Randy wants, Randy gets. And at 62 years old, he smoked me by 10 minutes seconds in a 5k last summer. No, not a half marathon, a 5k.  The point of this little rant is that sometimes when you are absolutely mentally and physically EXHAUSTED (ie. ohhhh I don't know, the last 12 miles of the 13 that Les and I ran together...), you have to keep telling yourself, GO THE EXTRA MILE. If your goals are easy to achieve, make them harder, CHALLENGE YOURSELF! Test the limits of your strength. So, I've made a promise to myself (and Les) that I will push hard this time (because last time was such a breeze, HA!) and set a time goal and stick to it throughout the entire race.

12. No matter what, always try to be an encouragement to those around me. I received a text tonight from one of my girlfriends telling me about her running progress and that she reads the blog! I LOVE hearing this! You guys have no idea how important it is to me to always encourage other people and I get so excited when other people share stories with me. I love love love knowing that our little blog has given others inspiration and motivation. GOSH, IT MAKES ME FEEL SO SPECIAL! :)

11. Stop cheating on myself. To mirror what Les said about cheating on long runs at the end of the training... Yes Jesus, forgive my sins as well, because I lied about this to myself on a regular basis. Let's be real here, sometimes its really flippin' hard to find time to take an 8-mile run... it just is. But, if we want to do well, we must remember... "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We need to put our noses to the grindstone and get serious." (FYI, I just included two infamous quotations from my Dad and Leslie's Dad, respectively, from when we were a little nervous about exams our freshman year in college. Ahhhh, the memories. Let me just wipe the tears gushing from my eyes. Ok, it passed, I'm fine now. Dang allergies!)

10. Leslie is right, "Cookies are not breakfast." Neither are M&Ms, Tofutti Cuties, gummi bears, Oreos, etc. STOP EATING JUNK CHRISTINE! Enough said. I will consistently monitor my fruit/vegetable/whole grain/lean protein intake in the next 8 weeks and I will make sure that I'm eating things that are good for me rather than a sleeve of Oreos in one sitting. Maybe, I'll see if I can stretch it out to two sittings....

9. Pay attention to pain. I'll just admit this right now. I hate getting old. I've researched (and in many cases, purchased) tons of anti-aging, wrinkle-reversal, make-me-look-younger products because I absolutely cannot face reality. I hate admitting to myself that I am indeed getting older. Because I am such teenager-wannabe, I tend to ignore those little aches that runners sometimes have... then they turn into big aches. OOOPSIES! My goal for this race is to pay attention to the little pains and figure out what might be causing the problem, for example, "Do I need new shoes?" "Did I not stretch properly?" "Would a few Botox injections solve the problem?" ETC.



6. PINOT NOIR.  WATER! I absolutely love diet coke, red wine, coffee, hot chocolate (basically ANYTHING that is NOT water)... I've slowly been incorporating more water into my routine. Those packets that you can toss into a water bottle (I prefer Crystal Light or Special K Protein) have really been helping a lot.

5. Just be Christine. Don't aspire to be Ryan Hall, Deana Kastor or anyone who does this professionally... like, as their job. JUST. BE. YOU. Because, let's face it, YOU are awesome, and if anyone wants to get all competitive and make you feel inferior, he or she is LAME. We all have great qualities and things that are totally unique to us and we all have aspects of our lives that maybe we aren't so proud of, but at the end of the day, we're all trying our hardest, and that's what matters. I mean, hey, I might not be the fastest runner out there, but I have a pretty sweet handbag collection a really positive attitude. You are great, don't let anyone tell you different. And if they do, send them my way, maybe they just need the Speedy 25 across the eyes special a hug. ;)

4. Tell someone your goal. Today when Les and I were bbming (a daily ritual), I told her one of my goals for a race following San Diego in July. If you want to force yourself to stick to something, advertise your goals. Its a whole heck of a lot harder to quit when you've told dozens of people about your plans!

3. Treat yourself. Leslie and I have always been big fans of doing something special for ourselves when we spend time with each other (for those of you who don't know this, Leslie and I have lived hundreds and hundreds of miles apart from each other for the last six years, so our visits with each other are cherished!). Regardless of price, we always do something fun together to remember the race/trip.

2. SLEEP. I need to focus on getting 7-8 regular hours of sleep a night. Addy, go with it, girl. We can do this together. You in your bed. Me in mine. Game on!

1. OK, instead of creating one final goal, I'm about to go work on goal #2, sleeping. Night all!

xo, c

"Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost." --Roger Dawson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sitting on my ass all day

I work...a lot.  I spend most of my day sitting at my desk working hard (see blogging/FB-ing). I got to thinking of things I can do at the office to benefit my health. Now that the weather is warming up, on days when I can, I go outside for a walk.  I'm finding that it does wonders for my mental state and gets my blood pumping.

That inspired me to see what else I can do at work.  Here is my next purchase: the balance ball chair . In researching chairs similar to this, I found the Hawaii Chair, check it out on You Tube.  I think I'll pass on that, but it's amusing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Half Marathon Confessional

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it’s been about 800 years since my last confession. Ha! In training for the last half marathon, I told some white lies, TO MYSELF. I’m having flash backs off all those times as a kid I was supposed to be practicing piano or flute, but was watching TV. My parents or teachers would find out, because it was obvious from the quality of my performance.

Well the same thing happened with my running. Towards the end of the training program for the last half marathon, I would tell myself “oh that’s enough for today, I’ll make that run up later…” Well when that day finally arrived in mid January, I was so mad at myself for not being honest with my progress. While I am proud of the race Christine and I ran, I know it wasn’t the best I could do, if I had been more honest with myself I know I could have done better. So in training this time here are my 10 commandments:
1. I will not run at 0% incline if I MUST run indoors

2. No excuses for running indoors on days when weather is not an issue

3. I will not use cross training days as rest days

4. I will not consume 3,000 calories at the Olive Garden pre-race

5. I WILL NOT wear anything I have not run in prior to the race (please see Under Armor compression shorts purchased less than 24 hours before race day and the 3 inch by 3 inch area on my lower back that required a skin graft, well not really but almost)

6. I WILL warm up and stretch before the race, even if Christine makes fun of me

7. I will be responsible for charging and unplugging my own ipod pre race (if you want to hear about the day Sleep Giant almost lost his head ask Christine what happened)

8. I will eat a good breakfast before the race, not cookies

9. I will find stress free transportation to the race

10. I will clear the 4 days post race and plan on “chillaxin” as Sleeping Giant would say

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun Running Fact!

They say that less than 0.5% (less than one-half of one-percent) of Americans will ever complete a marathon. With roughly 308,000,000 people in the United States right now, only about 1.5 million of them have the physical stamina, the desire, and the motivation that marathon runners have. Hey, that's pretty elite! I'll take it! :)

Come be "elite: with us this December!

Have a great week!

xo, c

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few things I've been doing...

Hi All...

I just wanted to give you a few updates in regards to my training for the big halfer in SD. First of all, San Diego is really sunny, so I've put a lot of effort into my tan recently.... ok just kidding. I'm not really funny today. I'll stop :)
  • I have SLOWLY started to incorporate egg whites and low-fat cheese into my diet. I have no intention of ever eating as much dairy as I used to, but I do miss those foods and its hard to go completely vegan especially while eating out. I will say this, my headaches have drastically improved and I will definitely be monitoring my dairy intake to see if this was indeed the culprit for all of the headaches I used to have. PS. Meat still makes me want to vomit, so I don't think I'll be bringing that back into the old repertoire anytime soon.
  • I am on day 6 of the 30 DAY SHRED with Jillian Michaels. Oh. My. God. This chick is crazy. I'm not in a ton of pain after the workouts, per se, but I think that may be because my entire body is in shock and I don't even know what pain feels like anymore. This is a pretty tough workout but only 20 minutes long so its easy to stick with... and I start Level Two today, so wish me luck. This DVD is awesome and its only $9.00 at Target, so you might as well get it. Let me tell you this much, its kicking my biceps into high gear (a lot more pain than the Shake Weight).
  • Also, and I'm about to sound like a massive dork here, but I've been doing a lot of jump roping with weights on my ankles. "Now Christine, why would you  have ankle weights?" you ask.... Well, I'm six feet tall and when I was in highschool my dad was still really bummed that he didn't have a son and he offered to buy me any car I wanted if I got really serious about a sport (basketball, perhaps?) and learned to DUNK. Well, obviously for an uncoordinated loser like myself, this was going to take some serious working out. Well, my aunt told me that her brother-in-law could dunk(who was only 5'10" and played bball at Marquette) and I asked her what he did... she said "well I think he just jump roped with weights on his ankles..." and the rest is history. I never did learn to dunk so instead of "any car I wanted," I got a pretty sweet CAMRY. Then, after that Camry, I got another Camry and then a company car... So yeah, I'm still waiting on that Bentley. But, to make a very long and rather lame story short, this jump roping will tear up your calves and quads like nobody's business. Trust me, I know, I'm an elite athlete here.
  • I have been doing lots of outdoor power walks lately instead of runs... My knees KILL me when I run outside (that's why I'm such a slave to the treadmill) and this walking thing has actually really helped a lot... I've been trying to do one long run and several short walks a week outside and I really feel my joints getting stronger. Or maybe I'm just delirious from Jillian Michaels. Who knows. I'll keep you updated.
Well I know I mentioned before that I've been keeping a gratitude journal...

I am grateful for the SUNNY weather!

Anyone who knows me knows I hate clouds, cold, snow, rain, sleet, etc.  Basically this means I hate Wisconsin, period. But lately we've had some nice, sunny weather! Which is awesome! I love it and I hope it never leaves! Yay sun!

Alright, peace out!

xo, c

Monday, March 22, 2010

76 Days and counting until San Diego

Wow, the Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon is sneaking up on me. I'm slowly getting back into a serious training program, but struggling to push through and stay motivated. Perhaps it is because I know the impending pain about to be thrust upon my body as I train for this half, and (hurts to even think about) the pain to be had post race.

While brainstorming this weekend, I came up with a few lessons learned from the first half. So, I thought I would share my plan to make the second half marathon slightly less painful.

1. Yoga, stretch, and more yoga. Last summer I found a yogi and a class that I love, it was reasonably priced, good timing, and close to home. I attended class two days a week and felt amazing. I gaining flexibility, had fewer headaches, and just felt better overall. When I started a new job in November I couldn't make it to one of the classes I was attending regularly, then they canceled the weekend class I was attending. I attempted to do some yoga on my own, but didn't follow through. So, for the next 11 weeks, I am going to get back into the yoga habit. I know as the miles start to increase stretching and keeping those muscles relaxed is so important. I also had a back spasm during the first race and I do not want that to happen again.

2. Drop a few pounds. I'm not talking anything crazy here, but the less weight your moving over 13 miles, the easier it is going to be. With a few modifications in my diet and as the miles start increasing on a weekly basis, the weight will drop. I just need to continue to monitor this, because it is also easy to gain weight as you train due to increased hunger.

3. Making my own training program. There are many great training programs for purchase or for free on the internet. The key to any program you chose is actually committing to following it. Take a realistic look at the plan and your life and make sure they work together. I followed a plan for the first half, as the miles started to increase I did not always have time to follow the plan exactly, that got discouraging and I started to slack. Towards the end I found myself trying to play catch-up which is a bad idea and can cause injury. So this time I have incorporated some different plans to make my own, borrowing from: FIRST training ,, and of course Hal's .

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Race Updates, Speed Training, Gratitude Journal

Happy Thursday Everyone! 

First and foremost... we are less than 90 days away from the San Diego Half-Marathon. Woooo! How excited am I to spend an awesome weekend in an awesome city with the awesomest person in the world? VERY EXCITED! And let me tell you the best part... we are only doing a HALF! After much deliberation (full or half, half or full, full or half, half or full?!?!), we decided that a half marathon would be the best option for us in San Diego. Now, here's the biggest bestest news of all... WE ARE DOING A FULL MARATHON TOGETHER IN LAS VEGAS THIS DECEMBER!

There are two reasons we chose Las Vegas. Awesome hotels. Awesome shopping. Additionally, it will be our third "Rock 'n' Roll" race in the 2010 calendar year, so we'll get a killer medal. If you're privileged enough to know Les or me personally, you know that we are both extremely competitive people and any sort of "special award" or "limited edition" type of medal will have both of us jet-setting to god knows where to collect our prize. So there you have it, see ya in Vegas!

Today I read an awesome article on speed training on the Runner's World website. I'd link you to it, but I think you're smart and you can find it on your own. Actually I'm kidding, I just can't find it now and I'm being lazy. Regardless of the article, something I took away from the article is that I need to try working out on the track once in awhile and pay attention to my stride and make sure I'm making the most of these long legs.

Lastly, I'm keeping a gratitude journal starting, well, today. The first thing I'm grateful for is the weather. It has been super cloudy, but decently warm (40s-50s) in Wisconsin the last few days. This is awesome because it has allowed me to run twice outside in the last two days. YESSSSS! So that's entry #1: the weather. Check back soon to see what else I'm grateful for... :)

Have a great day!

xo, c

Monday, March 8, 2010

Look at me, I'm lazy!

Ok, maybe lazy isn't the right word, no actually it is... I AM A LAZY PIECE OF CRAP! WTF is my problem?! I don't know what it is, but since last Monday I have been ULTRA lazy. I will allow myself one excuse...I have been traveling a lot, seriously I feel like I haven't slept in my own bed in weeks. Back and forth, here and there, I need some normalcy! I'm exhausted!But its time to stop taking my victim pills and get moving!

Wish me luck as I am out to conquer six miles today. 90 days until 13.1 in San Diego, CA.

A website you need to check out:

(never home)maker is the website of the week! This is a husband and wife team that blog about everything... housing projects, awesome recipes (vegan, vegetarian, or just tasty... for example beer cheese fondue!), and their trials and tribulations as elite long distance runners.

Also, a yummy soup recipe copied directly from an email from my friend Tara:

"Take those frozen pre-cut colored peppers from Trader Joes (2 bags), an onion, a can of tomatoes, a can of diced green chillies, and cook it a while, then puree it with the immersion blender and add rotisserie chicken, vegans could add black beans and corn. Occasionally, throw a little cream in there. Pretty darn good soup."

Have a fantastic day!

xo, c

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... Do the thing you think you cannot do." -- Eleanor Roosevelt