Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spectator-ing, and Muzak

Last weekend was the first in a month that I didn't do a race.  However, I still went to watch one (I can't stay away!).  A couple of friends competed in the Muddy Buddy race on Sunday, which is a 5 mile-ish duathlon/obstacle course/good-excuse-to-get-covered-in-mud-from-head-to-toe race.  My friend actually asked me to team up with her many months ago, but I turned her down--the mud just didn't sound that appealing to me at the time, and I can't remember the last time I rode a bike.  However, watching everyone have so much fun (minus the finish-line pukers--I don't think they were enjoying the morning), I may have changed my opinion.  Perhaps I'll try it next year.

Here's the first male team:

They held hands across the finish line. Absolutely. Adorable. Especially since they were manly-looking men.

And the first female team:

 Also adorable!

There were also lots of couples, who were adorable. Adorable-ness all around! :-p I didn't get a picture of my friends (I had to leave and go to work and they started in a later wave), but they finished and sounded like they had a lot of fun, so hooray for them!

In case anyone was wondering (you know you were), here's some of my fave running tunes:
  1. On to the Next One by Jay-Z
  2. Boys Boys Boys by Lady Gaga
  3. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough by Michael Jackson
  4. Video Phone by Beyonce feat. Lady Gaga
  5. Telephone by Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
  6. 3 by Britney Spears
  7. Like a Boy by Ciara
  8. Do I Do by Stevie Wonder
  9. All I Do is Win by DJ Khaled
  10. Rockstar by Rihanna feat. Slash
  11. Drop the World by Lil Wayne feat. Eminem
  12. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (gotta love the Gaga!)
  13. Helena by My Chemical Romance
  14. Freak on a Leash by Korn
  15. Brick by Boring Brick by Paramore
  16. Bedrock by Young Money
  17. Over by Drake
  18. Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf
  19. Drop It Low by Ester Dean feat. Chris Brown
  20. Do It Again by The Fire and Reason
You can see my affinity for hip-hop and heavy bass lines.  And Lady Gaga. ;) 

What tunes keep you going, if any?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chuy's Hot-to-Trot, and On Being a Grown-Up

This past Saturday I did the Chuy's Hot-to-Trot 5K, which was a last minute decision for me. My biggest lure to sign up? The FREE $10 DICK'S SPORTING GOODS GIFT CARD. That means an addition to my Nike Tempo Shorts collection, of course. ;) The race was on the other side of town, and I had to get my packet before the race, so I made sure I left plenty early. Got there, parked (thanks to the extremely helpful volunteers directing traffic), and got my race packet with no trouble. I then made my way to the starting line via part of a running trail in the area (kinda funny, don't know why).

It was an unusually cool and breezy May morning here in Central Texas (about 65 degrees). I started in the middle of the pack in case they decided to turn off the mats a la the Bun Run last weekend. Started off at a nice pace, and gradually picked it up. The course was fairly flat (as promised), so that was nice. Started to get a little winded with about a half a mile to go, but I was okay with that since it meant that I was leaving it all out there.

Towards the end, I was kinda racing with a guy, and I could tell he was NOT okay with potentially being chicked. :-p I wasn't even planning on trying to pass him, since I was pretty pooped by then. But he kept looking over at me, and then took off. Had I not been trying to finish strong, I think I would have stopped and laughed. Anyway, I finished in 31:35, a PR for me. My slow-poke goal in the future? Break 30 minutes on a 5K! Grabbed a banana and some water, went home, had breakfast, napped, and went shopping for work clothes. Because...

I am now employed full-time.

Before, I was working two part-time jobs (I'm still keeping one of them for the extra funds) . Even though it almost added up to a full-time position, I never really felt like a "real adult." You know, one that gets up, goes to work, does stuff, has lunch, does more stuff, and comes home. This left me feeling a little aimless at times (and still in somewhat of a college/grad student mentality), but it also meant that I could run and workout pretty much whenever I wanted (weather permitting). But now, being a "real adult" and all, I'm going to have to put myself on some sort of schedule, like other real people do. I've got to decide whether I want to chiefly work out in the morning or in the evening, and stick to it. Maybe this fixed schedule will help me get out of a mini-funk I've been in with regards to exercise in the past few weeks. This week, I'll try evenings, and maybe next week I'll try some mornings. I'm not a morning person at all (I sometimes fell asleep in morning classes--in grad school), but it would be nice to have a workout done before starting the day (though it does mean starting said day at 4:40AM. Blech.).

Any thoughts on scheduling oneself?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Multitude of Race Reports

Since I've done 3 races since my last post (including one this morning), I figured I'd let you lovelies know how I did, and how I'm doing, and all that jazz.

Austin American-Statesman Capitol 10,000 (4/11/10):

(My dad made a point of asking me if the older gentleman on my right beat me. I'm sure he did.)

Good times had by all (or by me, at least). I ran this with some of my friends on a misty April morning, along with a crowd of about 30,000 people (gotta love the Austin running community!). We all signed up for the untimed, and did several segments of run/walking. Some of my favorite sights were the police academy running block and the Chinese dragon (that apparently ran the entire race together--this happens to be a big dress up/party race). We finished together in about 1 hour 35 minutes, and then went for pancakes (pancakes!!!).

Texas Round-Up 10K (4/24/10):

Maintaining my consistency in taking fairly bad race photos--and seemingly running with my eyes closed.

There was a torrential, but brief, rainstorm/cold front the night before, but it dawned to be a lovely, cool Saturday morning. I started off fairly slow (somewhat because of the large number of strollers and walking groups), and was pretty glad when the 5K course split off. This also meant that fewer people would see my panting face on the wicked hills to come, the wicked-est of these being a nearly-vertical three-block-long hill in the LAST MILE. I was really tempted to stop at the base and take a picture (alas, no camera). I'm sure it would have been amusing if someone had got a picture of my face--sheer terror, with a side of annoyance. However, I ran the whole way up, maintaining most of the rhythm that I had gotten into, and finished in 1:09:46. Slower than I hoped for, but it'll do (HILLS!!!). I even managed a negative split between the first and second half of the race. I then went shopping with a friend, which I regretted somewhat because my knees really started hurting. Alas, the pain of fashion.

Schlotzsky's Bun Run 5K (5/2/10):

 Oh look! Another bad photo! Though, admittedly, less bad than the previous one.

I headed down to Lady Bird Lake this morning for the Bun Run (which I ran last year with my dad). My absolute favorite thing about this? The free bottle of hot sauce I got at the packet pick up! I may or may not have gotten my timing bib activated--somehow, they decided that the timed runners were going to start in the front, and they may have turned off the mats (I always like to start towards the back). Normally, they just start everyone at the same time and leave the mats on. Hmmm. However, I think I made it. Update: They just posted the results, and I made it across the mat in time. Woohoo! Started out at a decent pace, didn't make any water stops, and picked it up a bit on the second half. My legs were feeling a little heavy, but that's probably because I was an uber-slacker this week. ;) Finished with a PR of 31:59. I'll take it! My spirits were dampened a little when I returned to find a Big Red exploded on my car (who does that?!?), but I got it washed, and also treated my self to a breakfast taco (or two...).

My March 5K was rescheduled to 5/16, but I don't think I'm going to do it; a couple of my friends are doing a duathlon the same morning, so I figured I go watch them. I'm thinking of doing a 5K next Saturday, but that'll probably be a last-minute decision.

Friday, April 2, 2010

You Want Cheese with that Whine?

Thanks for the support on my last post! It's been an interesting little journey, and one that I hope keeps on giving.

I keep wanting to start working on strength training more, but, to be honest, I just don't find it very interesting or engaging. I don't know why. It's not even the reason many women give of not-feeling-comfortable-lifting-weights-in-front-of-guys (in my mind, I'm not there to look cute, I'm there so I can look cute later. Hi-yo!). Maybe it's because I don't get the same rush I get from running and other cardio. The same feeling of immediate results. I keep meaning to try the Bodypump classes at my gym, which is a sort of group-lifting-in-rhythm (from what I can see through the class window). I'm not sure if I'm interested in a personal trainer, but that's probably because I'm not in a financially-advantaged position at the moment. I've got a couple of books that I could use (New Rules of Lifting for Women and Sculpting Her Body Perfect) sitting on my bookcase, gathering dust. So, at some point, I'm sure I'll just suck it up and cart myself into the weight room. Soon, because it'll be hot enough to swim in about a week or two, and I'm as vain as the next person in wanting to look decent in my swimsuit. But dontcha wanna hear me whine about it just a little bit more...?

So, yeah, my March race = FAIL. Last Saturday rolled around and I just decided that I didn't want to put up with running an impromptu 5K that I hadn't researched much and didn't know anyone who had done it and whose website I wasn't a huge fan of (and, and, and), so I did a 7-miler instead, then had a massive (well, a larger than usual) Tex-Mex breakfast at Juan in a Million (of Man vs. Food fame). As far as 7-milers go, it was pretty enjoyable. Nice spring weather, lots of people out, beautiful scenery...a great time had by all. I'm not feeling too guilty about the lack of a March race since I'm doing two 10Ks this month. The first one is next weekend and is more of a fun run for me. The second, two weeks later, will be a real deal. And I may even race the 5K that I originally signed up for, which has been allegedly rescheduled in May and will give me two races for that month. We shall see.

Any advice on getting oneself into the weight room and/or making it interesting?

Any good cheese-and-wine combos?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Before, After, and Maintenance

I've been at the same weight for about 6 months (+/- a month), so I've decided I'm at my maintenance weight. It's tricky at times, but it does seem that this is where my body wants to be--between 125 and 130. Now, 125 puts me at a 98 lb overall weight loss, but I'm not sure I really feel the need to push for those last 2 lbs. right now to make it an even 100 lb. I've been working pretty hard for the past year and a half (almost 2 years, I suppose), so that I think it's time that it's time for me to just step back and reassess my fitness/nutrition goals.

In the spirit of this new phase, here's a little photo progression of my weight loss since June 2008 (apparently I really like to put my hands on my hips):

This was in June 2008, when I was about 223 lbs. I had just started working out at this point, and had probably started looking at making good food decisions (May I also mention that my hair needed a trimming).

This is from December 2008 (down 40 lbs.), when I was on my way to a friend's wedding. It was the first time in many years that I was able to buy a dress from the misses' section, so I was pretty excited.

This is just before my grad school graduation in May 2009 (approx. 65lbs. down). I'm thinking of getting this dress taken in to wear on Easter in a few weeks. Again, my hair is doing something funky.

August 2009, here in Central Texas in the beautiful hills (80 lbs. down). The first summer in about 5-6 years that I've felt comfortable wearing shorts (or that I've actually worn shorts). WIN.

11/15/09--Rock n' Roll San Antonio! About 90 lbs. down. I think I lost 3-4 lbs. in this race. Epic sweatfest.

A few weeks ago. At maintenance weight (about 127 that day, perhaps?). At my cousin's jazz/blues concert. Too bad I didn't get a picture of the boots I was wearing. :-p

So here I am. Maintaining at the moment. I'm running 4-5 times a week, (trying to) lifting weights 1-2 times a week, and cross training about twice a week. So, activity of some sort 5-6 times a week. My nutrition's been fairly constant for the past 5-6 months: I rarely eat meat, eat lots of fruits and veggies, and mainly drink water (expect when I have coffee or tea 4-5 times a week. And the occasional social alcoholic beverage). I let myself have a sweet once a day so I don't crave them (right now, Milk Maids!). So for the time being, I'll keep on truckin'.

I finally decided on a March race--the Austin Runner's Club Daisy 5K scheduled for next Sunday. HOWEVER, it has been postponed indefinitely (something about not being able to secure the course...?), so now I'm scrambling to find another March race. Hopefully I'll find something for the last weekend in March. It may require driving to another town.

Maybe in the future I'll do a post of bad race photos. 'Cause I've got plenty of those... :-p

Thursday, March 4, 2010

La Twinge

A few weeks ago, I noticed a twinge in my left knee. It wasn't bad, just a slight, sharp pain on the very outside of my kneecap. Since I considered my right knee as my bad knee and my left as my good one, I didn't really think anything about it. However, over the next few weeks as I ramped up my mileage, I began to notice the pain more and more, especially towards the end of my runs. Finally, last week I just decided to take a few days off in order to give myself a rest.

I only ran about 4 miles last week, and spent quite a bit of time on the elliptical. On Tuesday I did 2 miles on the treadmill with no pain. Today I did 4 miles outside (67 degrees--sorry Northerners and East Coasters!) and felt a little soreness towards the very end, but that was it. So...I guess I'll just keep an eye on it, and ice it and take ibuprofen as needed. I've also curbed my mileage ramp-up just a bit, or I'll at least try to ramp it up more gradually. After last year's knee problem, I suppose I've learned my lesson. The story of my twinge.

In other news, I've stopped eating--well, eating so much, or eating when I'm not hungry. I'm still not sure what spurred my mini-binge, but I'm 75% sure it was TOM-related. And now I'm feeling quite bloated, thank you. As if you really wanted (or needed) to know about all of my bodily functions. :)

Most of the time, I love being a woman, but sometimes...I wouldn't mind not gaining and losing the same 3 lbs. every month. However, I think the joys of shoe shopping and Sephora more than make up for it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hide the Food!

So...I've been eating a lot this week. Well, a lot for me. There's been a lot of snacking going on. Not entirely sure why, but I've got a few theories:
  1. Pre-time-of-the-month
  2. Less running/working out because of a twinge (which I'll discuss more another time)
  3. Because I KEEP BUYING SNACK FOOD (namely, banana chips. Oh, how I love banana chips...)
Since I began making better food choices and, consequently, losing weight, I've developed a relatively strong willpower when it comes to not giving in to temptation. I've probably offended my coworkers more than once by refusing cookies and such (why do people always feel the need to make you eat when they see that you're losing weight?!? Anyone else have this problem?). But for the past few weeks I've just been, well, hungry. Hungrier than usual. To hold myself accountable, here's what I've eaten today:
  • Bowl of Special K w/skim milk
  • Coffee
  • 6-8 malted milk balls (an anomoly in my pantry--a moment of weakness in the bulk food section)
  • Handful of carrots w/hummus
  • Bagel Thin w/peanut butter and blueberry preserves
  • Small salad
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Fiber One granola bar
To my reconfigured way of looking at food, this just seems a little extravagant, mostly because of the malted milk balls. And I've felt kinda guilty all day, especially since I haven't worked out (yet). And especially since I haven't really been hungry all day, just kinda munching. Who knows, maybe I'm just nuts and have a skewed vision of food. But I do know that, at my current size, I really only need about 1800 calories/day to maintain my weight (if I don't exercise). I do find that when I'm consistently running/working out, I'm less prone to be hungry; thus, less munching. So, yeah. I guess I just wanted to get that off my chest. Blarg.

Anyone else have similar issues/theories? Anyone else tried Thomas' Bagel Thins (I'm partial to the whole wheat variety)?

Anyone else love BANANA CHIPS???