Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boring Post Alert

Well....hi there!!

It has been a whirwind kind of week(s), and realizing that it has been almost 2 weeks since I last blogged about anything has only made it seem longer. Shopping, baking, celebrating and traveling have made up the bulk of the last few weeks leaving little room for anything fitness related. Thus, I have almost nothing to report.

Things from the Past
  • Last week I managed to get some activity in almost every single day - I was quite pleased!
  • Wednesday (21st) I celebrated my 25th Birthday and it was glorious. One of my birthday "traditions" is to go for a run - sort of my present to myself - and this year instead of a run alone, J went for a long walk with me. Best birthday present ever.
  • I managed to make some smart food choices over Christmas weekend, including lots of veggies, some veggie smoothies, and no true dessert craziness. I'm pretty proud of myself
  • The day after Christmas we left for Tennessee to visit J's family. All good food decisions and exercise regimens disappeared when we crossed into Tennessee. As much as I love being with J's family (they are truly wonderful people) I'm ready to get back into my own groove and my own routine
Things for the Future
  • Tomorrow we leave to head back to Kentucky. My ToDo list is insane, and as much as I'm looking forward to getting on a schedule, that schedule is going to be brutal
  • I heard from the DerbyFest people saying "you can switch to the full marathon" (for a huge fee, obviously) "can we proceed?" and after my response, I've heard nothing. The email address she contacted me from is invalid to actually send emails to, which makes it difficult. We shall see - either way I'm still running 13.1 in April so that's great
  • Trying to nail down my training plan for the spring - I can't wait to share! I think blogging through training will be a great tool to keep me honest and push me through training
I'm still catching up on all of YOUR holiday fun, so keep the posts coming. So excited to start a new year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just a reminder

I needed these today and I thought you might too. Happy Hump day :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things and Stuff

I didn't realize that it had been 5 days since I last posted. It has been a relatively busy few days, though at this exact moment I can't recall exactly what it was busy with. Nature of the beast.

Saturday I got to go out and buy new running shoes after my prize money finally came in the mail. Louisville is blessed with a lot of awesome running stores and, in the interest of showing support, I've shopped at all of them. Lately I've been shopping at the new-to-Louisville store Blue Mile. The guys that work there were super helpful - and honest - in helping me pick out a Garmin and were really friendly. Not to mention they have an awesome rewards program that gives you store cash for spending money there. So I headed in and the first person I found was the store owner, who chatted with me about my volleyball shoes, told me a charming story about Balaga brand socks and passed me over to Wes for my gait analysis. I hadn't ever had a true gait analysis, so this was interesting. I brought in my past two shoes, showed them where I get blisters, and did the gait test. After some more treadmill running - questions from Wes - and a bit of bouncing around I decided on these babies
I'm glad I started the day out with such an awesome purchase because the rest of the day was spent shopping.....for ALL of my Christmas gifts. I don't know why I decided to do it all in one go (maybe because I have ZERO free time, see Infra) but it was enough to kind of dim my faith in the idea of "Christmas Cheer". Whatever happened to manners, being nice to people, and simple social courtesy?

If i sound like a negative nancy, it's probably because I'm kind of feeling negative. As good as my fitness was before thanksgiving, it has gotten equally as bad lately. My runs are sluggish, Grapefruit knee/ITBS is raging, zero energy, and tons of water retention and weight gain.

I'm having trouble deciphering what my body wants me to do. In the midst of all of the holiday craziness I want to spend my free time working out or running. Moreover, this whole trying-to-plan-a-wedding-right-now-so-my-family-will-shut-up-about-it thing means if I don't spend some quality time in the gym, I get super cranky and hate everybody (myself included). But then the physical signs make me feel like maybe I'm pushing it and could risk starting 2012 out injured instead of strong. I honestly have no idea which it is. Either way, it's gross and I'm not a fan.

In positive terms, my friend Emily got me to try a fruit smoothie with Spinach in it. I'm sort of hooked. In a preemptive strike against the holiday bulge, I filled my fridge with fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, milk and greek yogurt. The smoothies are, oddly enough, super tasty! They don't taste like spinach but they ARE spinach. Genius, really.
Emily says the trick is "don't look at it, just drink it" 
I contacted DerbyFest about switching over to the Marathon. Negative Nancy says, "Tough S%@!, too late."But i'm trying to remain positive and just keep doing my thing. That's all I can ask.

Odd, I feel better having at least openly discussed that I'm in a pissy mood....strange how that works! Thanks to you all who share your ups, downs, and in-betweens so openly on your own blogs. I am constantly inspired by even the most mundane parts of your lives and your fitness journeys - thank you for sharing with me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A call for advice and other things

Back at work after almost a week of laziness. After two weeks of being out of the office (finals, etc) it's weird being back, especially since things are exactly where I left them. Outside of work I'm making cookies and buying christmas presents and spending lots of time in the gym. At my desk I'm watching a tape from a sentencing hearing where a kid about a year older than me is getting sentenced to life in prison. Reality, man.
Sad reality face (and sad, bare office - yikes!)
Anyway.... I have a dilemma and I think I need your help. As I noted a couple of weeks back, I signed up for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon. I'm ECSTATIC. 2012 is going to be an awesome year for me (25, graduating law school, taking/passing the bar, getting married) and I can't think of anything better to add than the KDF Mini. Or can I......

I kinda really wanna do the full marathon instead. I ran the Flying Pig in 2009 thinking it would be the only  time I'd ever run 26.2 and I was totally ok with that. Half of the time I didn't think I would even finish the training for the Marathon, let alone the Flying Pig. And then it was over. I finished, I was thrilled, I wore my medal everywhere and went happily back to Half Marathons (3 more) and smaller races. But now I feel like marathons are like potato chips - you can't do just one.

It's a nagging feeling - like I need to do something for me to put an exclamation point on 2012. J thinks that's kind of crazy, seeing as though I will become a Juris Doctor 2 weeks after the race, and maybe he's right. But there's still this pesky feeling....I blame all of you and your awesome stories about your recent races, training, and inspiration to be better runners and people. So lets break it down:

DO IT! Run the full 26.2 because

  • It's easy to switch, won't be a hassle at all
  • If I started now I'd have 22 to weeks to train and if I started Jan. 1st I'd still have 17 weeks to train
  • Don't have to worry about being gone for a week for spring break since I have a class
  • No high expectations - I'd be happy with just finishing. No pressure
  • I really want to prove to myself I can do it again (and do it with J by my side)
  • It would be my last big race with MY last name (don't know why that seems symbolic to me)
HOLD OFF! stick to the 13.1 because
  • It's 5 days after your final exam and 2 weeks before graduation - I'll be a little busy
  • Next semester I have the externship AND coordinating a HUGE project involving 140 people and 2 weeks that will eat up tons of time
  • My grapefruit knee - will it hold up? 
  • Paralyzing fear of failure - what if I can't do it? What if I can't train that hard, or miss workouts, or just can't do it? 

On this week's belated Wednesday Wish List: I wish I could make a decision!!

What factors do you consider when signing up for a race? What things make a race a definite YES or a definite NO for you?

Happy Running!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Lowdown On My Rubdown

After a pretty restless (read: awful) night's sleep, I was really happy that today was massage day.  I arrived my recommended 15 minutes early to fill out the paperwork and hit the table. I'm still on the fence about the whole thing, but here are just a few of my initial thoughts after my first Sports Massage
  • The staff at Apex Spa Louisville are kind, knowledgeable and very professional (they also have a super awesome dog that works there too, and that was almost the highlight)
  • It wasn't awkward at all, which I was kind of worried about (being my first massage)
  • Though their sports massages normally stick to the lower body only, I asked her to also take some time on my lower back & she gave me a detailed explanation of everything she would be doing before she did it
  • One thing I noticed is that there were times that I almost couldn't feel her hands. Maybe I'm desensitized because of the foam roller, but her dainty little fingers weren't doing much for my hips and hamstrings
  • When I left, I didn't feel that much more relaxed OR sore than when I went in
  • It's really really expensive
We'll see how I feel tomorrow, but my thinking is that it's something I could maybe do as a post-race treat but not at all regularly. 

After the massage I commenced a day of baking. I spent most of the day running in and out of the kitchen making upwards of 50 Almond clouds, some sugar cookies, and the innards of a chicken pot pie J and I will be eating for dinner shortly! I also managed to get in Cardio Core and Balance while one batch was in the oven. 
As you can see, it's not what you would call 'spacious'
Since my student budget is a tight one, I like to make gift baskets with love from my kitchen for friends and family. Most of these recipes came out of holiday desperation: when I was losing my initial weight I needed cookie/candy alternatives that I could eat without losing my diet goals. Over the last three years I've accumulated some good ones! I also love that I can feel good about giving my family treats that aren't (too) bad for them, but that taste just as good as any other holiday goodie. Enter, Almond Clouds. 
I could eat this picture, they taste that good
These delicious meringue-esc. goodies are a little bit chewy, a little bit crunchy, and a lot tasty. They're SUPER easy, keep for ever, and one batch makes a gazillion (give or take a few). I can't remember if I stole these from Weight Watchers or Ina Garten, but either way, they even out pretty good on the nutritional values. Check out the recipe, here

Hope those of you in the mid-west/Ohio Valley aren't washing away - GO AWAY RAIN!

Got any good holiday recipes for me? How was your run/workout today?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crossed the finish line - of the semester!

Lazy /ˈlāzē/

Adjective: 1. Unwilling to work or use energy 2. Characterized by a lack of effort or activity

Example: After her final Jenn was so lazy she did absolutely nothing for three days

Finishing a law school semester is a lot like finishing a big race. You're elated: your endorphins are pumping, you're on cloud nine - you're smiling from ear to ear at your accomplishment. Regardless of how you finished, it's over and you've done it. The highs of finals are also followed by a short trip into the deep abyss of depression that can only follow weeks of stress, little sleep, and lots of coffee. I'm happy to say, I survived both! 

Once the exam was over,  my four day 'nothing' binge commenced. There has been lots of pizza (maybe twice now?), lots of decorating for Christmas (three trees in one week, sheesh!), shopping for Christmas, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (twice!) and just plain sitting on my butt, on my couch, watching Seinfeld DVD's. Sweet, sweet, vacation. 

Despite my supreme laziness, I've tried to keep my butt in a workout routine. Mostly because I don't want to be embarrassed in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, but also because "it's good for me" (mostly for the HBBC though). Thursday I went back to Pure Barre and it was a vastly different experience. The workout was almost the exact same, but my body was just tired enough from Tuesday's class that it was a LOT harder. I also got a ridiculous migraine about 10 minutes in that made it difficult to concentrate (and not vomit...ugh). 

I don't know if it was my soreness from this class, or that I overstretched but I seriously funked up my right hamstring during the course of all the stretching and pulsing and whatnot. Friday I could definitely tell I'd over-stretched it and the whole right leg (but mostly the hamstring). I had the time, though, and I wanted to sneak in a workout so I decided to go for a trail run. 
I started running trails during training last year as a way to be kind to my knee but keep running. I love that it forces me to be "present" in the run and really pay attention to every moment (mostly so I don't fall down). This one was especially nice because the trails are almost covered in leaves, making speed damn near impossible. My miles were pretty slow, but they were also really enjoyable and the elevation changes and unevenness of the trails really gave my legs a good workout. 
Clear patch of trail coming back
Uphill weave starting out 
I also love that the route is almost entirely off of the roads on the map
Yesterday was almost entirely devoted to Christmas shopping and spending time with J. Managed to get two miles in on the treadmill today, which I was proud of considering how my body feels like it's been put through a meat grinder. Relief is on the way though because I scheduled a sports massage for tomorrow! It will be my very first and I'm a little nervous, but I've heard it does wonders (especially for ITBS). Fingers crossed!

Do like taking "lazy time"? Have you ever had a sports massage - thoughts?

**Also - welcome to my new followers! I'm so glad you found my blog - mostly because I love reading yours. You inspire me and keep me motivated. I hope I can return the favor!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge
Total Daily Points - 2
Total Weekly Points - 2
Total Cumulative Points - 39.62