Monday, November 30, 2009

Warrior Dash training begins!

I took Rex out Saturday for his first training session, and it was my first run in forever. What we did to ease him into it but still push him to his limits was run for 3 minutes, walk for 2; wash and repeat for 25 minutes (5 sets) with a 5 minute walking cool down. Let me say that I'm very proud of him for giving his all for this run. We ran around our neighborhood, which has some hills that make it harder for beginners. His new running shoes have been working out well too. I'm hoping to get him some more running gear to wear so he can have some variety and more comfort. Here are some things we discovered about his running and fitness levels:

- Exercise-induced asthma! His asthma appears during the run, while mine appears after the run. Either way it sucks, but at least he knows that it's common and is greatly reduced as he gets more active.

- Heartburn sucks! Some runners get heartburn while running, and Rex is no exception. He thinks he ate too much prior to the run, so next time he'll try eating less.

- Walk breaks are a life saver. It was so much easier for him to focus on 3 minute blocks rather than being intimidated by 25 minutes of running. I didn't let him keep track of the time either. I was the coach, so I kept track.

- Stretching is so important. The front of his thighs were super tight and sore the next day, but he was a trooper about it all and knows that he has to run during the week or else his weekends with me will always end in pain.

It was actually a lot of fun helping someone else run rather than focusing so much on myself. I also feel more motivated to keep up with my training so I can keep pushing him. Running at a slower pace than what I'm used to is hard, so keeping up with my training will help me keep up with his. We have so many friends joining us for this race that I want to make sure we kick some butt LOL!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving - here I come!

I love Thanksgiving. I mean really love it. The food, the friends, the family, the start of Christmas shopping. It's all fantastic. That being said I don't give one hoot about what's good for me or how many calories I eat on Thanksgiving. Why worry?? It's a day of fun and festivities! I'd like to participate in a Turkey Trot, but I didn't have time this year. Maybe next year.

Speaking of running though, Rex and I are beginning our Warrior Dash training this Saturday. I've already gotten him good running shoes and the weather is cool enough that he doesn't have to get up early to run. We're beginning with a walk/run routine and will gradually build up to running about 40 minutes straight. The Warrior Dash is at the end of May, so we have time but I'd like to see good fundamentals started now. A friend of ours has a workout program on his computer that's supposed to be awesome, so we'll get that soon and start working on it. My goal for him is the same goal for me - get fit. Since many of the obstacles in Warrior Dash coincide with police agility tests, Rex is training for something fun while taking care of his work requirements too. I'm really looking forward to having my hubby as a training buddy!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Caster Semenya keeps gold

So something decent finally came out of this controversy. Officials have decided to keep test results private citing patient doctor confidentiality and allow Semenya to keep her gold medal and her prize money. Since I spoke so much about this as it was happening, I thought you all might want to know the outcome. Case closed!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warrior Dash

Thanks to some friends, I think I've finally found the coolest race on the planet. Warrior Dash is an event that takes place all over the US and apparently England, but it's not your typical race. The one in the Southeast is 3.2 miles (barely over 5k) with a wall to climb, a hill to repel down, platforms to leap frog to on water, and more. You even leap over fire! I'm going to begin training for this soon, mainly with running. There may be obstacles, but ultimately this is still a footrace.

Don't be surprised when I post pictures of myself with a viking hat in May ;-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unexpected absence

Sorry folks! Real life got completely in the way of everything last week, causing me to drop everything (work, school, running) to deal with it. A family member passed away suddenly, and I was definitely confronted with the fact that we just don't have a lot of time on this planet. I've made a promise to myself to enjoy life day to day, take more pictures so I can have something to look back on, and take care of myself and Rex a lot better so we can enjoy each other's company until we're grumpy old farts.

So here are my words of wisdom for all of you....Find some joy in each day, even if it's something small like petting your cat or being thankful that you can still run. It makes a huge difference. :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Stress eating

Do you eat foods that are bad for you when you're really stressed? I sure have, and evidently this is a huge issue for people, especially women. USA Today ran an interesting article about this phenomenon and how it affects those who are under chronic stress. I can definitely see how chronic stress should be differentiated from random bouts of stress. Do you hate your job, have a stressful marriage, take care of a loved one with a terminal disease, or are wondering how you'll make your rent/mortgage payments each month? That's chronic stress (the kind that gives people ulcers too - ouch!). These types of situations lead women to crave fatty foods, and combined with less exercise and higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), can lead to obesity.

So what can we do to fight this natural urge? Turns out that exercising is a great way to fight depression and anxiety, all of which can happen when we're under any kind of stress. Personally, I found in the last few months that my anxiety levels have increased significantly, and all of this was while I was exercising less or not at all. I've always viewed running as meditative, since I can let all the worries go while it's just me and the road. The natural high you get from exercising really makes a difference.

So while it's hard to justify the time needed for 30 minutes of exercise, whether it's a walk or riding a bike or swimming, try to find some time anyway. It really does help improve your state of mind!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Big Pumpkin Run

This was the first race I've ever participated in twice. I feel like my racing career has begun to mature! Well, maybe mature isn't the right word LOL. I haven't really done any real running in 4 months. But considering how lax my training has been, my time wasn't too bad! I came in at 42:16, a respectable run/walk time I think. I had several friends there with me this year, which made it really enjoyable.

The weather ended up being sort of icky, but it certainly made the day more memorable. The weather forecast couldn't decide if it was supposed to rain, but I brought my hat anyway. Luckily I was correct in wearing it, because it poured! We were soaked through before the race even began, and the rain didn't let up until we were all good and done with the race. At least we didn't get hot LOL!!

The organizers made a smart decision this year. For those who fell into an elite category (those with 5k times of something like 20 minutes or faster) got to move up to the front. My only complaint about this race is the lack of etiquette from fellow participants. Lots of people walked all over the course, making it hard for runners to pass. Many who were running stopped suddenly with no regard to those behind them. Hopefully, since this was sponsored by a church, word will spread about how to make it a more enjoyable race for all. I even heard one woman complain that even though she knew she was slower, she made her way to the front of the pack and didn't care if people behind her had to go around.

Since the race was on Halloween this year, we saw some people dressed up in costumes. The organizers promised a costume contest for next year, which I think is a great idea. Once the race settled in, I ended up running close to a couple dressed as penguins. I tried to beat them, but was barely behind them. There was also a woman dressed up as BatGirl and another dressed as a bride. Of course we had a few pumpkins as well. A friend asked if anyone would be dressed up as the tortoise and the hare, which I wish had been thought up before the race. I could have been the tortoise and Red could have been the hare!

This was the race experience I was looking for. Fun, enjoyable, and lighthearted. I've had it with races that take themselves too seriously!