Friday, February 26, 2010

New running schedule

Usually I try to stick to this schedule when training - TTSS (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday). With my one and only class scheduled for Tuesdays, this creates a tiny problem. To compensate I think I'll try this modified schedule - WTSM (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday). Monday's can be a tough day to run, but I get to have a rest day on Sunday, which is awesome! As much as I enjoy the benefits of running, I love sleeping more LOL! I will start tomorrow morning with an easy run with Rex (I hope). I don't know if he wants to come out to run, but I'll definitely be out.

Right now it's unseasonably cold for Georgia, so I'm still using my winter running gear. It will be excellent when the weather starts improving - my desire to be outdoors usually increases exponentially when the weather is nice. I need to start training my upper body again now that the pain in my armpit has subsided, but I have a feeling that I need to ease my way into it. The pain creeps up now and again if I've sneezed a lot but goes away quickly.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finals are finished!!

Phew! Now that the semester is done, I can start to relax a little. I start classes again on Tuesday, so there isn't really much of a break, but I'm only taking one class for sanity's sake. It's supposed to be a hard class with an awesome professor, so I'm looking forward to it. Learning is fun! And no, I'm not being sarcastic LOL!

Since my work load will be lighter, I'll be able to focus on running some more. The weather will warm up soon as well (it better!), so that will help. My biggest hurdle at this point? My eating schedule. I've gotten used to eating a really early dinner (4:30) during the week, which means running right after work is going to be hard when I'm already hungry. I gotta figure out how to deal with that problem, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boy am I out of shape!

I went for a run today, since the weather was so awesome. I think I did pretty well considering there are a few decent hills at Wills Park, and I haven't trained consistently in forever. Unfortunately I can tell by how long it took my heart rate to get back down to resting level that I'm in some sad shape. My legs are going to hurt tomorrow too. This just means I need to be more consistent, but that's going to happen very soon. I just finished one of my final exams and will turn in a project tomorrow. This leave my last final exam for Wednesday - HOORAY!!!

School starts again the following Tuesday, which isn't much of a break, but it means that the whole weekend is free. It also means that since I'm just taking one class I'll have more time for running. This is perfect since the weather is beginning to get better, and the Warrior Dash is only getting closer. Some friends that came to the park with me tried the 6 ft wall there that Alpharetta PD use for their physical agility tests. Let's just say we have a lot of work cut out for us LOL!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here's some brutal honesty

I haven't trained consistently in over 6 months. I've eaten for the most part like I was still training. Then the holidays came and left. School is stressful, screwing up my schedule and the kinds of foods I eat (lots of fast food). What does this add up to? I've gained some weight. *sigh* I'm not even as concerned about the number on the scale, although the scale at the doctor's office yesterday was a bit embarrassing (eek!). I'm more concerned about how lazy I feel. Blah. Ho-hum. Do I have to get up? I don't want to take the stairs. Can't the cats just bring me a glass of water? You know it's bad when you begin to wonder if cats will actually be useful.

This is really kind of a continuation of the last post I made about counting calories. I hate counting calories, but the article did make me think about how I'm eating lately. Probably way worse than I ought to be eating, and I am not getting any activity to counter the additional garbage being eaten on a consistent basis. I'm reducing my school-related stress for the next two months by taking only one class, not two. This ought to help get me back on a decent training schedule, especially since the weather (hopefully!!) will be warming up soon. Plus I have to be ready for the Warrior Dash!!

I told a friend today that I miss being in training mode. I miss the amazing feeling I had knowing that I could run and jump and be active. The endorphins were awesome! The effect all that training had on my body was amazing. I felt good, therefore I looked good.

The take from all this? I want to feel good again. I don't want to focus on dress size, jean size, whatever size, weight, or measurements. I just want to feel good. Here's to feeling good!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you count your calories?

I sure don't. For one, my poor little brain has too much to focus on (school, work, family consisting of Rex and 4 adorable cats). Secondly, I find that I guilt myself into making poor choices in the long run. Yeah, that snack is only 100 calories but it has more sugar than I'm supposed to have in one sitting so my sugar inevitably crashes. Then I binge at my next meal. What good did that "healthy" snack do me? Not much.

Check out this article that discusses why calorie counting, specifically at restaurants and fast food joints, doesn't do much good for those of us trying to avoid being categorized as overweight or obese.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Running Hiatus

This headache has stayed with me for nearly a week now, and I can't run until it's gone. Any rise in blood pressure causes the pain to increase dramatically to the point I feel like my head is going to explode. Exploding heads are not favorably viewed in polite society. Exploding heads in zombie movies, on the other hand, are awesome. I have a feeling this is more than my original theory of low blood sugar.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And the post-run headaches are back

For some reason I can't seem to manage my eating very well after running in the morning. I try to be good and not overeat, but I am starving and don't eat enough. This happened Saturday, but usually the headache goes away after I go to bed that night. Unfortunately this one stuck around until Tuesday. That's right. Tuesday. It turned into a full-blown migraine. Ugh! I think my shoulders were a little tight during the run too, which is common for me.

The reason I'm sharing this is because you should definitely monitor how you're feeling post-run. If you're hungry, then eat! If you feel tightness in your shoulders, try to get a massage. Both of those things would have helped tremendously. Because I haven't really trained since the Peachtree last summer, I'm realizing that I forgot some of the issues I faced then. It's moments like these that training logs really help. I need to be better about keeping one.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back to running

Since I couldn't do anything weight-related on Saturday, and that's when Rex and I usually meet up with friends to work out, I spent my time on the treadmill. I had originally planned on running outside but with hail and snow we decided it was best to stay in. Treadmills have always felt like hamster wheels to me. You keep running and go nowhere. Luckily my friends spoke to me occasionally so that helped pass some time. I ended up running for 13 minutes straight, which at a 12 minute mile pace was pretty good. I took a quick two minute break and ran another 5 minutes. All in all a quick run and an improvement from my last run, which saw me running for 10 minutes straight in the first part of the run. I made sure to stretch and was a little stiff today but overall was feeling pretty good.

Of all the different workouts I've tried I still find that running is the best one for me. It works a lot of muscles, burns a lot of calories, and I feel like I've accomplished something. It's different in my mind to say "I ran 3 miles" vs "I did 30 push ups". They both have their place, and push ups help you a lot, but running makes me feel better overall.

An update on my armpit - it's still bothering me, but it's getting better. Once the pain is gone I will do a little research to see how I can strengthen my upper back to prevent another injury like this. It's a little embarrassing to have to adjust every action so your left arm hangs there like a decoration lol.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My arm pit hurts

Okay that sounds gross. What I mean is, I somehow injured my latissimus dorsi muscle under my arm and now when I sneeze, cough, lift anything, or just generally put weight on my left arm it hurts. A lot. If you clicked on the link above, do you see how the muscle ends just below the arm pit? Yeah, that's where it hurts. How did I do this you ask? Well, after a few weeks of trying to work on some intense upper body exercises, I tried to catch an apple pie that was falling on Friday. Little did I know that the weird pull I felt under my arm at the time was the precursor to all this pain I'd start to feel. The worst part is that my nasal allergies have been kicking into high gear with all the dust inside buildings and my home, so I sneeze constantly. Which means I am in pain constantly. Ouch!

Long story short, it looks like my circuit training days are over until this heals. Like any running injury, I will employ ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen). I guess this means I'll have to focus mainly on running until this is cleared up. When I ran on Saturday I felt no pain, which is interesting. Yes, that means I haven't run since. School has a nasty habit of just getting in the way. If this doesn't get better in a few days I'll go see a doctor. Until then Rex will have to be content knowing that there's not much we can do at this point (he's been harassing me to see a doctor).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I've joined the masses...

and got a gym membership. It's a really really cheap membership ($39.90 for me and Rex each month), and we're not locked in a contract. Please learn from my experience and never, never, never sign a commitment to any kind of fitness facility. We did that several years ago and paid dearly for it because we quit going. It just wasn't doing what we had hoped (tae kwon do classes). I was excited because it was a way for me to connect with my heritage, but the classes just weren't doing it for us physically.

So this new gym is beginning to offer some classes, which is good. Rex is excited for the boot camp classes, and he will check one out tomorrow while I'm at school. They have a great selection of machines, cardio and weight, so I can get some good circuit training in. I can also start focusing on treadmill running when I can't go outside, and let's face it - it's cold right now. Georgia has been getting an ungodly amount of rain lately too which doesn't help. My favorite trails and parks are flooded almost constantly. By the time they dry out it rains again.

The gym is also 24/7, so I can go whenever I feel like it. I will probably keep sane hours, but if I feel like working out at 5 am, I can. If I feel like a midnight run, then it's available for me to do so. I'll stick to mostly cardio for now. Somehow I hurt a muscle in my armpit....but it wasn't from working out! Now whenever I sneeze or cough it tightens up like crazy and is very painful. Rex is telling me to see a doctor, but we'll see how it goes for the next few days.