this is me now

November 12, 2008

My own dose of TBL

Filed under: about me,training,workin outtt — by heatherdc @ 12:00 am

Thanks to Target, I now own a “Power Sculpt” video featuring the trainers from “The Biggest Loser” (which I’m dubbing TBL, because it’s shorter to type). If you’ve ever watched the show, you know how scary this is.

This is me in an attempt to actually follow a more “balanced” training schedule. Not that I’m actually training for anything, right now, but ya know. In theory. On you can type in some numbers and Bam! there’s a schedule, just for you. It’s pretty sweet.

My recent attempts at doing something different for an ‘off’ day have been a little disastrous. I hate exercise bike, only because years of soccer + running have left me with knees that belong to the elderly. The last time I did the bike, for a whopping 25 minutes, I was limping when I got off. Probably not a good sign.

Then there’s the elliptical. I love these things. But there are different types. And the type they have in our gym? It makes my feet fall asleep! I don’t mean that in some analytical sense as in like “Omg its soooo boring”. No, running on a treadmill is boring. Literally, my feet fall asleep….as in, no blood flow, tingling feeling, stomping them on the ground to wake them up…..looking like a crazy. I don’t think this is normal.

Some people swim for cross-training. Um, thats not happening.

Soo…..workout video! I’m totally open to trying Pilates, but don’t belong to an actual gym-gym. Like, the kind you pay for. Therefore, I can’t attend the classes. They don’t appreciate that. Instead, I’ll spend the money once and have the ‘class’ (aka Video) whenever I want! Goood deal.

The “TBL” DVD caught my eye. Because I watch that show, and those people are crazy. I love it. It’s the “Power Sculpt” video, which implies weight lifting (there are a few more to choose from ) but um, I didn’t buy weights to use yet. I thought I’d test out the video and see which ones wouldn’t kill me or be too easy (depending on what we actually do with them). Yesterday was the trial run, and you definitely Need the weights, but it was still a workout. Jillian doesn’t mess around. Gah. Less than 24 hrs later I’m already sore. The video is set up as a 6-week program, which is awesome because it means I won’t be doing the same thing over and over and over.

It also means she’ll be kickin’ my ass in 6 different ways and I’ll be like “I gotcha, running doesn’t necessarily make you strong. Yup. I get it!”


October 9, 2008

Yet another thing I’ve learned

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,learning,training — by heatherdc @ 7:25 am

On Monday, despite knowing we’d be walking around, I wore 4 inch heels. For class Day. I’m still wondering what the heck I was thinking.

We had to stop by Target on the way home (yesss), and I um, ‘had’, to look at shoes. Somehow I escaped blisters, but my feet were dying a slow death, wondering why I was torturing them now…yet expecting them to be in perfect shape for Saturday. And I was starting to walk like a hunchback. Not. Good. Target has all these new fancy fall shoes out. Very. Good.

Luckily I’m so well-behaved. I restrained myself. Still not quite sure how that happened….

Monday night my back hurt so bad I had to lay a pillow length-wise and sleep on top of it. Something about that just isn’t right.

Luckily, I’ve rebounded. Wearing flats and comfortable shoes for the last two days. My body was tiiiired last weekend, so I’m just hangin out. Resting, and doing what you’re supposed to do in preparation for a race (a few short runs, and a few “off” days). Which I’m now positive does Not include wearing four-inch heels and pretty  much demanding blisters and pain.

I’ve been so nervous about this race. I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe its the idea of a “big” race, maybe it’s the idea of racing in a big city, maybe it’s the pressure I always put on myself to do better. The competitor in me just can’t resist. I keep thinking; this one will be so different than the last two, I want to run it and just enjoy it for the experience. But I know me. I know that if I don’t push myself, and at least try for that PR, I’ll be just a little bit disappointed.

It really is amazing how each race can be/has been (for me) So.Very.Different. Spring, Summer…now Fall. Training at school, training at home….training in some crazy neighborhood off of a huge interstate (scaryyy). My race times vary by 6 minutes (faster the second time), which is huuge. Not sure how it happened, but wow thats one way to spoil your competitive mind. I know there’s not a chance that can happen every time, but I’m itching for something even a little bit faster. Gahhhh.

I’m still working on my ‘routine’, and don’t have anything set in stone. Some things work great, and others fail badly (i.e. wearing 4 inch heels for an 8 hour day. not smart).

After this one I want a little break, and maybe I’ll use that time to figure things out.

October 5, 2008

They’ll stop the music

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,Music,running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:00 pm

Rihanna is probably upset. I am too.

Who was it that said “Silence is golden”?

That person has clearly never ran 13.1 miles without music. Or even 5, for that matter. Just sayin….

I received my Race Packet in the mail on Friday (thanks to “first class mail” and the Madre!), and found some info that would’ve been nice to have about 2 months ago. I knew there would be ~17,000 runners (whoa!!!), and can’t really prepare for that. Other than to show up knowing I’m not alone. Gotcha. I did not know about this little rule: No headphones. Of any kind. For any reason.

Which obviously means…..No iPod. My reaction……Uhh, WHAAAT?!????

In their defense, I have heard of this rule. More in the sense that races aren’t supposed to allow headphones/music devices/etc, but most of them do anyway. Up to this point, I’ve done what are considered “small” races (~1,000 runners). Now I’m in the big leagues. Baltimore: big city. Baltimore half-marathon: big race. I guess it’s the “big” ones that follow the rules. Whats that about?! Dangit.

So I maybe freaked out a little bit in my head, and thought “Wow, this won’t be very fun.” And realized that all I can really do is run without my music for this week. Because the race is on Saturday. Yup, doin’ some real preparation over here. Ehhh.

Without my music, I’m a little lost. I haven’t run without music since high school. I’ve never trained for a race without an iPod.  Today broke that streak. I did a whole 5 miles in complete silence. I felt weird even walking out the door without the arm-band on. Completely dragging my feet and not motivated.

Well…I survived. But it’s definitely a different kind of run. All I could hear was myself. My feet hitting the pavement and my breathing. And the occasional car that whipped by, with the occasional jackass that whistled ( I can’t decide if it will be better, or worse, when I’m completely surrounded by runners and their outside noise. But, I am pumped for the Live band at the starting line. Yesss, music! Please!

I want to be the girl in that really old iPod commercial (I think it was for iPods??). She was running and had somebody driving along next to her playing music really loudly out of the car. It was great. Not so much for the driver…..but um, anybody willing to run along the half-marathon course with a personal boom-box on Saturday….go ahead and let me knowww.  If nothing else, how awesome will you feel carrying a boom-box on your shoulder? Yah. Think about it.

In the meantime, I’ll be hiding my iPod and armband so as to avoid temptation. And I’ll be running in silence.

September 23, 2008

I just hope it wasn’t the butterscotch mousse

Filed under: "ehhh" days,tired,training — by heatherdc @ 10:15 pm

For “work” today, we got to join the boss and head over to a Food Show. For educational purposes of course, just to see what they’re like. And eat lots of free food.

Basically, all the big foodie companies come and set up displays full of ‘new product’ samples. You’ve got everything from meat companies to General Mills (free cereal, yesss!). Somewhere in the middle we had some fresh veggies, soup and desserts. All things delicious. Especially a tiny “shooter” of butterscotch mousse. Oh, it was sooooo good.

Seriously. If someone ever invites you to a food show, stop everything your doing and go eat. No. Questions.

Anyway. Great day at work, we got out a little early, and it was gooorgeous here today. Perfect situation for an afternoon jog.

Starting off I felt slow, figuring it was probably because I did a long one on Sunday, and was sick yesterday. But, I’m a little stubborn. Sooo, sometimes I ignore the signs and keep running. Attempting the pace I want to be at, and finishing the distance I wanted to do. Ehhhhh.

I got to 30 minutes and felt like if I ran for one more I’d probably have to sit down on the sidewalk and wait for the search party. And, being that I’ve been gone for two hours on a run before, ummm that could take a while.

For once, I did what the “smart” runner is supposed to do, and listened to my legs/stomach/nose/head. I was stuffy, a little grumpy, still full from fooood, and tired. I actually stopped, walked for a mile, and then easily finished the run at a nice slow pace. Yesss. Go me.

I just hope it had nothing to do with the butterscotch mousse. I could use some more of that. Yummm.

September 14, 2008

Gettin’ ready for numero tres

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,running,training — by heatherdc @ 10:45 pm

In less than 30 days I’ll be running my third half-marathon, in the Baltimore Running Festival. Luckily I found this one over the summer, because there’s already a wait-list. They’re capping the race at 15,000 runners. 15,000!!! Uh, what am I getting myself into???

This is the big leagues. The last two have been around 1,000 people, and I thought that was a lot. Wrong. Soooo wrong. When I registered I put in my “estimated finish time”. Which is really a guess at this point, since the first two were six minutes apart. How about an average? Yesss.

I’m not so pumped about running with 14,999 other people around me. But I am pumped because for the first time, I don’t have to travel!! It’s just a short 20 minute drive. Wonderful. Aaand, it starts at 9:45 a.m.. NOT 6 a.m. like the last one. Gah, that was rough.

Figuring out how to train for this one has definitely been the challenge. Obviously there have been some “learning” experiences while trying to figure out where I even can run around here. I’ve got an idea of which roads I’ll likely get run-over on, and which ones I’ll likely find myself doing improv kick-boxing to teach some punk kid a lesson. I’ve finally found some decent neighborhoods, and started using mapmyrun like it’s my job. Sometimes I have to write the directions on a notecard and stick that into my iPod holder. That’s been interesting… do what ya gotta do.

With 4 weeks to go I’ve definitely never been this prepared. Usually this marks my second “long” run. Instead, I’ve been doing the “long” ones since mid-August, coming off of the training from the last race. That was smart and really dumb at the same time. I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t start running again too soon (after a race). Let yourself heal! I realize that sounds like common sense, but ehhhh, sometimes us runners get carried away.

Anyway. I’m gettin’ there…..

September 9, 2008

I don’t like the seat, and now my knees hurt

Filed under: things that happen at the gym,training — by heatherdc @ 10:26 pm

There were no treadmills or ellipticals open at el gimnasio today, so I hopped on the only thing that was open. The bike.

We don’t have a good track record, me and the exercise bike. I never find comfort in the seat, and every time I get on one, I’m reminded that my knees hate me. They are completely destroyed from 10+ years of soccer, and they aren’t afraid to consistently remind me of the damage done. Sometimes after “long” runs, on the nice hard pavement, they scream at me for at least an hour. It feels like a small child ran around waving a two-sided sledge hammer and saw the eye of the Target on my knee caps. Not good.

But then they lay dormant for months, and I forget what goes on down there. Then I go and test them. I hop on a little stationary bike, even though I kind of hate them (sorry bike people! It’s great exercise, it’s just not what I’m used to….), and I start pedaling.

Since I don’t use the bike, I never know what “level” is hard/medium/easy. Other than the obvious, 1-5 probably means you’re not doing anything but sitting and pushing air….or warming up/cooling down I guess. I don’t know how high these levels go, and I don’t know the point at which I will feel like I’m pushing a ten year old in circles with my legs. Gah. So much to think about.

For this particular bike, I quickly found out that Level-15 was pushing it. That would be my “hard”, with 11 or 12 as the “medium” interval. I did this for about half an hour, with every 15-interval feeling like a mile sprint….over and over. Seriously, this bike thing is hard! To me, it feels like lifting weights consistently for 30 minutes. Or at least it did today. Hmm, not my forte.

Anyway. The parts of my legs “burning” the most were thighs (yes, expected), and shins. Weird. The knee issue kicked in around minute 5, and I just ignored it as usual. Dumb. I finally got off and could barely walk. Whatever muscle is located directly under the knee cap was certainly not appreciating the extra attention. I’ve never felt that kind of burn, not even after 13 miles. Ehhhhh.

I decided that a slooowww jog back to the apartment could either makes things a Lot worse, which I would figure out instantly, or loosen up my legs and help immensely. Very luckily for me, it helped. A loooot. Good ol’ running.

And I can assure you this–I don’t care how many runner people tell me that I need to incorporate cross training. Nope. Not happening. This chick is sticking to running, and knee-saving. MmmK, thanks.

July 17, 2008

Race time! Ups & Downs

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,Road trip!,training — by heatherdc @ 10:47 am

Tomorrow afternoon we’re headin’ to Utah! I went on one last leisure run this morning; slow pace, not too far, beeeautiful morning, and fun new songs on my playlist. Perfect.

As I was trekkin’ along, my mind was workin’ away. I was contemplating all the ups and downs of the race…

UP: Throughout the course, through the hills and up the roads, we’ll actually go down about 2,000 ft.
DOWN: The race starts at 6 a.m. That means I have to be up by about 4:30 (shuttle at 5). Ehhhh.

UP: I get four days off, Friday-Monday!! The first weekend I’ve been off since the middle of June. Gah.
DOWN: As beautiful as the state of Utah is, its also a little anti-um-special beverages. After the race we are invited to join a “Country Bear Festival”, with food and live music and probably square-dancing or something of the sort. And they’ll be selling homemade rootbeer. Hmmm. The first time I read that, I read a little too fast and got all kinds of excited. Yum! Fresh brewed beer in Utah! Uhh, no.

UP: We came up with a little remedy. Exit small-town Utah and go to the nearest city for the night. It’ll be a lovely night of dinner & drinks with the parentals. And I’m packing like three pairs of heels, because you just never know. Plus, I haven’t worn heels in like a month. My feet are crying.
DOWN: This does mean that after running 13 miles, I’ll be spending about 2 1/2 hrs in a car. Although the thought of stretching out with a pillow and blanket in the backseat sounds greeeat, I just hope my muscles don’t tighten up. That would noot be good.

UP: The race is in two days!!!!
UP: I’ll be running along a beautiful old highway, in the scenic desert, with the early morning sun shining on me. Ah, perfect.
UP: Roadtriiiip! It’s a lot of driving, but I looove roadtrips. And I haven’t traveled since May. whoa.
UP: One week from today it’s my birthday!! I know that doesn’t go with the ‘theme’ of the list, but it’s still an Up. Fun!
UP: I think I’m done with this list now.

July 10, 2008

Please don’t stop the Muuusic

Filed under: 1/2 marathon,Music,running,training,Uncategorized — by heatherdc @ 12:54 am

Rihanna knows what I’m talkin’ ’bout…

I did my last “long” run today, which is really the last real training I’ll do before the race (next weekend!). I set off for my 1 hr 30+ min of jogging business, and stopped dead in my tracks when I looked down at my iPod. It was about to go dead. Extremely low battery. Oooh no. This cannot happen.

Not only does my iPod provide my ‘jams’ to run along with, but it’s my timer. And these long runs are sort of (really) crucial to the training process. This being my last one before the race, I wanted to know that I ran the certain amount of time. Without the iPod, I have nooo idea how long I’ve been running. I don’t have a watch (weird, I know. they bug me.), and it’s not like there are huge clocks all over saying “hi heather! you’ve been running _____ this long. go you!”. That’d be pretty nice though….

Anyway. I stopped, turned right around, and charged her up. I gave it about 15 minutes, hoping that would charge it enough. I don’t really know how long it takes to charge 100%….anybody? I’ve never noticed. Hmmm. When I pulled it off it had about 80% charge. Works for me!

As I started running, I wondered how long it’d last. During the first race I did, it was fully charged and it crapped out on me with about 2 miles to go. I wasn’t expecting that, but figured it had to happen eventually. So, today I realized that without a full charge, around 1 hr 15 min or so, it’d probably do the same thing. Eh, Dangit. Didn’t think about that.

My quick fix was to just turn it off for a little while. I’d much rather have the music keep me going at the end of the run, and have the clock alive to tell me how long I’ve actually been goin’ around. So for the first few miles I ran in silence….


….Wow. Haven’t done that in a looong time. I wasn’t dying or anything, but it was just weird. So quiet. And I could hear the cars zooming past me. And I could hear myself breathing….Ehhh, I hate that.


I went on like this for about two miles. And I thought of Rihanna, and what a good point she has. Then I finally turned up those jaaaams. Ah, so much better.

All for nothing, really. At the end of the run, over an hour and a half later, there was plenty of charge left to spare. Who knew. My little iPod is quite a trooper. Still goin’ strong after three years. Yessss.

Oh, and now I totally want to go download “please don’t stop the music”. It’ll go right onto my “running” playlist.

March 23, 2008

This is Me, Running

Filed under: running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:52 pm

For the past few weeks I’ve been doing my “long runs” on campus. There’s a 5K loop around the campus that is used for a lot of different races, and I’ve used it as a basis for my routes. Last week I finally got a little bored with it, so this week I steered clear.

Between the long ones, I run in the gym on the treadmill, because it’s still cold outside. This has not been the smartest strategy. First of all, the only machine that’s not directly in front of a mirror has been broken for the last three weeks. So, I’m forced to stare at myself as I run along. I hate that. Then my eyes start to wander around and I can’t ever find the right thing to focus on. Should I pick a spot and stare at the floor? Boring. Should I try to watch the TV? Helloooo I’m gonna fall. Should I stare at my feet? Dizzyyyy. Should I watch the person behind me on the bike? Ehhh, awkward. Should I try to look outside through the reflection of the window in the mirror?!? Agh.

And let me just say, that when you are running outside for an hour, it’s refreshing. When you are running on a treadmill for five minutes, it feels like an HOUR.

I’ve decided no more treadmill. No matter what the weather this weekend, I have to run 13 miles outside, so I better just get over it now. On Friday I ran outside on my usual trail for the first time in mooonthssss, and it felt Good. I ran longer than I usually do, on a “normal” run, and I wasn’t tired at the end. Ego boost: realizing you have really increased your endurance in a short three weeks.

Today I did one last extended run before the race (on Saturday). Being bored of my campus loop, I stuck around here and just wandered around. I love not having a definite idea of what route you want to take, just giving yourself freedom to explore…..

This is what I found/learned/encountered…

…If it looks like a hill in the car, it feels like a mountain on foot.
…Slow traffic (likely due to the holiday) opens up a lot of possibilities. Like actually crossing that busy street and being able to explore the other side.
…Cops are not so appreciative of you running through the scene of the crime (car accident). Sorry Cops, but you were in the crosswalk. I’m just doing my civil duty and not jay-walking. How ’bout that.
…This little town really is not conducive to safe running. Once you get into the neighborhoods, most of them don’t have sidewalks. Plus the roads are extremely narrow. Bad combination. However…
…Behind the apartment complexes that are across/down the street, there is a HUGE park, and a “dog park”, and a lot of trails. New territory!!
…Even if I’m running, I always have the urge to go inside Target and have a little look around. That’s how much I love that place. Scary.
…Despite the weather; when you wear gloves, your hands get sweaty. When you take the gloves off (because, Ew, sweaty hands), you’re hands Freeze. It’s basic Chemistry. And I’m dumb.
…When you get sick of holding your gloves, don’t throw them in a bush and then forget to retrieve them. Even if they are $1 gloves from Target. Oops.
…There is not one single sidewalk/road/trail within a 10 mile radius of my apartment that doesn’t have a hill. Seriously.
…My pace always speeds up a little bit when each of the “Hairspray” songs on my exercise playlist starts up. I looooove them. And, quite frankly, you Can’t stop the beat.

According to advice from the lovely Miss Sass, the rest of the week will be ‘easy’ runs, loading up on carbs, getting lots of sleep, and (hoping the weather forecast of “Rain” for Saturday is Wrong!) Race Time!!

March 16, 2008

50+ year old Knees

Filed under: getting old,running,training — by heatherdc @ 11:01 pm

After 12+ years of soccer, I knew I would have bad knees. A lot of girls I played with had knee problems, braces, even surgery. I lucked out and never had any of those, but I knew that eventually it would all catch up to me. But the key word there, was eventually.

I did a “long run” today, since I only have 2 weeks left before the “short run“. My knees did not agree with this. The first long one I did was a little over 7 miles. Nothing too extreme, but ~1 hour of running on pavement was no friend to me. About 30 minutes after I finished my knees started to ache a little bit. I didn’t think too much of it.

With the second long one I couldn’t measure the distance, but I just ran until I hit 1 hr & 15 mins. This was while I was home last week, and I was able to mix in some dirt trails to ease it up a little bit. I ate a banana every day (potassium!) and never got sore, which I was pretty proud of.

The third one was today. 1.5 hours on the pavement. Half way through I could feel it comin’. I felt good, I could keep running no problem, but my knees were on a different agenda. As soon as I stopped it hit full force. My knees were angry, and determined to be heard. Apparently I have expected too much from these precious joints in my short 21 years, and they are Not happy about it. No no.

Driving back home it hurt to be sitting because I had this urge to straighten out my legs. Ehhhh.

At least I’m finding this out today, and not two weeks from now. Two pain-killers later (Motrin IB, the strong stuff), and I was fine. Lesson has been learned: my knees have reached the age of 50 twice as fast as me, and would like to be treated appropriately. But we have to compromise, I need you to run for me and then I can spoil you. Deal? Good.

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