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Race Recap: The Vineyard Run @ Delaney Vineyards

Yesterday marked my 3rd 5k for 2014. Woop woop! My friend Katie had told us about The Vineyard Run at Delaney Vineyards a few months ago, before I had run any races at all, and it did sound appealing. Racing through a vineyard, and tasting wine after the event? I’m game. We registered a few weeks later and began training.

When I went to pick up our race packets, I also bought a few new running tank tops. If you know me at all, you know I don’t wear sleeveless shirts. I’ve never been comfortable exposing bear arms – even in high school when I was thin. I prefer atleast a cap sleeve…but it gets so hot in Texas, that I needed something lightweight and cool. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to avoid tan lines. While I was at Academy, I also picked up a Spi Belt. I’ve never really known what to do with my car keys, etc, when we’re running races, and figured this belt would help.

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The belt fit comfortably around my waist and was just big enough to hold my car keys, ID, and credit card. It would have fit my phone, too, but I wear that around my arm with my ear buds. I also loved that the belt did not bounce while I ran — I would definitely recommend this for outdoor runners/walkers. On longer distances, I might carry some chapstick, energy bar, etc.

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Parking was really funky at this race. The Vineyard was right off the highway but there was practically no parking there. We had to park on the other side of the highway and walk. There were buses running back and forth, but the line was really long, so we just decided to walk since it was only about a mile. We walked around and checked out the vendors (free coconut water for the win!) and did a few stretches to get ready.

Once the gun went off, it took us about 2 minutes to cross the start line. The race was chip-timed so fortunately we do have accurate timing this time! One thing we had no idea about — THE HILLS! Omg. They were the hills of death. The whole course was up and down, up and down, and we had no idea. And I’m talking STEEP hills. It was so awful. I ended up walking more than running due to some crappy shin splints and the hills…but I still made it.

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Since the race was close to our house, we invited my parents to come and cheer us on. We had no idea they would actually bring homemade signs to a 5k race! It was kind of funny, but definitely awesome. They are great cheerleaders!

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We were so happy when the race was over. It was fun, but definitely tiresome, and it was already 90 degrees by the time it was over. We did stick around for a bit of wine tasting, but my heart just wasn’t in it. While wine sounded like a great motivation, I was too tired after the race to get excited about drinking wine at 10am.

Instead, we sacked it up, ate a quick lunch, and then headed to my parents house to lay by the pool and sit in the hot tub. Our friends came with us, and it was a glorious day to sit in the pool, soak up the sun, have a few drinks and relax. We ended up coming home around 730pm, promptly took showers, and went to bed at 8:15. Not kidding. We were exhausted!

Now we have to decide what race we want to do next!

 

 

 

HIIT is Hard

HIIT training is hard…but it’s where it’s at y’all. For reals.

For some reason, this week I decided to do a few HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Don’t ask me why. I guess I’m just tired of mundane running at the same speed (aka: slow) and trying something new. Never hurts, right?!

So I did what any normal fitness guru would do and searched Pinterest for the latest and greatest HIIT workouts. The first one I stumbled upon looked good: (could not find original source, but found HERE)

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I was anxious to get to the gym to try this on a treadmill. First of all, I did the whole workout without dying. Go me! Secondly…. I’ve decided I don’t like HIIT workouts where the incline changes. This was literally too difficult for me to keep up with while actually performing the workout, especially since some of the time changes only took places after 30 seconds! It may have been easier if I had someone telling me what to do, versus reading on the iPhone screen…but I did not prefer this workout.

Yesterday, I was determined to find a HIIT workout I liked, so I decided to make up my own, and this was MUCH better. I warmed up for 5 minutes by walking at a decently brisk pace. Then, I alternated running at 7.0 speed and walking at 3.5 speed. I did this for a few times before I decided to up the speed a bit to make it more challenging. So then I did a few rounds of alternating 7.5 speed with 3.5 speed. Then I upped it even more at 8.0 speed with 3.5 speed.

Let me just tell you…8.0 speed is FAST. I think it’s around an 8 minute mile…which is super fast for me. Granted I was only running 30 seconds “fast” and then walking for a minute, I was proud of myself for making my legs work so fast! I was only planning to do HIIT for about 20 minutes, but decided to round out 3 miles – which I did in under 40 minutes…also shocking. Now that I’m EXTREMELY sore, I know this training works! HA!

Overall, I think I need to add some more HIIT into my life for training. I can see how this would be helpful to make me a faster runner, but also to help lower my resting heart rate and burn calories longer after a workout. I need to do some more research and find some good HIIT programs that don’t alternate time/speed/incline because that’s just too overwhelming right now.

Do y’all have any experience with HIIT? Recommend any good trainings?

Where I’m At

I’m sure you’re all wondering where I’ve been and why I haven’t been blog posting. Spring time is busy all around, so I’m pretty much trying to keep my head afloat (even though its already floating…thanks seasonal allergies!).

When I started this “weight loss adventure” earlier this year, I really only had 1 goal in mind – to run a half marathon. I’ve said over and over again how much I struggle when I just focus on the number on the scale. When it doesn’t budge I get angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed. 50 pounds seems like a lot to lose when you’re barely moving down the scale. BUT- when I focus on an extra-curricular activity – like running races, spin cycling, and other things that are FUN to me, I don’t care as much about the number, and I seem to be more successful.

Case in point.

Yesterday I went and got a physical at my new doctor’s office. I haven’t had a physical in YEARS, but I was really curious as to what my body looks like on the inside. Sure, I can look in the mirror and see outer appearance, but don’t have much knowledge on how things function on the inside. So, I signed up to do a full physical, including blood work. I won’t get my results back on my blood work for another few weeks, but I can already tell I’m moving in the right direction.

I wasn’t planning on posting exact numbers here because, well, its quite embarrassing…but I’ve started a blog to make progress, right? So….don’t judge me.

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So here’s the overview. I went to the doctor back in January and February for a “Special” issue I was having with my lower regions and weighed in at 217 and 216 respectively. Yesterday?  A whole 10 pounds down! While this may not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things…this puts me 10 pounds closer to a 50 lb weight loss. Not to mention, my DR appointment before the wedding, I weighed about 225- 10 pounds more than this. Also, I feel like this is the healthy way to do things. Essentially, I’ve lost a pound a week for 2 months. I’ll take it. By the summer, I anticipate being under 200 pounds….something I have not been since high school years. And that would be amazing.

I’ve got a long way to go, but progress is key. Its helpful knowing and SEEING that what I’m doing is changing my body. I’m already so anxious to get the blood test results back so I can see what things look like on the inside!

Another thing I’ve been doing….I’ve been following the Whole 30 plan for food the past few days. I really do want to try the whole plan in entireity, but need to wait until after April is over since there are so many fun things happening this month. Essentially, I have not had any dairy, legumes, sugar, or grains for the past 3 days. It has been really freaking hard. Surprisingly, I miss milk the most. As long as I’m eating enough fruits and veggies throughout the day, I don’t really miss carbs (although, I got a whiff of glazed donuts in the elevator this morning and almost died). I just REALLY miss my glass of milk with dinner. I did buy almond milk, but I can’t get used to the taste. There’s something satisfying about a big glass of milk with dinner. (Yes I think I’m 5 still). I have found some great recipes on Pinterest for Whole 30 meals, and so far they have been delicious.

Have y’all done Whole 30 before? Any advice?

 

 

Half Marathon Training Weeks 12 & 13 Complete!

So I’ve been a bit behind in posting, so I’m combining a few posts. Now that I had a new iPad, I rarely log into my PC anymore to make the weekly updates. I’ll need to figure out a new way to make that happen…

So overall, I’ve been doing good keeping up with my schedule. Here’s what it has been looking like:

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 3-4 mile run (possibly strength training if we go to the gym)
Wednesday: 1 Hour Spin Cycle Class
Thursday: 3-4 mile run
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Longer runs 6+ miles OR 1 hour Spin Class
Sunday: 2-3 mile walk

Now that it is getting closer to summer, I need to start upping my mileage and strength training to help get me ready for 10ks. The thought of running a 10k (6.2 miles) right now sounds pretty miserable. However, that is also how I felt about a 5K, and I really enjoying doing those now. Who knows, may be after I run a 10K, I’ll be hooked on them too!

In the last 2 weeks I’ve also really started noticing how much looser my clothes are fitting. I [finally] went bra shopping this past weekend and decided to have the sales associate measure me since it’s been awhile. I’ve been wearing a 40C for the last 2-3 years. Well, after I got measured today, I was a 36DDD. WHAT THE HECK!?! I was not ever wearing close to the correct size. Clearly I’ve lost some inches since my band size is smaller, but cup size? I have no idea. I always knew I had a large chest…but DDDs? Whoah. The girl at the store told me I needed to get bra-checked every 6 months to make sure I’m wearing the right size, especially since I’m losing weight. While this could potentially get expensive, I feel like when I tried on my clothes with my new bra, I felt like a completely different person. A correctly fitting bra will work miracles!

How did y’all do the past 2 weeks?! I promise I’ll do a bit better on posting!

Race Recap: The Firefly Run

Wow! Never thought I’d get to a place where I’d be doing race recaps! Well, here I am. The 2nd 5k of the year is in the books!

This past weekend I signed up for and ran The Firefly 5k in Plano, benefiting Children’s Medical Center. I’m not sure why I decided to run this particular race, but it was quite an experience. The whole point of the race is that it starts at 8:30pm when it is dark outside. In our race bags we were given 2 glowing/reflective armbands to wear + there were option to buy more glow sticks and light up gear. Shannon had gone to Party City before the race and picked up a few glow-y things. We were not the most decked out, but it was pretty fun.

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Let me just say that night races are really awkward to prepare for. I woke up at 9am on Saturday morning and ate a bowl of spaghetti. Weird, I know, but I didn’t want the food to sit in my stomach so close to the race. I tried to rest most of the day, but that was pretty hard since my mom wanted to take me shopping. I drank a green juice about 4pm, but not sure that was quite the energy I needed. By the time I left for the race at 6pm, I was already tired and ready to call it a day so I wasn’t expecting to have a good race.

When we showed up at the park, I was shocked at how many people showed up to run. Apparently the Firefly Run is a huge deal in Plano. My race number was 26,000 something. Ridiculous. There were WAY more people there than at the Trinity River Levee Run. (Click here to read about my previous race experience.)

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Not the best picture since it was starting to get dark -but they had this “rave” area set up in the front of the park. There was a DJ spinning remixes and a huge light up billboard thing with fun colors and lights. It was pretty fun just hanging out and seeing all the crazy costumes!

When the race started, Katie and I started near the back of the pack since we’re not fast runners. I thought we were still decently close to the start line, but I guess not. When I crossed the start line, the time clock read 8minutes and 30 seconds!

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Ok, ok. This picture is worse than the previous one – but it gives you a good idea of all the glow lights. The only downfall to running at night was that I couldn’t see a damn thing. I can’t tell you how many times I tripped over the stupid lane markers several times or bumped into other people that weren’t wearing glow gear. It was neat to see a bunch of kids and families running together, but as a “seasoned” runner, it was annoying to have to run around them or cut off the course to get around since they would walk/run 4-5 people abreast. Annoying.

I crossed the finish line at 51 minutes – which means I actually finished in 43 minutes (since there was an 8 minute delay in starting). I was SO shocked because the last race I completed I finished in 45:05. A 2 minute improvement does not really seem like much of an improvement, but it is for me! Although I still walked a bit in this race, my first mile split was 13 minute pace! I haven’t run that fast in a long time! I think I wore myself out though because my next splits were 14:30 and 14:45ish.

Overall, I’m satisfied with my finishing time – especially because I wasn’t expecting to PR at all considering the conditions of the race. Although, this makes me nervous because the next race I have to run even faster!

Now that I’ve completed 2 5k’s – I really need to start upping my mileage and preparing for 10ks. If I’m ever going to get to the point whereI can run a half marathon this year, I need to start adding some distance each week. Currently, I’m running an average of 2-3 miles a day (may be 4 if I feel good) – but I need to start pushing towards 4-5 miles/day and longer runs on Saturday/Sundays.

Who wants to run the next race with me?

90 Day Bikini Challenge

So 2 of my blogger peeps – Jess and Val – are hosting a spring challenge….

 

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The rules seem pretty easy:

1. Take a picture of yourself in a swimsuit

2. Work your fanny off for 90 days to look good in that swimsuit

I have decided to participate, however, I am nowhere near ready to post a picture of my swimsuit clad body on the interwebs quite yet. I have taken a few pics on my phone and will consider posting the results once the challenge is over. This is the closest you’ll get to me in a swimsuit online:

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Close enough for me!

I do plan to continue my half marathon training – with spin class twice a week for cross training. I also plan to continue eating as clean as I can make myself eat (this is the hardest part).

My SIL asked me the other day if I’ve noticed any weight coming off due to my eating clean and exercising habits. I feel like the stupidest answer I can give is “yes” and “no” at the same time. I definitely feel myself getting stronger. I can survive and really push myself through spin class now without feeling like I want to throw up or die. I can also run about a mile now without stopping (this is progress people). However when I look in the mirror I don’t necessarily see that any weight is gone. But we are all our toughest critics, yes?

2 weeks ago I went to the mall after work to shop. I really just wanted to see how new clothing fits me now since I’ve been wearing the same things for the last few months. From what I’ve gathered – tops are starting to get a bit loose on me in the chest area. Also, the top of my thighs seem to be slimmer- however, I still feel like I’m carrying a lot of weight around my middle. I know you can’t “spot-treat” weight loss, but if anyone has any ideas for losing belly fat- send it my way. I’ve been avoiding taking too many full body pictures lately because I’m afraid if I see them I won’t notice a difference so I just continue about my day. I’ve always heard that slower weight loss is better than quick since you’re really building up proper habits to maintain, however, I wish it would speed up!

Anyone want to join me on this bikini challenge?

Week 11 of Half Marathon Training Complete!

Instead of linking to every week’s results in each blog, you’ll now see a new tab at the top of my blog page for “Half Training.” To see any week’s results, you can click there to link to any of my blog posts regarding the week completion. Hopefully this will be a bit easier for all of you reading so you won’t have to scroll through weekly links.

Anyways…on to the week 11 completion:

Week 11

 

This week I seemed to hover around 2.5- 3 miles. Greta was here (stupid lady time) which pretty much knocks me off my feet each month. Do any other women out there reading this post have any suggestions to overcoming PMS during training? I know it sounds ridiculous, but I become such a baby when Greta comes and I really do feel like another person. I’m irritable, whiny, annoying, and I want to eat everything. It’s so hard.

I did try to focus more this week on eating cleaner since I knew Greta would be stupid biotch and not let me outside to run/walk. On Thursday night, I made an Almond Butter Satay (with chicken) with vegetables. Everything smelled good when we were making it, but it turned out to be a big ole fat fail. I’m sure it would have been fine to eat, but Donovan and I were paranoid the chicken wasn’t cooked so we just ended up throwing it all out and ordering a pizza. Ugh. Shoot me. I haven’t had Domino’s pizza since before the 1st of the year, so let’s just say that I learned my lesson. It WREAKED havoc on my stomach. Next time, we’ll just heat up something we already have at home. I guess this means my body is now acclimated to eating more veggies and fruits and eating clean because it did NOT like the pizza. (Although my brain loved it!)

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This weekend Dono and I have been trying to detox from the pizza and have been juicing a lot. We made a huge veggie stir fry on Friday night, and last night we made homemade pizzas where we can monitor whats in it. For the week coming up I’ve tried to plan more veggie-focused meals and come up with additional veggie sides for us. I’m also trying to stick to some of the Tone It Up rules this week:

  • Eat fruit before 3pm
  • No dairy after 3pm
  • No carbs/bread products after lunchtime
  • Eat at least 1 green veggie with every dinner

The hardest part for me is not eating carbs/bread after lunchtime. Dono and I have been trying to eat more quinoa at night in lieu of brown rice, and that seems to be working so far. The other hard part is no dairy at night. I LOVE milk, and its so hard to give up a glass of milk with dinner.

Now that it’s been a few weeks since my 1st 5K, I need to start planning for the next one. I really want to run the Color Run, but I’ve heard it gets really crazy. Anyone done the color run before? advice? Anyone want to run with me?!