Blog Archives

Starting over with running

It’s hard for me to believe that there would ever come a point in time that I would not only be a runner, but be a runner so much that I actually got tired of it. Wow! It’s amazing how much your life can change when you change your priorities.

But that time has come for me again. I say again because this isn’t the first time I took a break from running. In 2009, I actually walked the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon and you know what? That’s hard too! It was an entirely different experience and I’m so glad I did it.

This time, it was more or less, I just haven’t felt like running lately. Back in June, we hit the 90 degree mark and have had too many super hot and humid days to even think about running outside (for me). The treadmill was not calling my name either. So I decided, so what? I will take a break. Do some other workouts I enjoy, no big deal.

I noticed that I didn’t really miss running. I also didn’t miss the major appetite it gave me that sometimes caused me to eat too much. I didn’t miss the achy hips or tiredness I sometimes get.  I especially did not miss getting up early on Saturday mornings for races (hehe).

In July, we closed on our new home and started going through the seemingly never-ending process of packing, painting, moving, unpacking and so on. No time for running really and it was still too hot!

I really gave myself over to walking, yoga and some weight training. I even signed up for MyFitnessPal to make sure I’m still getting essential nutrients and to support some friends. And I have been feeling great! I don’t use a scale anymore but judging by my clothes, I’m a bit lighter. My moods are better and I have more energy to do things around the house and keep up with other responsibilities without being exhausted in the process.

Now, maybe running is not entirely to blame for this. I think I just needed a rest. Needed to slow things down a bit and get some perspective.

It’s been a couple of months now, the weather is cooling off and things are getting settled in my life again. I have decided I am ready to ease back into running. But nothing too crazy. I haven’t signed up for any races and while I do have hopes of someday  running a marathon (such as my dream of doing the 2012 NYC Marathon with my good friend Mari), I’m not in a big hurry.

I actually have dreams of standing on the side lines for someone else soon! Anybody need a cheerleader? Or maybe I will volunteer to work at a race.

For now, I have decided to start from scratch, the way I originally “taught” myself how to run. With intervals!

Twice this week, and hopefully one more time before it’s over, I have “walk-jogged” 2.35 miles. I decided to start with running 1 minute for every 4 that I walk. I have really enjoyed it and it has been great to “feel out” running again. Next week, I will move up to 3 walking, 2 jogging and so on but again, I’m in no hurry to do too much. I just want to enjoy this 🙂

Getting back on the wagon

It has been a struggle for me to work out lately. I haven’t been motivated at all and I’m starting to think me and the gal who runs half marathons are two different people!

But, we all go through peaks and valleys in life, right? One thing I have going for me is that I’ve been reading this book:

The only time I seem to be able to completely focus on reading is on the bike or elliptical trainer at the gym. At home, I get distracted by so many other things that I usually end up reading the same paragraph four times before giving up.

So I’ve gotten a few sessions in the past couple of weeks. I was on the elliptical for 60 minutes on Tuesday (keep up with my weekly workouts here)! Plus, it’s a really good book so far. When I finish, it will be the first book I’ve read all the way through in a very, very long time.

Another thing that has helped me get back on the fitness wagon is my friend Farrah.

I haven’t seen her in a while because we’ve both been busy. But today we got to workout for the first time in a long time and she kicked my behind (she’s a trainer, haha)! We walked outside for 3 miles and then came back in to do weights and abs. I know I will be sore tomorrow for sure!

And yes, that is an older picture, ha ha. It’s hard to imagine wearing sweaters right now as it’s been over 100 degrees here recently! But I shall not complain, I am no fan of winter.

Anyway, if you have been struggling with exercise (or lack thereof) try enlisting a really inspiring and active friend to get you moving or start diving into a new book while you sweat it out at the gym. Whatever it takes to get you moving so you can feel good again 🙂

I feel better already! Let’s hope this continues.

I'm back…sort of

I haven’t been on here in so long that I had to go back and read the last few posts I wrote to see where I left off. It’s really only been a week but when you are used to writing about your workouts everyday, a week off can feel like an eternity.

Basically, all of last week, I did not feel like moving — at all. Not even walking.

Over the weekend I went out of town and where I was, I had to walk, but if it hadn’t been for that, I don’t know that I would have on my own. My motivation level has been in the negative.

Image Source

But, after some time off, I went back to work on Wednesday. I tried to talk myself out of it many times throughout the day, but somehow I dragged myself to the gym and did a 50-minute workout. I took it easy, doing 30 minutes on the bike (while reading a book) and then walking for 20 minutes on the treadmill. It felt really good.

So yesterday I decided to give running a try. I’m signed up for a 4 mile race this Saturday and I knew I wanted to at least re-familiarize myself with running before then. It had been so long, I wasn’t even sure I remembered how, ha ha. Talk about waiting until the last minute.

It was later in the day and way too hot to run outside, so I stuck to the treadmill. And I went slooooow (for me). Before I got started, I thought about the article that had inspired me to just slow down and enjoy running for the heck of it.

While I was on the treadmill I even repeated to myself “nice and easy, breathe, no injuries” and other phrases that kept me going and also kept me from saying to myself “you are too slow.” Because that is just ridiculous.

I ran 3 miles in 35 minutes and some change. I ended up utilizing the 4:1 ratio of running to walking and the longer I went on, I increased my running speed. At the end of it, I felt like I could keep going which to me is a good sign that taking it easy is the way to go on Saturday. 🙂

I finished up my second day at the gym with a full 15 minutes of stretching. It was very nice!

So I feel like I’m back, sort of. I’m still not 100% but at least the past two days I’ve been able to do more than just put one foot in front of the other. Progress!

“See” you all later! Hopefully not too much later…

Hip update

No, unfortunately I don’t mean cutting edge or exciting “hip” but rather my actual hip. Ha ha!

Image Source

But it’s still good news. Last week, over at my other blog, See Sarah Eat, I told you guys that I had injured my hip after deciding to take up walking again two weeks ago.

Well, I rested it over the long weekend, walking as little as possible and I also did some yoga to stretch it out. Then yesterday (Tuesday) I went for my first walk to see if I could determine what was making it sore and to prevent that from happening.

Since I did a few different things and I’m not really sure what worked the most, I’ll list them all out here:

  • I wore different shoes — I have a sneaking suspicion you aren’t supposed to walk in your running shoes!
  • I made my stride length shorter in order to avoid over-extending. This was hard and took a lot of conscious effort.
  • I made sure my foot hit the ground in a  heel-toe motion, instead of trying to walk like I run.
  • I didn’t walk as fast as I usually do.

I have nothing to report! My hip feels better and I think using the above strategies when I go walking will insure that it doesn’t happen again.

I had no idea that I had been out of the habit of walking, so much that I have had to re-learn how to walk! For fitness purposes anyway.

Is there a form of exercise you haven’t done in a while that you picked back up recently? Did you have to “re-learn” anything?

Rediscovering the beauty of walking

After I walked my most recent 5k on Saturday, I really got to thinking…when was the last time I walked?

Image Source

Like really walked? Not just to and from the car or around the grocery store? Yeah, I couldn’t remember.

Which is really sad because when I first started on my health journey more than three years ago, walking was my thing. I walked just about every day and it definitely contributed to my weight loss, better moods, and better sleeping at night.

Image Source

So, why have I abandoned it so?

I guess I get caught up in running sometimes. When you become a runner, it can be easy to see walking (for exercise) as a sub-par workout in comparison. Which is so not true and anytime we think that we should slap ourselves! 😉

Anyway, as luck would have it, I have really just felt like walking this week.

On Monday, I had my clothes packed for the gym and when the time came to go, I had this incredible urge to just put on my shoes and head outside for a walk instead, even in the 90+ degree weather and humidity.

So I DID! I sweated like crazy and drank an entire 24 ounces of water in an hour but man did it feel good. I did the same thing today.

I have decided that I need to take a break from running and enjoy some nice walks this week, especially since the weather is so hot and my running partner is out of town. And I don’t have any races planned until the end of July.

Here’s what’s been great about walking so far (the past two days):

  • Walking doesn’t require me to leave work early to go change my clothes at the gym or have to change back into them afterwards (just my shoes).
  • Walking allows me to be comfortable carrying a water bottle and not see it as a hassle.
  • I never feel out of breath.
  • I can walk in high summer temperatures/humidity and feel totally fine (running in summer heat makes me want to pass out).

That reminds me of the time I walked to Walmart in 6 inches of snow (for French bread and Nutella, ha ha), while it was still coming down. Walking is a year-round sport for sure.

I have no plans to quit running beyond this week’s hiatus but perhaps I shouldn’t neglect walking as much anymore. I didn’t realize how much I had really missed walking. But I will be back to running next week!

I can certainly love them both and do them both often, right? 🙂

Do you enjoy walking? If you are a runner, do you walk regularly too?

Waggin' Trail 5k

This past Saturday, I did another 5k! Well, not exactly. While there was a run that morning, I chose to stick with the walkers. A really cute one, in particular.

IMG00196-20100522-0945.jpg

Suzie and I participated in the Kentucky Humane Society‘s annual Waggin’ Trail 5k which raises money for the animals they care for at the facilities. It was our second year participating and last year was so much fun, we knew we had to do it again!

It’s a really neat event with lots of different boths where you can get things for your pet, including having them microchipped. One of our local radio stations was also there giving away prizes. Check out the crowd!

IMG00195-20100522-0945.jpg

They also had plenty of doggie pools sitting out because it was quite warm and sunny that morning!

IMG00200-20100522-0953.jpg

Suzie met up with her friends Bo and Bailey, who all did some sniffing while us humans waited for the walk to start.

IMG00198-20100522-0953.jpg

After waiting around in the shade for what seemed like forever, the walk finally started. Let’s go!

Dog walk

The walk/run was held at Iroquois Park here in Louisville, which is known for it’s major hills! You may have seen these a time or two if you’ve ever participated in the Papa John’s 10-miler or the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon. They are quite challenging!

We finished in about an hour (1:02:06), which was pretty good for the course, the dogs and the crowd.

IMG00203-20100522-1103.jpg

Suzie walked the whole time! I guess because she sniffed all the way from the car to the park, she got it out of the way because she didn’t stop once. But I think she wore herself out too. It usually takes her an hour to walk 2 miles and she did 3.1!

IMG00204-20100522-1133.jpg

It was an awesome day and I can’t wait to do it again next year. The Kentucky Humane Society is where we got Suzie almost 2 years ago, so it holds a special place in our hearts. She is seriously the sweetest, most loving dog and though we still don’t know how anyone could’ve ever given her up, we’re glad they did! 🙂

Just don't feel like it

So, I haven’t ran since the awesome 5k race on Saturday. In fact, I’ve hardly exercised at all, unless you count cleaning and shopping, ha ha 🙂

Image Source

I’ve been struggling with some allergies the past couple of weeks and every now and then it flares up enough to take me down. I’m not really that congested, but I’m sneezing, itchy, have major headaches and I just feel really tired all the time. So I haven’t felt like doing much.

At first I felt “guilty” for not running and I was afraid that I would gain weight but that is just ridiculous! With a capital R! Where do these negative thoughts come from? I don’t know but I kicked them to the curb. I’m not going to gain weight and my body is going to thank me for letting it rest and heal.

One week is not going to make that big of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes it’s good to take a break, especially when you have been training for a big race or when you just aren’t feeling like yourself.

I had planned to run yesterday but once the end of the day drew near, I just didn’t feel like it again. Something was telling me to just go home. So I took Suzie for an hour walk (in the humidity) which pooped both of us out but in a good way.

We went about two miles or so. It felt really good to break a sweat and get moving again. I’m hoping I will feel up to something more today but we’ll just have to wait and see.

I also think it’s time to change my workouts from after work to earlier in the day. At least that is what I think my body is trying to tell me 😉

Do you suffer from exercise guilt?

Just keep moving

The past couple of days have been sort of random as far as exercise goes.

Yesterday, I decided to soak up the warm weather and sun (since we’re expecting rain/storms today) and took several short walks adding up to 65 minutes. Then I called off a planned run last night to do some baking, frying, and wine drinking!

This morning I got up super early to hit the gym at 6:30 a.m. since I won’t have time to work out later today (another darn dental appointment).

I ran 1.77 miles on the treadmill in 20 minutes, plus a five minute warm up (total distance: 2.02 miles). After a quick shower and moving my car, I walked another mile into work, which feels so good on these warm Spring mornings 🙂

I didn’t get as much done as I would’ve liked but something is always better than nothing. I’ll get a couple more short walks in during the day too, if it’s not raining. As long as I am moving, everything is fine!

Health for the whole family

Yesterday, it was sunny and 70 degrees outside!

I had a dental appointment for a good part of the afternoon, so I did not have a chance to go for a run during the day. When I got home, I had about an hour to spare before dinner with my girlfriends.

But instead of running for me, I decided to take my dog Suzie for a nice long walk 🙂

According to our vet, Suzie weighs about 5 lbs more than she should for a dog of her stature. She also tries to eat everything she finds, which can be really frustrating. She also spends way too much time doing this:

And this…

We’ve been able to regulate her diet pretty well for the most part and have found that she really loves carrots! But since I want Suzie, who is already five years old, to be around for a long, long time to come, I really need to make her “fitness” a priority too.

Yesterday marked the third long walk she has gone on since Saturday. Her normal walks (to do her “business”) take about 15 minutes, while our long walks are for an hour. We are expecting some rain tonight, so I don’t know that we’ll get out there. But I’m hoping for at least one more long walk for Suzie this weekend.

We also joined a dog park, so soon she will get to run around and “socialize” with other dogs!

Now if only I could get my husband out of his chair…

Cardio, abs, yoga

Today, I decided to try out more of the classes at Urban Active. I’m really impressed by this gym!

Before I headed out the door, I had to document how incredibly pink I was today. I did not plan this, I swear 😉

First, I went back to my favorite Cardio Cinema (today’s selection: the new Star Trek) and walked for 20 minutes, gradually increasing the incline up to 15.0 and then back down. That got the heart rate up and broke a sweat!

Then, I headed to a short 15-minute abs class. I wasn’t too impressed…I guess I am more advanced at ab work than I thought because I barely felt a burn.

Afterwards, I attended the “Urban Yoga” class which was pretty challenging and had me sweaty and fatigued, especially in the legs. Yet I felt refreshed and free at the same time. I love yoga.

I still have a few days left on my free pass then I need to decide if I’m going to join. I really want to, I just have to take a look at our budget and see when exactly it can happen.

Do you belong to a gym? What is your favorite thing about it?