Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Enduring dissapointment

Hey, all. I'm back from a few days in NYC visiting my very good friend. We ate delicious popovers and strolled in riverside park. It was delightful.
Today, I'm planning to go running, meet another friend for coffee and have Indian carry-out for dinner (my favorite!)
Unfortunately, I got two pieces of disappointing news today. I was rejected from a program that would have allowed me study in Russia this summer for FREE. I also received a grade in a course that was by no means bad, but I would have liked to have done better.
Really, it's not that big of a deal, but I am feeling a little down about it. It can be difficult to endure the minor disappointments in life, because sometimes they seem too frequent. It helps to put everything in perspective. What with the recent Tucson shootings and the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I have to try to get over my personal let-downs and focus on those people's sufferings.
Still, I'm frustrated.
(Did you know there's no word for 'frustrated' in Russian?)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Return to Strength Training

I have the poorest upper body strength. This is a fact. I have tried (and failed) repeatedly throughout my life to build some muscle on my arms but I usually quit weight training before that happens. I spent one summer weight lifting every other freaking day without any mass gain. Instead, I wreaked havoc on my bones (and my sanity).

I recently decided to try strength training again, but in a healthy and safe way. So I called a personal trainer. I met with her yesterday. Her name is Karla and she is GREAT. She set me up with a tailored routine and told me not to rush my muscles. She said to take my time and I will slowly become stronger. She said, and I quote: "You have all the time in the world."

This is true. I shouldn't rush to go up in weight, to increase my reps, whatever. I'm going to focus on form and posture and hopefully, this time, I'll gain some muscle.

Today I ran a fast 20 minutes and then collapsed onto the couch.
Maybe  I'll get up soon.
Probably not.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Don't sweat it

I have returned from a week at Vail, Colorado. I spent a lot of time skiing and hot tubbing and not a lot of time skiing, but I'm trying to make up for that now. On the mountain, my cousins like to go, go, go. We don't take many breaks. It's cold and the skiing can be exhausting. The trip certainly whipped my calves into shape!

So about the race that was the original purpose of the blog. You know, the New Year's Resolution 5K that I was going to run after months of inactivity due to injury? Remember how I was going to start off the year 'right' by running my first 5K in, like, a year? Yeah. It didn't happen. And I'm fine with that.

Still, I'll take some time to explain why. The main reason I did not run the race is because the cheapest/ easiest flight for me to take to Vail was at 8:30 Saturday morning. I was already in Colorado by the time the race began. I was upset about missing the race but then I got over it. I realized that you don't define an entire year by one event (one race). Just like I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, I don't need to believe that beginning 2011 with a race will make me a 'runner' again for the entire year.

There will be other races. And I think it was better to kick off 2011 on vacation with family and friends. I do LOVE to ski.

But what about my training? I don't want to use that word, 'training' anymore. I'm choosing to replace it with 'activity' or 'exercise'. I don't think that a person has to be constantly working towards marathons to be healthy and fit. I can live a life of balance, of endurance, by eating right (which, in my opinion, includes nightly dessert) and by staying active. But if a week goes by and there's no time to go to the gym or even go on a walk, I'm okay with that, too. That, my friends, is balance.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two days to the race!

I ran Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today I'm taking a much-needed break. I probably won't have time to run tomorrow, and then Saturday is the race!
Monday was a 25 minute run, done at a faster pace. Tuesday was 30 minutes at a slower pace, and boy was that a great run! I felt relaxed and light the entire time and I could have kept going, but I didn't want to overdo it. I've decided that I enjoy my runs the most at a slower pace, which is completely fine with me. I can be a runner without being fast. Times aren't very important to me - finishing my races in good spirits and living an active life are!
Yesterday I ran a faster 25 minutes - it was a little painful. Oh well. I'm taking it easier today.
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I'm meeting friends for lunch and then I have to work from 5-10 PM, so I doubt if I'll have time to run. That's ok - I feel confident that I will be able to run Saturday's race. And again, I don't care about pace or time. It will probably be freezing and I will never have run the course before, so I'm not expecting to PR or anything like that.
Then (very early) Sunday morning, I'm off to Vail for a week of skiing! I cannot wait!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Wrap-up and Today's Run

I didn't run Friday or Saturday (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) but I had planned on running yesterday (Sunday). But then I was presented with a ticket to see South Pacific at the Kennedy Center with my family, so I happily chose that over going on a run. It also meant spending an extra day with my cousins - and watching Love Actually, which is one of my favorite movies.
The holidays were wonderful. On Christmas Eve, we had some cooking fiascos and didn't eat until 9, but dinner was delicious. We watched a movie, chilled in front of the fire and had brownies for dessert! The next morning we had a beautiful waffle and berry brunch after opening presents. My dad got me an under-armour top, which will be perfect for the race this Saturday. Later we drove to my Aunt and Uncle's house for Christmas dinner. It was a great weekend, and it even snowed on Christmas morning!
Today, I made myself get out of bed and go to the gym. I ran 25 minutes, walked 5 minutes and then headed home for a much-needed shower and some breakfast. I'll spend the day resting and reading - and I heard talk of going out to dinner tonight! Hopefully that happens.
The 5K is Saturday. I'll probably train tomorrow and Wednesday, and do a very short & light run on Friday. Then I'm off to Colorado for a week of skiing! I'll need a break from running by then.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Days 7,8, & 9. I've been runnin' but forgot to post.

Hey - sorry about the delay in posting. I have been running, just not posting! I took Monday off, after three days in a row of successful runs, and then ran Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was a fabulous 30 minutes on the treadmill, out of the windy and freezing weather, and I was very pleased with how I felt throughout. Yesterday (Wednesday) I cranked up the pace and went for 25 minutes. I did a interval workout (kind of) by varying the pace (kind of). Still, I felt less tired after the run than I've been feeling lately and I'm happy with my training progress so far.

Today I'll do another 25 minutes, varying pace and incline and then I'll take tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and Saturday (Christmas Day) off. I'll be back at it on Sunday. The next few days will involve family and food - hopefully some yummy baking! Now, I'm off to the mall to tackle some Christmas shopping. Tonight, (post-run) I'll be meeting a friend for dinner. Exciting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Days 5&6. Hanging in there!

Here's an overview of my workouts from yesterday and today:

Saturday: 25 min run (alternating pace and incline), 5 min walk
Sunday: 25 min run (increasing pace incrementally), 5 min walk

I'm happy with how these runs have been going and I think I'm on the fast track to getting in shape. Still, there's less than 2 weeks until my 5K. I'm getting pretty sore so tomorrow will definitely be a rest day, and I'll be back at in on Tuesday, hopefully for 30+ minutes. I really need to get some core exercises in, but I can't seem to remember. Tomorrow or tuesday, for sure!

I have been trying to increase my eating to fuel these runs, especially since I hope to begin strength training within a few weeks, and that's going to be very tough on my body. I'll try to remember to post some recipes later. Also, the Christmas baking will soon commence!