Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eugene Marathon Weekend: Race Day!

Marathon? Check! 

I had James set the hotel alarm clock for 5 am, and I also called the front desk to get a wakeup call. I always have to set multiple alarms because I'm afraid I'm going to over-sleep. I had a small panic attack at about 4:30 am thinking I had missed the race and I sprung out of bed. Once I realized the time I crawled back in to enjoy my last moments of rest. First off, those hotel beds were so damn comfortable so it was hard to get back out when the time came, but James also had the air conditioner on all night so the room was FREEZING! But when the alarm did go off I rolled out and quickly jumped in the shower. I have to go into races fresh, and lets face it my hair doesn't like to cooperate and I don't want to immortalized in race photos with total bedhead. So I showered, dried my hair, straightened it and put it up into a high pony then slipped into my race gear and ate my Picky Bar.

We left the hotel with about 35 minutes to get to the start line only a few miles away. My mom and sister arrived before us and directed us to an open parking lot a few blocks away. We parked and walked across the beautiful U of O campus. I had to go to the bathroom so bad and looked down at my watch, we had less than 10 minutes until start and I still had to find the port-a-potties. I was massively stressing because Mandie was with me but James and my mom had separated due to the little ones all walking at their own pace, I was freaking out worried that the race would start and I wouldn't have them next to me sending me into uncharted territory. I finally found some port-a-potties near the back of the corrals and bag check, upon walking closer I noticed there were only 2 and a
line at least 30 people long- forget that! I couldn't believe that there weren't more bathrooms. (Came to find out later there was whole port-a-potty village but it was closer to the start). I turned back around and headed to my corral. There were only corrals A-E, I was in D, second to last. My family lined up along the side to cheer me on and after just a few minutes the starting gun went off. Since I was so far back I didn't end up crossing the start line until 12 minutes after the first runners. Final waves, thumbs up and then I was off. Tears were completely blurring my vision and I was an emotional wreck wanting to cry "I'm doing this. I am running a marathon" was streaming over and over again in my head. I knew people were probably looking at me wondering if I was alright, I was sucking wind and we had barely even started.

The game plan orginially was to run the first mile to get out of the congestion of runners, then start taking my 3/1 intervals. I didn't watch my garmin continuoulsy or anything but everytime I did look down I was running in the mid 9's and it felt comfortable but I reminded myself to slow down at the start and I would allow my pace back into the low 10's. By the 5K mark I was at a 9:51 average (30:31) though, and hadn't taken any walk breaks. First walk break came at mile 4 shortly after I saw a mannequin on the sidelines dressed as a little boy- the boy who got killed in the Boston Marathon bombings to be exact. A picture of his face was glued on and he was wearing a baseball hat as pictured in the news. Lots of runners were dashing over to give the mannequin a kiss or touch it's shoulders, I passed by choking down sobs then slowed into a walk break to gather myself. The next few miles flew by, at the 10K mark I was at 9:54 avg pace (1:01:29), SWEET, all was going well and I felt strong. I needed to stay around an 11 minute mile, for easy math sake, to meet my goal of a sub-5 hour marathon so I was putting time in the bank. Around the 9 mile marker we came back towards the stadium and actually ran down the same street we started on. It was a little crazy we could see the super fast half marathoners finishing and heading into the stadium. In the past it would have been a little disheartening to run so close to the finish line and have so long left to run but I was so energized that I didn't mind it at all. I was actually excited to reach the point where the 2,000 of us marathoners split off from the 6,000 half marathoners because if you recall I started out this race having to use the bathroom and it was legit, not a nervous feeling, I really had to go and my bladder felt so heavy! Mile 10ish we split off, yay, and the next porta-potty stop had lots of vacancy signs, thank the lord! I dashed in, did my thing, dashed out and probably lost a minute, but felt so much better :)

It was strange to run along the bike paths next to the Willamette
because I covered a lot of the same ground, in the opposite direction though, when I ran the Eugene Womens Half with my sister in Sept 2011. It was less than 7 months after having Bailey (via C-section) and I remember hitting that same part of the trail at mile 10 and watching the 2:20 pacer pass me by. I felt miserable that race and Mandie had to pull me along (I finished in 2:25- my slowest half ever). Now I was in the middle of my marathon hitting the half way mark at 2:13:00 (10:10 avg) and feeling pretty good with some energy in reserve to "power" me through the remaining 13.1. At this point I looked at my pace band and noticed I was 22 minutes ahead of the 5 hour pacer.

Around mile 15 was when I first started to feel little twinges in my calves. I know it was lactic acid building up from my training run experiences. The only was I can describe it is a bubbly "pop rocks" type feeling in the calves. It wasn't terrible, I wouldn't even describe it as pain but I could feel it. I had decided to walk through the aid stations to still get my regular walk breaks without watching my watch. I was thrilled to look up and see one around the 16 mile mark. Volunteers were dressed as gorillas handing out bananas- loved it. I downed some gatorade AND water, ate some of my Larabar and continue on excited knowing that family would be somewhere between miles 16 and 17 waiting to cheer me on. I kept running, and running, and running and I didn't see my family. What the heck?!! I was starting to get irritated because I needed that does of adrenaline, I could feel myself starting to slow a little. I came up over a small hill at 18.6 miles and there they were. The first thing I saw were three beautiful little girls holding up bright pink signs. I stopped for a minute to say hi....tell my family my abs were KILLING me. I was really shocked
Not flattering by my abs hurt!

how bad they started hurting around mile 18. Running a marathon has to be the greatest ab workout ever. We took a quick picture and I was back on the run.

I found mile 20 at 3:31:47 (10:36 avg). I was slowly losing speed but still ECSTATIC to have run 20 miles at a 10:36 avg. I was feeling great cardio wise, my body was getting a little tired but not giving up on me yet. My very first half I stumbled light-headed across the finish line with a 10:46 avg pace- just goes to show how persistance pays off. It's taken me years but I AM improving!  The next 5 miles continued along the Willamette bike trails, a majority of it was shaded which was wonderful because the day was starting to warm up to the upper 60's, race start was 51 degrees, and the rise in temps was taking its affect on my pace as well. Most the people around me were now doing running/walking intervals...more walking than running. I would run in little chunks, still at a 10:10 avg pace but then I would walk a few minutes. My lead on the pacer was starting to dwindle, 12 minutes ahead with a few miles to go. My family was at mile 22 again, then the last 4 miles I was on my own. Miles 22-24 were probably the hardest for me. The end was both close and far all the same time. When I finally realized I was only about 1.5 miles away I started picking my pace back up and noticed those around me were
doing the same. I passed quite a few people that last 1.5 miles. A lot of people were limping or had really odd looking strides. I was reminding myself to keep my shoulders up cause I found myself hunching forward a little but other than that my form and stride felt the same as usual. No odd pains, no screaming muscles, I didn't even notice the pop rocks in my calves anymore, I just was slowly pressing on. I finally saw the .2 marker and was on the home stretch. I had 3 road kills in those final meters. I was finishing strong. That was the longest .2 miles EVER (I really think they might have placed the .2 marker a little early). Running into Hayward was an indescribable experience. I saw my family as I rounded the corner to go in, high five'd some strangers and then I was on the track. Historic Hayward Field. A track where legends have competed, where Olympic Trials have been held. It was amazing.

There weren't a ton of people in the stands but I still pulled my earbuds out so I could hear the cheers. I forgot to look up on the big screen to see myself finish, but finish I did. I completed my first marathon in 4:51:12, a sub-5 hour marathon, I met my goal. I can now call myself a marathoner, I'm part of the less than 1% of the US population that will ever run a marathon in their lifetime. I re-invented myself, from obsese to a runner doing 26.2 like it ain't no thing. Ok, maybe not quite like it ain't no thing, but still I did it. I DID IT.

My garmin read 26.43 miles so I joked with James that I'm
Free post-race pancakes!
automatically an ultra-marathoner for running over 26.2 miles. LOL. Overall this was a fantastic race. I can see why it is constantly listed as one of the top 10 marathons in Runners World. It's going to be on my list every year until I just can't run anymore- then I'll walk it :) It's Track Town USA for crying out loud!!! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Eugene Marathon Weekend: Day 1

The hubby, girls and I drove down to Eugene Saturday morning. I had every intention of leaving the house at 7 am but then life interferes and you find yourself triple checking everything you packed, so we didn't get out the door until shortly after 8. It's a 5 hour road trip for us, but Portland is just about 3 hours away so I planned to drive to Portland and then hit up the Woodburn Outlets about 20 miles past Portland. We could get out and stretch out legs, take bathroom breaks, and of course take advantage of shopping with no tax. Our tax rate at home is 8.6% - it really adds up! We hit up Under Armour first but I didn't find any deals that I just couldn't pass us. James did find one pair of shorts so he took those to the register and they had a sign for military discount. Score. Outlet prices, no tax AND a 10% discount = SOLD! After Under Armour we hit up the Nike Outlet and I definitely found a lot that I wanted in there. I ended up getting another pair of running capris, a shirt that says "Get off your A$$" but the $ = running shoes with wings. I saw this shirt online a few weeks ago and thought I was cute so I was happy the outlet had it. Then I grabbed a 3 pack of socks and a short
sleeve tech t that is just plain pink. Again, they had a military discount, SCORE! Maybe James and I can take a roadtrip in the fall and load up on jackets and warmer gear :) We hit up Jamba Juice, and I made a quick stop at Carters for clothes for the girls and then headed back on our way. We did have a minor incident at the car, KK tripped over her own feet and the bottom of her Jamaba Juice cup split open so a pink pool of slush now decorated the black pavement. Thankfully Bailey is pretty willing to share so no fights erupted.

We got to Eugene a little after 2 in the afternoon. The sun was shining, it was 70+ degrees and again I was hit with the beauty of this city. Trees line the streets of developments, there are parks every where you turn, the Willamette River rushing along side you, and people are out biking in full force. It's such an active and happy city. We hit up the expo first thing so I could get my bib, shirt, and load up on free samples. KK and I had split up from James and Bailey because I was waiting in a long line to get my bib. Every other line was short and moving quickly- go figure I got the long slow one. KK was getting super whiney and wanting me to hold her. I have no idea what her deal was, she's normally not like that, but she was quickly draining my patience. After I finally got my bib I walked into the main part of the expo and realized James and I
didn't have a plan to meet up. Ugh. We don't have cell phones so I was irritated knowing that I was going to walking around aimlessly searching for him. I went to the Picky Bars display because I read about it online while researching the Expo. Lauren Fleshman,(track and field star with 2 USA titles) is one of the creators and these babies are a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio, perfect for athletes, gluten free, dairy free, and 200 calories or less. I was curious to taste them. WOW they were GOOD, like REALLY good. It was $2/bar or 6/$10. I spent the $10 and got a mix of smooth caffeinators and all in almond bars because they were my favorite. I actually ate one race morning for part of my breakfast. Not traditionally a good idea to try new foods the "morning of" but my stomach is fairly tough and they are packed with good nutrients.

I continued through the expo and found the sign dedicating the race to Boston in light of the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon. It was powerful to see all those named crammed onto that banner, I had a hard time finding a spot. What I did find at the table was James and the little one. Search over. I had him go back to the tiger trail exhibit to try a rolling massager out. I don't have a foam roller (gasp) and I've been meaning to get one but this little baby sucked me in. You can find more info on them here: Tiger Tail. So we bought one, $25 and we both can use it. Plus if there was a weekend I needed one, this would probably be it right?

After the expo we headed to the hotel to get checked in. It was 4 pm and we had until 7 to kill time. My aunt was hosting us for dinner at her house but she worked until 6. My mom, sister and niece were already in town and staying at my aunts house so we invited them over to the hotel so all the girls could play in the pool. That lasted about 30 minutes. Bailey loved being the water but I of course had to be right next to her. KK just wanted to sit in the hot tub. I tried to pull her in the pool one time and she was screaming bloody murder. So we let them splash around a little then decided to head to Alton Barker Park and try to find Pre's Trail. After a few U-turns and crazy hand signals we followed my mom and sister to the park and there it was. Pre's Trail. Eugene really is Track Town USA, they take such pride in running here.

After spending a short time here we headed to my aunt's house for some delicious grub. She was so cute pointing out different foods, "I've got your protein covered, and your carbs." It was tasty and just nice to spend time hanging out with her, my uncle, and two cousins- I don't get to see them often enough any more. It was after nine by the time we headed back to the hotel. I still had to finish updating my ipod playlist, make sure my garmin was charged, lay out my outfit and TRY to get some sleep :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The # 200

I had no intention of blogging about anything but marathon preps this morning when I woke up however a conversation I heard of the way out of work this afternoon really struck me. I forgot about it when I got home, I took my 4 year old out for a jog (1.6 miles- she did great), but as I sit down to eat dinner it hit me again, the number 200.

In 9th grade health class I remember overhearing a conversation between two male classmates talking about girls. "Man, I could never date a girl over 200 lbs" one of them said. I breathed a sigh of relief; I was 190 lbs at the time. Well today, just about 13 years or so later I was walking out the gate at work and heard two guys behind me talking about scales. They were specifically talking about scales that can now be programmed to talk to you when you weigh in. Joking around they were making comments like "Get off me fatass" "Lay off the pizza and beer" and then it came...."You're over 200 lbs: If you're a woman go on a diet." BAM. That stinkin number...200! What is it that number and women? I mean I understand, even at 6 foot tall with a large frame the typical height/weight chart for a female reads no more than 179 lbs, but it's not like most men have studied it. I have weighed 200 lbs, I have weight OVER 200 lbs, and now I weigh quite a bit less than 200 lbs but still it bothers me. I found myself passing windows looking at my reflection on the way to catch my shuttle and wondering if others looked at me at thought I was 200 lbs. It amazes me how no matter how much weight I lose I still am afraid that I look overweight. What should it matter how I look? I've already come so far!

Technically I am still overweight- healthy, fit, running a freakin marathon in a matter of days, but 127-141 lbs I am not. I got close last summer but bad food choices packed another 10 pounds on over winter so I need to reel the diet in CONSISTENTLY, but I am still 30+ lbs under 200. Sometimes I need to remind myself what 30 lbs looks like. 30 lbs is the weight of my toddler, a microwave, 240 eggs, or 4 gallons of water.  Since the beginning of this journey I have lost 80+ lbs; the weight of  a baby giraffe or an anorexic celebrity ;)

I realize there probably isn't a clear outline in this blog. My thoughts are scattered and I'm just trying to jot this all down before the girls destroy their bedrooms upstairs. I guess I guess found it amusing and yet sad that after all these years a couple men talking about 200 lbs women can still make my ears perk up and make me check my reflection in a coffee shop window. I have no need to worry, that's a number I won't be coming near EVER again!

What a cutie!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

8 Wake-ups until Marathon Day!

I could probably think of a more spectacular and clever title for this blog, but count downs are so exciting! I'm in the single digits and just over a week from marathon day :)

So I've been tapering- I started waaaay too early, like 2 weeks to early. I haven't had a truly long run in almost a month and that makes me kind of nervous. I was suppose to run 15 last weekend but if you've been following my blogs you know how that turned out- or didn't, ugh. At this point I'm all in and I'm just going to try and
Philly Cheese-steaks, fries, butterfinger milkshake
run my best race possible on that day. In the meantime I'm fitting in short runs as I can. Last night was my 5 year wedding anniversary (love you babe), and we ate at a
local old school diner type place called Noah's Ark. Despite the fact that it's only a 15 minute drive from my house and it's been open as long as I can remember, it was the first time either of us had eaten there. I had thought about dressing up and having a fancy dinner but James is super picky, and I didn't want to spend much money since we are traveling next week, so we had a delicious dinner for less than $25 and went home to watch a movie and cuddle on the couch. I think I was in bed by 9 since my parents watched our kids....ahhh peace and quiet!

This morning I woke up at 7 am, so much for sleeping in very long, it was nice to be able to just lay around on the couch downstairs for awhile though. Finally around 8:30 James came downstairs and an hour later I had conned him into running with me. He was thrilled. He's been running 3 days a week on the treadmill but I thought it would be fun to get ouside together. The weather wasn't perfect, the past few days have been a little cold for my taste and it's been raining on and off but I need to log a few miles anyway. Since he's just getting into running we decided on 1/2 intervals, with a total distance of 2 miles. We ended up doing about 2.8 miles- I'm really proud of him. We did have a little incident near the end of our run though. James was running on the road side of me, kind of on the white line because there wasn't much of a shoulder, and some jackass drove by yelling at him to get off the road. I've found most people move over when they see a runner, but some decide to be complete dicks, stay their course and then yell profanities and rude comments. I've had people yet "keep running, your fat ass is getting smaller" or honk obnoxiously- this guy yelled some very
He looks so thrilled to go running with me! HA.
disrespectful things at James and we were both pissed. I don't think that guy knew my husband is a former marine and doesn't take kindly to people acting like idiots. I don't think he would have yelled at us if he would have known that my husband was going to chase him down. We were running about 1/4 mile from a softball field, and this guy turned in and parked there. James saw that so headed after him to um...ask him what his problem was. I was left standing by a four-way-stop wondering what the hell I should do. We don't have cell phones on us, I don't carry pepper spray or mace (which I'm now thinking of doing), and I really didn't want to chase after my husband to watch him get shot. Ugh. I felt a little helpless. Finally I decided to run down to the field (after hitting start on my garmin of course, James later found that funny). They were arguing, I guess the guy tried to hit James. DRAMA!!! The run/walk back home I pointed out that people have to pick every battle presented to them. I was definitely irritated that I was put in a position to feel helpless, but also a little proud to know that my husband isn't a coward and will protect his family. I read the story back now and it sounds a little crazy, but in that moment the adrenaline was pumping. The disbelief that some people can go out of their way to be a complete jackass to two strangers just out for a morning jog is beyond my comprehension. Maybe he'll think twice about it next time?!! After my 2.8 with James I did another 2.5 alone, nothing too exciting to report about that though. Just tried to push my pace since it was a shorter run, 9:02 avg if I remember correctly.
Blogging after my run

This next week my nutrition needs to be on point. I'm really happy with how today went. I did some grocery shopping and came home with all foods that  I'm proud to have in my home. Spent a little extra to get some blackberries mmm....it is a MUST to have lots of fruit in my house. Today I got apples, the blackberries, lil cuties oranges and grapes. I also got some veggie "chick'n" patties (so good) I'll have to add them to my favorite things tab. The whole family approved  and I honestly couldn't taste a difference from a regular chicken patty. They were 140 calories, 5 or 6 grams of fat I believe, and no cholesterol....winning!

I also got a new book today. I'm obsessed with reading every book about running I can. It just keeps me really motivated. I'm going to curl up in bed and read some of it now....Night!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Heartbroken for Boston today

I called my husband this morning from work and asked him if he could record any footage of the Boston Marathon for me. He found a channel that only showed 11 minutes left in their programming for the race, eh, I told him nevermind I would just catch highlights online. A short time later my friend, and running buddy, Krissy emailed me and asked if I had heard about the explosions at Boston...wait...what?!!! I quickly went to CNN.com and was devastated to read the headlines "Bombing at Boston" "Many hurt in Marathon Explosions." It seemed really surreal. There weren't many details so I was hoping that it was a terrorist plot gone wrong and injuries were scrapes and bruises, nothing more. A few hours later just before the end of my work shift I checked online again and this time there were stories, videos, pictures galore. My co-worker must have thought I was nuts, I asked him if he had heard about Boston. He responded "Yeah, I heard something about that. Hey, aren't you running one of those soon?" Tears welled in my eyes. I think everyone can grasp the idea of a tragedy. You see blood, tears, heartache and get a sick feeling in your stomach; but when it happens in a sport you treasure at your very core, a sport you have personally survived the ups and downs of, it really hits you hard.

I have never run Boston, and most likely never will, but I have had my own running triumphs and in 13 days I will run my first marathon. A weekend I already knew would be emotional will now be twice as bittersweet. I think of the runners who have lost limbs, beloved spectators, and literally left their blood and tears on the course. I think of how thousands of runners didn't get to finish their race because of a hate crime. I think of all the time they put into getting to Boston, and how running may never be the same for many of them. I think of the 8 year old boy who was cheering on a loved one; here one minute, in heaven the next. I think about the strength it takes to be a runner. Mental, Physical...it takes heart. Terrorists will never win. The running community is a strong one, use to pushing through pain and through obstacles. It's just not fair that another one was thrown their way today. My prayers are for Boston tonight.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

16 Wakeups Until Marathon Day!

(Note: This blog was written Fri 4/12 and posted late, scroll to the bottom for today's update)

I need to make these 16 days really count...ok technically 15 because the 16th day IS Marathon Day! I have (again) been struggling with nutrition and have fallen prey to too many 100 calorie snacks, pizza, and frappacinos. I am currently +12 from my lowest weight, but still -82lbs from my highest weight so I dont want to forget how far I HAVE come.

You can find a lot of information online that talks about how losing weight is 80% about diet and 20% about exercise. I'd like to offer my opinion that it's 90% about nutrition and 10% about exercise. Yes, only the exercise will build your muscles, but I've really noticed over the course of this marathon training that diet plays a larger role than I ever thought in weight loss. I've spoken to multiple marathoners who have admitted to gaining weight while training. When I first set my sight on running a Marathon I pictured myself at my all time lowest weight, actually looking like a runner, maybe even buying a fitted running tank for the first time. HAHA. Didn't happen, and with only 2 weeks left, it won't be happening. It's so easy to run 12-22 miles on the weekend and allow yourself a larger meal, more snacks, or a dessert thinking, "I burned that off." At least for me I've noticed that yes I'm running more than ever but I'm also less consistent with my cross-training than I previously was. I've skipped spin classes, or ST the day or two before a long run because I don't want to tire my legs out- well hello those days I'm practically sedentary! No wonder I've gained weight and yes, even a few inches around my gut. BOOOO. Consistency is key in working out AND in good clean nutirtion for anyone who wants to be in the prime shape of their life.

I need to do some grocery shopping tonight. Load the house back up with veggies, fruits, lean meats and prep them so that during the week I can grab my snacks and meals and just go. I also want to get another comfy pair of workout capris; my favorites have lasted me through two great years and are starting to get worn down, there is even a little hole tearing into the thigh. It's not noticeable enough to stop me from wearing them (I REALLY love them), but they won't last much longer.

As for my goal to run 800 miles this year I'm doing alright, basically on track. I have run 216 miles so far, 224 would put my perfectly on target as of today. I am running 15 tomorrow though so that'll bump me slighly past where I "need" to be. Still not as many as I should have for someone who is marathon training but as everything it's a work in progress and a complete balancing act. I'm hoping to log another 40 miles before race day. That would make 81ish miles for the month (including the marathon). Running is the ONLY time I like to crunch numbers :)

Update Sunday 4/13:

Whipp'n out the Sundress!

Slept in and didn't do my 15 miler Saturday. I have been so tired all week that I needed the ZZZZ's. Got up and pushed the girls in the jogging stroller down to the park to let them play, then pushed them back. A total of 2.3 miles, around a 12 min/mile average. Then took Jamba out on a run later that afternoon, 1.8 miles I believe at a 9:37 pace. I woke up this morning and my back was feeling it! Pushing the girls in the stroller is no joke AND we found out that Jamba's harness was rubbing under her legs and rubbing her raw so we're back to just using the collar so she's pulling again, ugh, again making the run feel like serious work. This morning I was going to run with Sara for 12 miles to
make up for Saturday but I was having serious GI issues so again backed out like a loser. Got another 2 hours of sleep while James made breakfast and took care of the girls. It was such a blessing. A few hours later I laced up for a 4 mile jaunt around the neighborhood again an average pace in the 9's but I felt like I was running slower. The sun came out and I got surprisingly HOT. I took a picture as soon as I got in the door, you can kind of see my sweaty mess. I'm disappointed that I won't be getting in another long run before the marathon but I'm trying no to worry. I know that the training leading me up to this point has been pretty solid considering my manic schedule. I am still confident that I will finish, it's just a matter of when.
Going to bed early tonight (8 pm) with plans to roll out of the bed for a 4:30 am workout. Have I ever mentioned that I totally hate early mornings?!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BeachBody Reviews

I don't normally do a ton of at home DVD's. I simply prefer to be out on the road, or at the gym in a class. However, when I do I know where to turn for the most amazing workouts- BEACHBODY. I am NOT a BeachBody Coach, this is not a sponsored review, and I have nothing to gain- this is just my honest opinion. I've had several people ask me over the past few weeks about what DVD's I recommend so I really wanted to do this post.

Insanity = literally insane workout. They advertise they are the toughest workout ever put on DVD and they are not lying! Even the warm-up sequence gets your heart really pumping and the body super sweaty. It's tough. I can definitely see getting completely ripped after 60 days if you do these workouts and eat proper nutrition. Problem for me is that this KILLS your legs (in a good way). It's full of plyometrics, so I can't do these workouts back to back or within a few days of a long run or I'm dragging out there on my runs. After "marathon season" I really do want to try and do the full 60 days. There are 10 DVD's and no special equipment needed. You get completely shredded just using your body weight. Like I said, there are a ton of plyometric movements so if you have bad knees, I
wouldn't recommend this program because you'd have to constantly be modifying. I believe the Insanity calendar gives you 1 rest day a week and one day you do a "recovery" DVD but don't be fooled, it's still a hard workout and will leave your legs quivering. There is also a fit test that Shaun T tells you to do every 2 weeks. This isn't your typical fit test like in high school where you do crunches and see if you can touch your toes.There are 8 exercises and you do as many reps in 1 minute as you can. Sounds simple enough, an 8 minute workout, but if you really push
yourself it will feel like you just spent an hour at the gym.  I have done it a few times just because it's a fantastic workout in itself. Expect to do lots of squats, jumps, suicide drills, push-ups, high knees in dynamic sequences. The trainer, Shaun T, annoyed me when I watched the infomercials but honestly you don't even notice him while working out because you have to get in a zone in order to get through these DVD's. I find him kind of funny now and he backs up his cheesy attitude by delivering an amazing burn so can't hate the guy. If you really want to challenge yourself, try Insanity.

Turbofire. "Boom I got your boyfriend, Boom Boom I got your man." Sorry had to, Turbofire is a cardio kickboxing program with lots of old school tunes to get you shakin' it! I have tried zumba and sucked at it (no rhythm) so this is the closest I can get. Chalene Johnson is the instructor and she really makes the workout FUN. This program comes with 12 workouts, ranging from 10 minutes to 55 minutes. The focus is all on HITT training. You will do moderate intensity kickboxing and then a fire alarm goes off and you really kick up the intensity to super high gear for 1 minute of non-stop dynamic movements. I love the way these DVD's are set up like you are in the class watching an instructor on stage and Chalene is always thanking you for coming to class today and telling you "you're not tired, you just got your second wind." She may tell everyone the same thing but I believe her, and find my mood adjust and I re-focus on giving 100% effort. The series of movements can be hard to catch on to at first. The movements are set up in sequence and move pretty fast. There is an introduction CD and if you follow the program your first week I think you complete that 3 times if I remember correctly.

Each DVD also has an option to fire the music up or not depending on how much instruction you want to hear. Lots of kicks, various punches, and some plyometric work although they have a modifier on stage so it's easy to do these workouts if you don't have springs in your legs. I do highly recommend this program for those wanting an intense workout without feeling like they are in bootcamp. Oh I forgot to mention there are also a toning and sculpting DVDs that come with a resistance band so you can simulate strength training and really tone in addition to the cardio you get from the kickboxing.

P90X- the first BeachBody program I purchased. So unlike Insanity and Turbofire, the main focus of P90X IS weightlifting and it requires much more equipment; various dumbells or resistance bands, and a pullup bar. They offer suggestions on how to use resistance bands vs a pullup bar but it still requires some rigging, so I found myself often skipping through the pull up bar routine, ugh. The DVD's are broken down into Legs and Back, Shoulders and Arms etc. So you focus on a few muscle groups at a time and over the course of the week get a full body workout. I will say the Ab Ripper in Intense, you do 300+ reps in the 20 minute DVD and REALLY can feel it. Probably my favorite DVD from P90X. I am NOT a fan of the cardio DVD's in the P90X program, I was so bored I never did a single one in it's entirety. The energy level just isn't high enough to get me engaged and really pushing my limits. I know several people who have completed this program and gotten great results, for me this is just a supplemental DVD.

Hope this helps you get a little more insight into the BeachBody programs. I will definitely do an update when I choose to follow Insanity in its entirety. In the meantime I'm more than happy to answer any questions or hear your thoughts on these programs.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The 53 Runner's Commandments

Saw this. Loved it. Wanted to share :)

The 53 Runner's Commandments

1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
... 3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
18. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don’t always run alone.
20. Don’t always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well.
36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

By Joe Kelly

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

26 wake-ups until Marathon Day!

Wow, this is the month! The month of my marathon! I'm super excited and figured I would share with you all some facts about marathons:

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26 miles and 385 yards)
In 2011, there were approximately 518,000 marathon finishers in the United States
Over 350 individuals have completed a marathon in each state of the United States
In 2005, the average marathon time in the US was 4 hours 32 minutes 8 seconds for men, 5 hours 6 minutes 8 seconds for women
In 2010 ING NYC Marathon was the largest marathon in the world with 44,977 participants
There are approximately 570 marathons held in the US annually
As of 2012 only 0.5% of the US population has run a marathon

As I was researching some of these statistics I came across an article that made my blood boil. It was entitled "Plodders have a Place, but is it in a Marathon?" Essentially the author questions the integrity of the event as the average pace gets slower and slower each year while more and more "average" runners enter these races. They say it's no longer an elite sport and fast marathoners are complaining. Once source quotes,
3 miler tonight
“I always ask those people, ‘What was your time?’ If it’s six hours or more, I say, ‘Oh great, that’s fine, but you didn’t really run it,’ ” said Given, who finished the Baltimore race in 4:05:52. “The mystique of the marathon still exists. It’s the mystique of the fast marathon.”

Um. really?! Excuse me?! I haven't ran a marathon yet, and I do have a personal goal of beating the 5 hour mark, but regardless of what my time goal is 4 hrs or 7 hours, this yuppy's opinion is just offensive! I follow Jeff Galloways- a former OLYMPIAN's- run/walk method; I run 3 minutes, walk 1. I for damn sure say that after completeing 26.2 miles I am a marathoner. Runners world says 0.5% of the US population completes a marathon so how much more elite can this event get? Less than 1% subject themselves to the glorious torture that is training for a marathon. Those in the front of the pack can race, no one is stopping them, what do they care if someone finishes 3 hours after they do. It doesn't take anything away from their race. That is what I love about this sport, we are all on our own journey, only racing against our own demons. I feel sorry for the runner who can't figure that out. You can read it in it's ridiculous entirety here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/sports/23marathon.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

On a another note, I had a fantastic Easter. I caved to that second helping of Grandma's mashed potatoes, and indulged in two desserts, but to my surprise I didn't pack on any extra pounds. I will share with you picture of my cuties...