Archive | March, 2012

Jim Murphy 15K

25 Mar

Today was the much anticipated (on my part) Jim Murphy 15K with the Long Island Road Runners. This race was critical because to-date it is the longest run I have ever done. I only get to do my long runs on the weekends and after my 10K, I wasn’t sure if I had it in me. During the 10K, I hit the wall a lot faster than I expected to and I was worried about a repeat event.

The weather was not great. I had checked out the weather days prior and it called for low 40s (which is fine) but with on and off rain. I had hoped that the weather would change as we got closer but nope. It still called for rain. I have never run in the rain before and I was nervous about that too. My last concern was starting off way too fast, which occurred last time which also resulted in a rough run.

Well, I didn’t need to worry about any of that. My pace was steady and it did not rain. I had one of the best runs of my life. According to my iPod, I had a 9:43 pace. I finished in 1 hour and 38 minutes. Since this was my first 15K, I was going to set a personal best anyway and I told my hubby that I wanted to finish between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and forty-five minutes. I finished my second in my age group and I even won a raffle.

My next race is next Sunday and it’s a 6 miler race. Cake! (Below are some pictures my wonderful hubby took – he even joined me mid-race for a a minute or two and we chatted around a bend in the road).

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Unconventional Exercises

23 Mar

Recently while at the gym, someone approached me and commented on how fit I was and how great I looked. I always feel awkward when people compliment me (I am incredibly shy and I am not used to it). They wanted to know my secret.

It’s no secret, I tell them. I commit to healthy eating (with treats here and there) and exercise every day. I also exercise in unconventional ways. Aside from the usual “take the stairs” and “park in the far end of the lot so you have to walk more,” here are some exercises I do in addition to my regular routine.

  • Climb every other step when hitting the stairs;
  • Empty elevator? Do squats. Or standing abdominal crunches.
  • Your purse? You know it weighs like 10lbs. Use it do 1 armed bicep curls. Speaking of bicep curls, use your groceries bags as weights when you bring them into your home.
  • Waiting for the train or the bus? Do calf raises.

Most recently my niece Kathy turned 12. She had her birthday party at BounceU. Bounce U has amazing bouncey houses in a “stadium.” It’s for kids but adults can participate in the play. There was this one huge slide that you had to climb using rope on the sides. So I saw that as an opportunity to do some arm work. Then there was another slide that you had to climb/pull yourself up through a maze of elastic in order to get to. There was a boxing ring with inflatable gloves… simply put, by the end, I felt like I had put in an hour at the gym all the while just playing with my niece and her friends. 

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(There’s me on the slide!)

These are just some examples… there are plenty more out there. It’s just a sneaky but wonderful way to add exercise into your day.  And remember the minimum of exercise is 30 minutes a day and you don’t even have to do all 30 minutes at once.

Happy Friday! Wish me luck on Sunday’s 15k! 

Run, Rest, Repeat

16 Mar

Exercise not only involves eating healthy, working out at least 30 minutes per day (per WHO), but it also involves rest.

Wait – resting, i.e., taking a day off is key to being healthy? How so?

I am a big believe in not overdoing it. And I am 100% guilty of overdoing it. All the time. However, as I increase my running, I am becoming a better listener to my body. On Monday I did a kickboxing class and on Tuesday I did a small group training class.

Normally due to my schedule, Wednesdays are my off day. That meant Thursday I was to either do a class or go running. 

I decided on neither. It was a cold, gloomy day and even though the gym is like 2 minutes from my office, I just wasn’t in the mood. My legs were so sore from the 10K and kickboxing class and my arms and back killed from doing pull ups, burpees, etc. on Tuesday.

Naturally I felt guilty. But at the same time I realized that when I go to the gym, I like to give 100% and it wasn’t worth doing a half-assed workout for the sake of “working out.” I also didn’t want to overdo it and risk the chance of injury. Then I would really be S.O.L. In sum, it’s important to listen to your body. When it tells you something, heed its advice. I am probably way better off now having rested so much. Now I am pumped up to get back into the mix! 

Anyway, today I have SGT and I am going to that and tomorrow I am going to run after my eye doctor appointment. No races this weekend… boo. But I have my 15k soon! EEK!

LIRRC 10K

11 Mar

This morning I ran the LIRRC (Long Island Road Runners Club) 10K – my first ever 10K. I was really nervous – it was my first 10K and I had never run in Eisenhower State Park before, where it was held.  Hubster and I were up at 7 am which was a nice change from the usual 5:30am wake up call I typically have when headed into the city for races with the NYRR.

This was a much,  much smaller crowd – only 50 of us. The race was 3 loops on mostly flat terrain with 1 semi-steep hill. I started out way too fast – 9:19. I then settled for 9:45 but after 4 miles, I slowed to 10:05 according to my Nike + GPS app on my iPhone (my chip stated 10:17).  I finished after 63 mins (1:03) according to my chip. According to my app, I finished in 64 mins.

After the race, they had bagels, coffee, water, and hot chocolate. I had a sesame seed bagel with a smidge of cream cheese and a small cup of hot chocolate as I waited for the race to wrap up and for them to announce awards. I was surprised to learn that I placed 2nd in my overall age group  (25-29). Yay! Below are some snap shots:

Don’t mind my hair. It was freezing and crazy windy!

Next race is on the the 25th… hello 15K! Ack!

 

Running & Nutrition

8 Mar

Proper running shoes? Check.

Proper running gloves? Check.

Proper running clothes? Check.

Arm band? Check.

Proper nutrition… err… um… half check?

Now that I am running more, I am trying to focus on proper nutrition.  As a runner, diet is important not only for maintaining good health, but also to promote peak performance. Proper nutrition and hydration can make or break a workout or race, and also greatly affects how runners feel, work and think. Prior to getting into running, I was on a steady 1200-1600 calorie diet a day in my happy weight range. That allowed me to be fine on workout regimen and allowed (hence the 1600 end) for some snacks or a treat day. I have been working with a nutritionist for 2 years and that’s what we agreed on was best for me.

As I have increased my running, my body has been screaming for fuel – food. So my food intake has been upped A LOT. And it’s not easy – I am just so hungry. I drink a ton of water (hunger can be a sign of thirst – seriously) but that doesn’t help always. So I have been varying my food intake. Also my nutritionist said it’ll all even out once my body is used to running more and more. I sure hope so. It’s getting harder to bypass the bagels at Starbucks.

Anyway, I am not one to document my eats in picture form but I am going to do so this morning. In the bowl are Chia seeds, Chobani vanilla, blueberries, a banana, and a Kashi mocha almond bar mixed together. Hoping this fiber/protein mix will keep me full for a while. If not, I have a handy Larabar in my desk drawer to help.

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10K on Sunday – eek! Yesterday was my off day. Tomorrow I have boot camp so I think today will be a good running day.  Saturday is also a rest day plus I am going to a hockey game with the hubster in the evening. Go Devils! 🙂

Update: Since today was a food picture day, I had to take a picture of my yummy falafel lunch that I just inhaled after running (4.25 miles in 43 min) – isn’t it just so colorful and pretty?

 

In it: falafel, red onions, goat cheese, mesclun greens, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and tahini sauce. Yum!

Coogan’s salsa, blues, and shamrocks 5k!

4 Mar

Today was my first ever Coogan’s salsa blues and shamrocks 5k which took place in Washington Heights. After getting up at 6:00 A.M. to catch a 6:43 train, hubby and I were off from one island to the city. Despite having lived in NYC for 26 years of my life, I had never ventured up to Washington Heights before.

Anyway, due to the number of people participating, we had a really slow start and I didn’t get to the start line until 5 minutes after the race began. I knew this race had a lot of hills and I was prepared to face them…kind of. The first few were OK and I kept my pace going. After awhile my legs began to tire and my chest began to burn but I kept chugging along. They had all sorts of bands playing and bagpipers too – between that and my iPod, I had the music to keep me going. However the last hill in did me in – I had to stop and walk some. It just seemed to be a never ending incline. However, I saw the finish line (way) ahead and after walking for like 10-15 seconds, I powered back into a run and did not stop.

Because of the slow start, my finish time on the clock said 39:00 and I was like WTF, that cannot be right. Sure enough, it wasn’t! My finish time was 30:14 with a net pace of 9:46! I had wanted to take off 10 seconds off my time and I took off 25! I also wanted to finish under 37 minutes and I finished in 30! I am beyond happy!

One more thing, in the beginning we got to see all the elite runners race and it was amazing! I can’t get over how fast they go! In sum: it was just a really festive and fun race.

Me post race waiting for the train downtown!

It’s March!

3 Mar

Is it just me or is 2012 flying? It’s already March! Sheesh – and we had an extra day in February too.

Tomorrow I am running the Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K. It’s an apparently hilly race and I didn’t do too much hill training so I am a bit nervous. I normally walk a lot of hills on my way to/from work so that counts right?

The weather is supposed to be 48 and clear, but we’re in for some wet weather tonight so I am hoping it clears overnight and the ground dries up in time. I wasn’t planning on doing any more running after Thursday to give my legs a break and yesterday in SGT we did arms and abs which was nice. However, I kind of want to squeeze in a slow 2 miler… so maybe if I get out of work today early I can do that.

Anyway that’s it for me for now. Look to tomorrow’s post! (Oh and the weekend after I am running a 10K on LI with the Long Island Road Runners – my first race with them, woo-hoo!)