How dare people use MY TREADMILL at the gym!!!

Summary 2 Runs Total – 18 miles – Total Time 2Hr36min

First question: Is it normal to eat 3 cups of mushy oatmeal at a time? Is it normal to dump half a canister of cinnamon and take a blurry photo of your breakfast?

I have a problem. B I get attached to everything especially inanimate objects (something to do with having a younger brother who destroyed all my toys as a kid?). B I’m also a creature of habit. B Therefore its no surprise that I have what I consider to be “my treadmill” at my work gym.

I’m spoiled with my work gym, I’m also spoiled because “my treadmill” is almost always open. B However, today as I was walking in for a 5.6 mile 3 incline run at lunch, another individual was in my way. B Yes, he had every right to be there, if not more…

Okay, fine, there’s other treadmills. B However, as I walk from one to the other (there’s only five in total), I keep noticing the incline is off. B I keep running,B watchingB the guy, hoping he’s coming to the end of his workout. B Alas, he did not. B End result my speed was 7.7 miles vs usual 7.0 on “my treadmill.” B I have a feeling my speed was correct just no incline.B I’ll accept my lunch run as 6 miles @ 8 minute miles total time 48 minutes.

Can I also mention that I have a work gym for reasons like this:

And yes that chocolate mouse cookie thing on the left was amazing and worth every empty calorie!

Worry not, this was all part of my fuel for my second run!B 108 Minutes 12miles! Incline 2 that I got to run on “my treadmill.” Pretty much unless you hear me whine all treadmill runs are done on “my treadmill”

You know you’ve come a good way when you end your treadmill run not because you’re tired and want to die/puke but because you ran out of new episodes of RadioLab podcast to listen to and decided you’re bored.

Dinner – leftover drunken noodles with added sauteed baby spinach.B I wonder if anyone else pounds away baby spinach faster than me?

Do you have a certain treadmill, elliptical etc that you designate as your own at your gym?B Do you have a gym membership?B Which one?

10 Days until DC!!!!!

Its rude to count people as you pass them… out loud

In summary 26.2 Mile – 3Hr50Min (3:40Min running, 10min pee/snack break) – Basically flat outside course

As a kid and an immigrant child (We all heard of Asian Fs, but have you heard of Russian Jew Fs?B They’re exactly the same. Thick Russian accent “You got a B+, why no A? You fail”), before an exam I took several practice tests (both by will and force for preparation and parental enforced perfection).

So when I started looking up marathon training plans, it’s no surprise that from the start I dismissed ending my training at 20 miles.B Seriously, why would I stop 6.2 miles early?B That’s almost 25% of the race that’s would end up being new territory.B Now, I am not insulting anyone who stops at 20 miles and just roughs out the last 6.2 miles, but I need to be prepared for the unexpected. All training recommendation tell you to not increase your mileage by more than 10%, then why would the rules change for the race?B I never understood that part with training plans. I am also very lucky that aside from missing a few social events I have limited responsibility on weekends.

So I decided to make my own training plan based on my schedule.B Originally I was trying to have several 24-26 week runs, approx 4.B However, I had a mild foot fracture in November from hiking and was not able to start training until mid December. This put a serious time crunch in building up my base.B I am not joking when I say that before December I was running 26.2 miles in a week not a day. B B However, I have to admit that although I was only running 26 miles a week, I was doing that in 3-4 days.B I also ran a half marathon in September.B Therefore, I was starting from a relatively comfortable base of about 10 miles. Now, I just had to almost triple my mileage in 2.5 months.B This took determination and a lot of canceled weekend brunch plans.B Hard as I try, with the cold weather it was impossible to get myself running before 10AM.B I am hoping that once the weather gets warmer I can become an early morning runner instead.

My first 18-20 mile runs were miserable.B I came home in pain, collapsing on my floor from the cold and exhaustion.B The second was not much better.B I iced and then I iced some more the next day as I walked a bit funny as work.B I do not know why, but after I stop running my body goes into a freezing shock.B In addition to the normal pains of push your mileage this was misery.B However, by my third run I noticed that at mile 20 I actually felt okay and added another 1.5 miles.B I kept doing this the next week until I reach 24 miles.B Now, don’t get me wrong, I was still exhausted and the freezing shock was still happened; however, I no longer felt like I was going to die after running.B The pain turned into joy with practice.B Maybe not joy, but close enough to enjoyment.

This morning for my final pre-DC race I had a 26.2 mile run.B And I got lucky when I convinced Tony that we should go on the minuteman Bike Path.B The bike path is approx 8.5 miles long each way and makes a much better place to run then the 4-5 loops I do around the woods near my house.B Also, unlike my running trail not only is the path longer, its flatter and wider.B The flat, wide path was a great change of environment for my knees!B Plus with the weather being dark and 40 degrees, there were very few bikers I had to share the path with. This becomes a different cranky story in the summer.B However, for now all I saw were runners and walkers.B I was also surprised by how many runners I was able to pass by. There were also plenty faster than me that kept me at a faster pace.B I was able to get my first 13 miles in under 8 min pace!B I don’t think I ever ran that fast except for half marathon races.

It was also nice to see some undisturbed snow.B All the snow on the city streets melted before I got a chance to enjoy.

Because this was an almost 9 mile trail, 17 miles round trip; I had to carry my water handheld.B I usually rough it out and just get a bit dehydrated until I run by house midway; however, this was not an option.B At mile 17 when I finished my first loop, I dropped it off in the car.B I sipped some coconut water, ate half my protein bar (soo good and actually filling instead of waking up my hunger like others) and got ready to tackle my last 9 miles.B I thought those would be rough but after my 5 minute break in the car, I felt re energized and ready to go.

After my run, I finally tried my bag of Try Chips that I recently received as a sample.B They were just so delightful! I couldn’t believe the whole bag was only 100 calories and with every chip being made out of 100% natural real fruit, it made perfect refuel. I stole this from their website “Try Chips are an all natural snack, enhanced with super foods carefully selected to replenish your energy after pushing your body beyond its personal comfort zone. Our final ingredient in our war against Apathy and of course our battle cryb&”B I love it!B Unfortunately they are a bit pricey.B For 2.50 per bag, I might save this indulgences for only those days where I am pushing truly beyond my comfort zone.

In the end 26.2 in the books and I am now a marathoner, even if its unofficial!

Hope you are having a great Sunday!

Did you do any running this weekend?B I want to know how it went. Other people running makes me feel less of a weirdo!

Marathon Training Body Changes

I’ll start with some happy news. B Yesterday after work I ran 15 miles on a treadmill. B Total time 135 minutes 2 incline.

First 10 miles were run in 88 minutes while the other 5 in 47 minutes. B Also for the first time since I started doing greater than 7 miles on a treadmill runs, I didn’t feel like poop afterwards. B I was hungry yes, but my knees were happy, my stomach was okay enough, and my energy was not wiped out. B Practice may not always make things perfect, but it definitely makes them better! B I went from dying/wanting to throw up after a 14 mile TM run to actually feeling great in the span of 1,5 months!

Now was the less happy news. B I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning. B I did my Inbody analysis. B And lets just say that results since marathon training were not the ideal health type. B No I didn’t gain weight, but I lost muscle which was replaced by fat. B So no weight gain or loss; yay! B Switching muscle for fat; boo!

So first what is Inbody?B B The InBody uses bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) [try saying that aloud 5 times!] to analyze your body composition. B BIA is a technique that measures body impedance by sending an electrical current through the body. B B How futuristic! Its quick and you feel nothing at all as the current only passes through the water fluids inside the body, and based on the impedance values collected, the body water volume is calculated. B Since water fluids are usually inside muscle tissues, by using the water volume, the fat-free mass can be calculated. B Body fat calipers measure skinfolds to calculate how muchB subcutaneous fat(fat under the skin) a person has. B According to research itbs highly accurate and not subject to human error (me pinching in different places). B However, water fluctuates and to avoid that its recommended to not eat or drink 2 hours before your test.

Now in summary this shows I’m a healthy, average person who could use a few or many core workouts. B My trunk muscles are non-existent. B This can lead to back problems,B bad posture and all sorts unpleasant stuff from working at a desk job all day. B That was already known to me. B Also, between the 6 weeks I did not gain any weight which is awesome being that its winter and all. B I didn’t lose any weight, which is fine since that was not my intention with running. B However, my overall fitness level went down.

I lost two pounds of muscle and traded it in for two pounds of fat. B Clearly with my desire to be healthy and fit, this is not the direction I want to go in. B So I needed to evaluate my recent habits and see what’s going on.

Biggest change in my life for the past 3 months? B I’m training for my FIRST marathon. B Its super exciting and I’m learning everything the stupid way because I’m just that brilliant.

Here are a few reasons for my body change (even if it’s a 2% change)

bChange in eating habitsb

Ibd like to say marathon training has made me a healthier eater, but it has not.B While before I used to eat a small light meal at lunch (salad or a small deli sandwich from home), I find myself needing bigger meals to get through post work training runs.B My cooking time has also drastically decreased.B I am no longer cooking balanced meals, but instead picking the option of eating out.B When I get home at 9PM post run, I want food NOW, not an hour later once Ibm down slicing, dicing and baking.B Tortilla chips and pop chips seem like great options as I savage through my kitchen.B While those make a great in between meal snack, I shouldnbt be adding them in addition to my regular dinner.B Also due to time, I have created a more vegan diet.B I am skipping lean meats like chicken and replacing it with a more fatty protein like peanut butter and other nuts.B Why?B Those are much easier to pop in my mouth as I am always in a rush.B However, while I am keeping up with my protein intake, Ibm sure my fat content in my diet is increasing drastically at a higher rate.

Solution: I need to keep an eye on my healthy fats intake.B I need to cut back on peanut butter.B Ibve been really going to town on that jar and eating it in place of a more balanced snack such as an apple or yogurt.B Ibm also going to make an attempt to increase my lean meat consumption instead of just relying on nuts to get my protein content.B I donbt feel like I need to cut calories, but I definitely need to change the content of them.

B bAre you resting more than usual?b
I read this somewhere and I think it applies to me.B I am no longer running in addition to my normal activity.B Instead itbs become in place of my long walks or biking or hikes I used to do.B No more Jillian Michaels workouts.B My mind has taken the mentality of bwow I ran far…I can relax the rest of the dayb. Before marathon training a typical Saturday was a few hours of hiking followed by grocery shopping, laundry, pretending to clean and then out with friends. I was moving constantly. Now a Saturday involves two to three hours of running followed by vegging on the couch most of the day and a bag of tortillas for bcarbo-loadingb.

Solution: Donbt let running take over my life.B Even though itbs winter, itbs coming to an end and definitely make a better effort of staying social.B Try to go hiking when the weather is good.B Clean the dust of my bike.B Donbt direct all my energy to just running.B I know this will get easier once I feel like I have the base for running 26.2 miles and am not paranoid that I do not have enough training.B Also cut back on bcarbo-loading.bB If I eat healthy, Ibll have enough, therebs no need to find an excuse to stuff chips in my mouth for every meal.

bCalories Rewardsb
As my running mileage starts doubling for the week; it has become very easy to say bwhy yes I deserve a 3pm cookie!B 10am cookie, this is just breakfast part 2, I bpomiseb;b Puppy dog big eyes.

Solution: I really have no need to eat half a bag of M&Ms with my tea before lunch time.B Save my sweet tooth for 3PM.B Cut giant cookie in half or have a few M&Ms.B I donbt really need both items.B Better yet, but a cool kid and half an oz of dark chocolate.B I hear it has some pretty nifty health benefits.B Also just because I have free baked dessert at work available daily does not mean I need to take advantage of it daily.B Grab an apple instead!B If Ibm not hungry enough to eat the fruit, then Ibm definitely not hungry enough to eat the cookie.B

bBuilding glycogen storesb

Another reason for my loss of muscle and gain of fat could be my glycogen stores.B Everyone and their great-aunt know about the importance of glycogen storage for distance.B Your body automatically stores water with the glycogen and that might lead to weight gain and a reading of less muscle mass.

Solution: None needed, itbs okay I should be happy with this as my races are coming up.

bRebound Hungerb

As common with others, (I am not a unique snowflake) I am not feeling very hungry post long run but am famished the next day.B Problem is when my hunger is out of whack, I make silly eating decisions.B bWhy yes, peanut butter brownies make an excellent breakfastb vs. a normal oatmeal serving like a normal child.B Repeat this for a couple of days a week and bam fat/weight goes up within a few weeks of training.

Solution: Seriously, as stated earlier in this rambling, I do not constantly need to be shoveling chips, almonds and M&Ms into my mouth.B Take the time to eat an actual meal so I donbt find myself famished when my metabolism catches up to me.

“Lacking of Strength Training”

Also, I need to make more time for strength training. As my running mileage increases, I still have the same limited amount of free hours in a day. B This leads me to cut out my strength workouts I used to do.

Solution:B Take the time to cross strength. B Skip a run and do a Jillian Michaels workout instead. B Do 5 minutes of planking a day. B Wake up, Plank up, shower and head out. B It’s not too complicated, I just need to stop finding excuses.

Basically the conclusion is, although its great that my endurance is growing, I need to stop using my running/training as an excuse to eat crap (chips, how did this habit start) and avoid weight/strength training (I really hate weights and non cardio workouts).

Have you ever one of these body composition analysis?

Have you ever noticed changes in your body as you were training for something? B What were you training for and what changes did you notice?

Every runner has those moments where you hop on the treadmill with a plan and you realize at mile 3, you did not fuel enough or correctly…

That was my situation this evening.B B As the mileage went up to 4, I went over my options.

1. Stop, shower and go home

2. Stop, run to my cube, inhale a Fiber One Bar and continue

3. Keep going for another mile

Out of stubbornness, or realization that due to Tax Season this may be my last week of having enough time for workday longish runs, I kept going.B You know what?B 5 miles slowly turned into 6, which led to 7.5 and then to 9.B At that point, I took a minute walk break every .75 miles and before I knew it, I saw 11 miles on the counter.B Yes my heart rate was off the charts compared to my normal pulse, I felt clammy and cold, but I survived and as far as runs goes it wasn’t that worst I had in a while.

I know what I did wrong today; I skimped on my lunch.B I did a normal person portion sandwich instead of a giant blend of Liana wants to run 14 miles post work portion.B I ate too much oatmeal for breakfast and wasn’t really hungry for lunch.B However, by 5:30 my metabolism burned through everything.B Post run 1.5 granola bars were consumed at record breaking pace.B I think hungry stray cats eat slower than me post run.B Upon getting home I followed with a big bowl of veggie, tempeh and pasta.B I think I lacked the green stuff in my diet for the day.B My tummy feels complete at last, my pulse returned to normal.B B My legs feel great and ready for my run tomorrow.

A summary of my runs, I went double duty today

Lunch Time Run

5.6 miles – 3 incline – 49:39 – 6.8MPH

Post Work Run

11 miles – 2 Incline – 100:33 – 6.6MPH

Why the double duty?B Sadly, Boston Marathon and US Tax filing deadline happen around the same time.B That means within a week or two I’ll be pulling some late nights at the office.B I was thinking of trying to see if I can run 14 miles at 5AM, but I don’t think I can handle that with my sleep pattern and the hour long public train commute to my gym/office.B Moms/Dads and all you early risers always make me gasp in awe when I hear how early you run.B So my current plan is to try to go double duty, build up mileage and build up a tolerance for running while tired.B Then focus on true distance and speed during my weekly long runs instead.

Have your ever trained for a race during a busy work season?B What was your plan?

A new personal distance record – woohoo! and possibly long run pace

I woke up today, slightly excited for my long run…B Then I stubbed my iddy biddy little toe on my bicycle.B There was screaming “Tony, why haven’t these been moved to the other room yet!” there was cursing at myself and how clumsy I was, there was crying from the pain.B It throbbed, I cringed, I drank some tea, popped two Advils to stop the throbbing of my little toe, ate another pita bread half and by 10:20 I was ready to go!B The end result:

Maybe a sub-4 first marathon is in my future after all.B However, no long run ever goes without a lesson.B I’ll share this week’s oh-oh situation at the end of the post.B On a non related note, my new worry is now that it’ll be too hot in DC.B I guess I truly “speed” in 35 degree whether with 22MPH winds.B Maybe the wind propelled me.

The hat and gloves came out today.B It was 35 degrees with 22MPH winds.B And this one part where I run around a pond, I thought I was going to get blown away, or lose my hat.B In fact, one of my legs got blown into the other more than a hand full of times.B I’m impressed that with my clumsy skills that I didn’t fall flat on my face.B Yes I look sad, my toe was hurting =(

I also had a new record from when my side knee starts to bother me.B Mile 20 this time!B Woohoo! Although I didn’t feel too sore by the end of the run; just tired, a little icing never hurt anyone.B Plus this is what all the cool kids do post long run.

I did violate a major refuel rule.B We were meeting up friends for lunch and I ended up not eating until 90 minutes later;B if round down that’s like an hour.B A friend had a living social deal forB Blue Ribbon BBQ and treated us to it.

I got myself a salad and brisket since all the yelp reviews said that’s not to be missed.B And I ended up pleasantly surprised how yummy it was.B The corn bread; however, was a huge disappointment.B Dry and stale and the croutons they used for my salad were made out of an even more staler corn bread (luckily they put it on the side in a separate container).B I guess you can’t be a master of all.

Look at all the leftovers!B Actually I must confess, I might have “borrowed” some extra sauce to use later.

Lesson of this Week’s Long Run

Let’s now talk about my huge mistake.B Chaffing…B I think guys worry about this more with their nipples and shirts.B Sports bras offer us ladies some protection.B However, I recently had a small battle with my sports bras that I’ve been losing and looking like a battered woman.B Seeing as how a. I do not want to buy new sports bras and b. they don’t make them in a smaller size than the ones i already have; I needed a better solution.

Aquaphor!

  • Aquaphor ointment if medicated can be used to treat or prevent rash in babies, protect from minor cuts, scrapes and burns, protect the skin from the effects of weather and wind, relieve chapped skin and lips as well as acting as a barrier to seal in the skinbs moisture.
  • It’s available at any CVS or other drugstore; no specialty running/sports store required
  • It’s cheaper than BodyGlide
  • Aquaphor is more miscible with aqueous solutions than Vaseline

I heard people use vaseline and bodyglide, but I had aquaphor in the house already so I went with what was around.B Plus I found all these reasons why it better than both that I noted above.

Regardless, while I lost a battle with my sports bra, I have won the war.

But when one war comes to an end, a new one is just over the border, or in this case under.B Yup crotch chaffing…. After 24 miles, it felt like I did unspeakable things with a carpet.B I don’t even know why?B Maybe it’s the new distance, maybe it was the cold windy weather.B I never this issue with these tights or just crotch chaffing in general.B Anyways, end of long run lesson: always make sure your tights are actually tight or use Aquaphor!B

 

Short Post for a lazy day

Today’s run 14.1 Miles – 130 Minutes – 2 Incline – Boring treadmill

How do I keep myself motivated?

  • I remind myself how scary and cold the streets of Boston are for a 5ft tall girl and I’m just not into the whole running group thing on weeknights.
  • Plus, I want to wrap things up faster, so I can head home faster.
  • So I listen to podcasts.B This American Life kept me cozy for the first 7 miles, I finished 10 miles in 92 minutes with Planet Money for 3 more miles.
  • My last 4 miles I must admit were a struggle, I was tired of podcasts, I was sick of my music, Pandora wasn’t distracting me, but I stuck with it.
  • I told myself, you can either run these next 4 miles or walk them, but running will get you home to dinner a bit fast.B So I did both to an average pace of 10.5 min miles.B Not my target but I got it done with!

Post running snack and post dinner dessert is my new addiction Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola.

I’ve been popping it all week like candy.B Which is not the worst thing in the worldB compared to the white chocolate bits I was munching last week.B Costco had a double box set on sale for like 5 bucks.B So if its on sale near you and you have a membership, go get some! For two little people, Tony and I eat the equivalent of a 4 person family.

Do you listen to podcasts?B What are your favorites?

Do you ever shop in big wholesale stores like Costco?B Which ones? What do you get there?

I load up on household things on sale such as papertowels, TP, Lysol wipes.B The giant salsa jar is a weekly staple in our household.B They’re grapevine tomatoes. The frozen veggies.B I’m currently into the stir fry mix.B Frozen seafood like their cooked and peeled shrimp.B I don’t have enough room in my fridge/freezer so I have to alternate with my purchase decisions between the weeks. B Plus I get to try new samples each time I go.B Everyone loves a costco lunch date!B Okay, maybe just me.B I guess I’m a cheap date.