Month: July 2015

Lofty Highs Meet Subterranean Lows

My shirt, medal and my running mascot, Buster

My shirt, medal and my running mascot, Buster

This weekend was one of extremes. I had planned it to be busy; I just never realized how wildly far it would go. Looking back, I should have known; Saturday was my CPT exam and Sunday was my SF Marathon Half, so what did I expect?

I took Friday and Monday off as vacation days. I knew I would need an extra day to study for my test and I had it all worked out. Well….things don’t usually turn out the way we expect them. As I was brushing my teeth, getting ready for work Thursday morning, my lower back went out. I had such immense pain I could barely move. I had back pain through most of Saturday.

Haight St without hippies???

Haight St without hippies???

Because of all the pain, I didn’t get the studying done I wanted to on Friday, but I don’t think it would have mattered. I failed the test, not passing by TWO POINTS. Two measly points. I was devastated. Oh well…I hobbled home as best as I could and hoped, HOPED I would be able to run Sunday.

A funny thing happened when I started running the second Half Marathon. No back pain. None! Zip! Zilch! Nada! I was feeling better when I prepared to go to the starting line, but there was still some pain as I walked. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish at all. I stretched extra and spent time rolling out my leg muscles before I left home. Once at the Spreckles Lake starting line, stretched some more and kept walking around. I never once sat down or stopped moving. Maybe it helped my back. I don’t have a clue.

All I know is once I started running slowly, all thoughts of my back vanished and I concentrated on having a good race. Which I did. I PR’d by 10 minutes over my 2014 SF Rock & Roll Half race. This is a much easier course, but considering just a few hours earlier I wasn’t even sure I could run it.

The After Race Party was great. I ate all the goodies given to me and smiled the whole time. It renewed the love I have for running and helped me be more determined than ever to pass this silly CPT exam. Nothing will stop me.

Cheers!

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This is MY Gym!

Great trail in the Presidio

Great trail in the Presidio

Four days a week, I get to run outdoors. I consider it a privilege. I do go the gym two to three days a week, but for four days, I’m outdoors.

There are a couple reasons why I have never, and will never run on a treadmill. For some reason the treadmill triggers my vertigo. Horrible spins usually start happening the second I step off (or try to step off) the machine, making it hard not to fall to the floor. That alone is enough for me to stay off them. On a lesser note, I find running on a treadmill the second most boring workout ever. First being the elliptical machine. It’s a personal preference, but I can’t handle more than a few minutes on one of those.

Path in Golden Gate Park

Path in Golden Gate Park

Happily, i’m a outdoors-type of gal, so being out in the elements is no biggie. Even if I lived in a snow area, or in the tropics, I’d be outside. I would find a way to run.

If all of my workouts were inside, I probably wouldn’t enjoy them as much. I love exploring different parts of San Francisco. I do wish I could afford a vehicle, because I would love to be able to drive to different parts of the bay Area and discover new places to run, but for now, that’s not possible. Until I can, I’ll just enjoy this big workout room called San Francisco!

Cheers!

View of SF Skyline near Coit Tower

View of SF Skyline near Coit Tower

HUNGER PANGS AND WILL POWER

Things are moving like a runaway freight train and for the most part and I’m loving every moment. All the strength and flexibility training I’m doing is paying off: my running is mostly pain free and doing great, even during my long runs and hill runs, no IT band or hip issues.

My workout usually looks like the following:

Monday – gym after work for core, upper body and strength training

Tuesday – hill or tempo run

Wednesday – rest or gym for core and strength training

Thursday – middle distance run

Friday – gym for core, upper body and strength training

Saturday – easy run and yoga

Sunday – long, slow distance run

In between all this, I am usually VERY HUNGRY. Even after a good, healthy dinner, I can be hungry. I have found myself going crazy at night, eating everything in sight. This isn’t good, I know, but sometimes my will power isn’t there.

To help fight back, I wrote up a list of healthy snacks to eat and have ready. Each are in single serving sizes that I can pull out and enjoy with zero guilt or weight gain. They include: 1 strip beef jerky, 1/4th cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds, 1/3 cup unsweetened granola, handful grapes and walnuts, 1 cup Icelandic yogurt, sliced carrot and hummus, toast with cottage cheese and pineapple.

I’ve gotten quite creative in my snacks. They have to have both carbs and protein but they have to be tasty and satisfying too.  So far, so good. I’ve keep the weight off I’ve lost and I’m well on my way to losing the rest.

Cheers!

Happy 4th Whatever You Do or Don’t Do

I haven’t been very social as of late. Mainly it’s because I’m so focused into what I want as far as getting into shape, but I think it also has to do with me being so broke. It’s hard to go out with friends if one doesn’t have any money to do anything.

Today, the highlight of my 4th of July was my morning run. I got up early, at 6:00am and ran 3 miles, 1/2 mile warm up, 2 miles tempo pace, which for me was around 9.5 minute miles and then 1/2 mile cool down. This was a really good run for me. I spent A LOT of time rolling and stretching pre-run and the same amount of time doing the same afterwards. I believe I need to do this for every run. Which is OK with me. If I feel this good all the time, I’ll be smiling a lot.

My workout at the Y Friday was great too. I can feel my body getting leaner, stronger. I pushed myself hard and was worn out by Friday night. Even if I had money, I probably would have stayed home, I was so beat out.

But it’s not easy to see all my friends posting really fun pictures hanging out with their friends and family. No chance of me hanging out with family; they’re 3,000 miles away. I could have found friends to chill with, but I don’t know….didn’t feel like it. Maybe next year. Until then, my run and my morning spent in the warmth of the early summer sun was splendid.

All my hard work is coming together. Tomorrow morning will be here very soon. It’s a 5:00am alarm for my 10-mile long run. And I’m excited about it. Weird, isn’t it?