Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tink In Training Virtual 5K Race Recap

My blog/twitter friend Jennie over at Running Jennie is training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland.  And she's doing something pretty awesome.  Instead of just paying the registration fee and  running she's decided to make this race about something bigger than herself and joined the Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphomia Society.  She's hosting a virtual 5K/10K run and there's still time for you to sign up.  Click here!  There's lots of great prizes and even a cute little finishers necklace.  

This was my first "virtual race".  You run your favorite course whenever you want and then just report your time.  So, I headed out today with a bud at the gym and hit the loop.  It was a little cold and I was breaking in new shoes so it wasn't a PR for me.  I usually try really hard to get 10 min/miles when I do 5K races so I'm going to blame the shoes and the cold for the 11:10 pace.  Oh well.  It was still fun and something to make running the loop a little more interesting.  

Head over to Running Jennie and sign up! It's only $15 and it's for a good cause!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hal Higdon Novice 1: Day 1

So today is the official start to my half marathon training.  That's right.  We are 12 weeks out from the St. Jude Half in December!  Oh my goodness!  I'm fighting a knee injury right now.  I ran a little under 4 on the treadmill, aka Satan's Sidewalk, Friday and suffered for it this whole weekend.  Every step I took was accompanied by a loud and painful crack on the outside of my left knee.  So this morning I dug out my old knee brace and ran with it today.

I'm doing Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Half Marathon Training schedule with a slight bump so that my long runs are on Saturday instead of Sunday.  And since I'm an overgrown kindergartner I spent this morning making myself a little stick chart so that I wouldn't miss any runs.  What?  You know you'd do anything for a sticker too.  Plus, we're still kind of potty training the little Princess around here so I have tons of sticker packs hanging out around the house.

So today's run was 3 miles.  I don't know why it was so intimidating but it was.  I'm not sure if it's because I know that this 3 will eventually work up to 13.1 or if I was just nervous about my knee.  The weather has also been a little funky so I wasn't sure if it was going to be burning hot and I'd be forced to run on the treadmill so I packed both the outside running gear (garmin and ipod) and inside running gear (iPad).  Luckily we are still enjoying some nice in the 80s weather so I hit it outside.

Someone recently told me that trail running was better for your knees.  That someone needs to be found and smacked in the face.  I set out for a little bit of trail running in the park behind the Y based off this advice.  But it was killer!  The grass was tall, the ground was pitted, and there were giant limbs that blew out of the trees over the weekend's storm that had to be leapt over.  At times I was terrified my ankle was going to break.  The plus side was that the loop around the park was about a mile so at least my first mile went quickly as fear was my constant companion.  Ha!  For the second mile I did my standard loop around the Y but coming in I was doing battle in my head and decided that I should out and back my last mile to give myself some variety.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 2 mile run or cross training.  I have been enjoying a Zumba class on Tuesday but with a lot of lateral movements I'm wondering if that's been contributing to my knee pain.  Will have to ask the almighty Google about that...

Today: 3 miles in 31:22

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

C25K: Week 6 Day 2

So as I mentioned in my other life, I've been potty training the little princess which killed me last week. I grounded myself and didn't go anywhere except to the bathroom with Sassy every 20 minutes for the entire week!  So after getting a run in on Monday I wasn't able to run the rest of the week.  So this week I picked up on Monday and ran the W6D2 and then today I went out and ran it again so that I could keep my long run for Friday.

Week 6 Day 2 is the last interval run of the Couch to 5K program.  That's a little overwhelming to think.  Today's run consistent of 2-10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in between.  I know that's not a lot of walking but there is just something comforting in knowing that after pushing myself hard for 10 minutes I'll get a short reprieve.  I know I've already done one long run at the end of Week 5 Day 3, but I still find them overwhelming to think about.

Therefore, I won't talk about what's coming up Friday.  I'll talk about what I accomplished today.  I hit the door the minute my Prince Charming got home.  My neighborhood is only 3 streets so with a 10 minute run I didn't want the monotony and constant turns of getting to the end of the street to turn around and run down it to the next street so I decided to run on the main road, Tracey.  Out here in the country (pronounced kuuuuuun-tree with a horrible southern accent) we don't have curbs or edges to the road.  Heck, you're lucky if there is a white line and not just a steep drop off into the drainage ditches.  So I was a little nervous running out on the main drag where people speed.  I hugged the white line as best as possible like one foot in front of the other on the white line and basically booked it as fast as I could to the next neighborhood over.  And it must have worked because I clocked my fastest mile yet 9:23.  My second mile on the way back to my neighborhood was 9:38.  So running on a busy street with drivers who really don't know how to share the road can help your pace because you want to get back to the safety of your neighborhood and quick!

But today my shoulders have been really tight.  I need some advice for how to loosen up my shoulders and upper body while I run.  I apparently run really tense through there because as the runs are getting longer my shoulders and upper back are starting to hurt more.  Any suggestions?

Monday, June 4, 2012

C25K: Week 6 Day 1

Well I blew off running last week.  I have a long list of excuses, but that's exactly what they are, excuses. And I really regretted it because while Monday was blazing hot last week Wednesday and Friday were really quite nice.  I should have gone running.

But anyway in my other life right now I'm potty training my lovely Sassy who is 2.5 years old.  Heaven help me.  If I can survive this I deserve to be in the happiest place on earth (aka Disney World).  After a week and a half of letting her go commando it was time to give her panties which means I'm grounded until she figures this out.  So that means that I didn't hit the pavement until about 7:45 after I got the kids in bed and the evening chores done.  But I had a nice run.  I ran around the neighborhood which has a slightly graded hill that I made sure to hit 3 or 4 times.  My pace slowed a little on the hill but it was good to practice there.  The Y track is pretty flat and I know races aren't always flat land so while my hill on Tracy Rd isn't very steep it's better than nothing.

So this week the first day had intervals of 5 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes for running with a 3 minute and a 5 minute recovery walk.  I got through all the runs with no problem.  I came out the gun on the first run to hard running around a 9 min/mile pace which is probably why I was running around a 10:30 for some of the longer 8 minute stretch.  But I made through all the runs and felt strong.

I'm looking forward to Wednesday.  It's my last interval run of this program.  From there on out it'll be straight blocks of runs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 3

Today was it, the first non interval run of the C25K program.  My confidence fluctuated all week as I worked towards this run.  Part of kept thinking about how strong I've been running this time through the C25K program.  But then the evil part of my mind kept saying "20 minutes...that's a loooong time."  Finally on the drive to the gym today I set my intentions, quieted my inner doubt and decided I was going to finished all 20 minutes of the run, strong and upright and hopefully at a 10:30 min/mile pace.

Of course, then I saw the bank sign on the way to the gym that said it was 98 degrees outside.  Holy cow that's hot!  I have GOT to figure out a better time to run then at 11:30 when the sun is beating down on me.  And that's pretty much all I thought about for 20 minutes while I ran.  Well, that and "oh my gosh my mouth is so dry!"  I'm glad my husband forgot his nice Camelback water bottle today because I totally stole it and took it to the gym with me.  I downed all 24 ounces after my run was over before I even finished the 5 minute cool down walk.

So then I started thinking about what kind of running gear I need to invest in.  I know I'm only running short distances right now but I may want to look into going ahead and buying a hydration belt since it's so hot.  Plus that might help me get use to it for the long distance runs.  Do any of you have a hydration belt? What brand do you recommend?

Well, now for the information you've all been waiting for, pace and distance.  In the 20 minute run today, I clocked a distance of 2.04 miles.  So I amazed myself keeping it around a 10 min/mile pace!  I even used the lap button on the Garmin and I remember my first mile clocked at 9:40 and the other was 9:50ish.  So that's pretty freaking awesome!  I have NEVER run a 9:40 mile in my life.  Not even in middle school when we had to do the President's fitness challenge.  So I feel good about that.  The downside is that I'm getting accustomed to that pace and I'm starting to expect it out of myself so I'm worried about how down I'm going to feel when the run times are just more than I can do at that speed.  Of course, I would really have liked to see a negative split.  Though I'm not a real runner I talk to enough of them to know that negative splits are something you are supposed to strive for.  But I did push and give it all I had at the end so I'll have to live with that.

My main motivation coming up on the end of the run when I really had to push that last minute was that I left my water bottle at the point where I started the running interval and I was for sure not going to have to walk to get to it.  So I pushed hard at the end so I could make it back to the mile marker and get my water!  Whatever works right!  And yes, I did make it to the water bottle just as the narrator said time's up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 2

I almost didn't get my run in at the gym today.  When I got done with yoga class I popped over to see how the kids were doing and make sure I didn't need to change any diapers and Lil' Joe was in full melt down mode.  I tried to feed him but he wasn't hungry, he was just being a pill.  Meanwhile, Sassy saw me so she expected her snack.  Thankfully the ladies that work in the nursery are so fantastic one of them took Lil' Joe from me even though he was screaming bloody murder and I promised to make it quick as I headed outside.

Today's run was two intervals of 8 minute runs with one 5 minute walk recovery in between.  I was really expecting to have a harder time pushing for my sub 10 pace but to my surprise every time I glanced down at Garmin it was hovering around the 9:30 mark.  I'm really proud of myself for that.  I remember last time I did Couch to 5K I didn't have a Garmin but I remember trying to figure out my pace and time by how long I was outside running and all that jazz and I thought it was something around an 11 or 12 min/mile pace.  And what's really stuck in my head was how hard I was struggling a year ago to stay under a 13 min/mile pace.  Now granted a year ago I was 20 weeks pregnant but still!

I felt strong through both of the runs but when I glanced down and saw I had 30 seconds to go in my last interval I tried to finish strong, lengthen my strides and speed up and thought I was doing it.  So when I glanced down at my wrist and saw that I was still hovering around that 9:30 mark I was a little disappointed.  My friend Travis always tells me to finish strong and to me that means sprinting to the finish line.  So I finished today, and I wasn't gasping for breath so in that respect I did finish strong but I really want to try Friday to push and sprint to the end.

Friday is a big day!  My first non-interval run in over a year.  I've got to pound that pavement for 20 minutes non stop.  I'm a little nervous.  But here's one thing I know for sure, I may not be fast but I will without a doubt finish.

Monday, May 21, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 1

Well, I got Gary the Garmin all charged up and took him for my first Week 5 run today.  This week is the first week where all 3 days aren't the same.  I'm still using my Robert Ullery podcasts since I'm running with my husband's iPod.  But before I left for the gym I made sure to find my iPod and hook it up to the computer.  Robert's podcasts are great but he uses techno music and by this point I need some good sing along songs.  So last time I did the program I found Suz's podcasts and used those for a few weeks.  Hers are neat because there is a theme to the music each week (i.e. 80s, 90s pop) so it's a fun variety.

Today was three intervals of 5 minute runs with 3 minutes of walking in between.  So a total of 15 minutes of running and 6 minutes of walking, plus the warm up and cool down.  I didn't make the distance quite as far as I did on Friday and I felt a little bad until I realized, you can't be in beast mode every time you run.  And since I had garmin I was aware of my pace and except for once, every time I glanced down I was still running at a sub 10.  In fact, most of the time it was hovering around the 9:30 min/mile pace.  So I'm pleased with that.

Wednesday the run is two 8 minute intervals.  This is where my sub 10 pace is going to be a challenge.  And by Friday's 20 minute run it'll probably be a thing of the past.  And that's ok, I'm not really a speed demon so I'll take whatever I can get.  As long as I run the whole interval, I'm proud of myself.

Now if I could just find a firecracker 5K to run since that would be the closest race to my completion date!

Friday, May 18, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 3

I was in Beast Mode today!  Today was the first time at the end of the run I had that awesome runner's high.  I looked at what I accomplished and I thought, "Man!  I am awesome!"  I went out there today not having great thoughts.  I still haven't charged my Garmin and I was starting to miss him.  In fact, I think I'm going to name him Gary as he is my official running partner and coach.  It was hot out there today, when I parked the car it said it was already over 85.  There was no breeze.  I just didn't have much faith in myself.  Then after the first 3 minute interval when I realized I was further than I was on Wednesday I thought to myself, I'm going to push and see if I can go 2 miles not counting the warm up or cool down walks.

So I did.  Period.  Nailed it!  By the time I was done with the second 5 minute run interval I was roughly at 2 miles give or take a few feet.  I did it by telling myself I just need to make it to that fire hydrant, ok now that poll, good, now pass that parked car.  And I pushed and I pushed and I made it.  And I felt strong!  It felt good.  And I had just enough gas in the tank to really push myself in that last minute of running to make sure I made it to the starting point so that I'd know I went 2 miles.

And since I'm a math nerd as I finished walking back to the Y I started trying to math it out in my head to see what my possible pace was.  But since I'm bad at mental math I had to come home and get a pen and paper and work it out.  Here's what I came up with.

2 intervals of 3 minute runs, and 2 intervals of 5 minute runs equals 16 minutes of running.
2 intervals of 90 second walks, and 1 interval of 2.5 minute walking equals 5.5 minutes of walking.
So I went 2 miles in 21.5 minutes of moving.

I was pretty proud of that right there.  But without Gary my Garmin I just don't know what that means my average running pace was.  Did I stick to my goal of being a sub 10 when running these shorter intervals?  So this was what I needed the paper and pencil for.  Knowing what I normally see on Garmin during the recovery walks I'm usually going about 15 minutes/mile.  So I did my math based off that number.  If I walked for 5.5 minutes at a 15 minute per mile pace then during my walking intervals I went a distance of 0.36 miles.  So that means that in the 16 minutes of running I covered a distance of 1.64 miles.  Plug and chug that into your standard r=d/t (see all my former math students, you do use math in your every day life) except that will give me miles/min and I want minutes/mile so you do r=t/d.  Anyway, I found that I probably averaged a 9.75 min/mile pace or in other words if I had run a mile straight at that average pace it would have taken me 9 minutes and 45 seconds.  What what!

I feel really good about that.  I know that my times are about to slow down drastically as the runs get longer starting next week (next Friday is a 20 minute no walk break day) but I'm really proud that I set a goal to do these short runs at a sub 10 and I accomplished it.

Disney Princess Half I'm coming for you!  And I plan on stopping for every photo op there is if I can keep training at times like that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 2

Nothing spectacular to write about today but I know it's important to keep writing so I keep pushing myself to do this.  Again, I forgot to charge the Garmin so today I really just wanted to focus on how I felt while running.  So I have no idea how I did on pace.  I made it a little over 2.25 miles from warm up to end of the 2nd 5 minute run.  I think what I've learned is that I love my Garmin and I miss it when it's gone.  I like being able to glance down and get a read on my pace especially since right now I'm working on developing a good steady pace and I really like knowing definitely how far I've been.  So I guess the main thing I learned today is I apparently care more about what my little Garmin is saying then what my body is saying.  Ha!

Monday, May 14, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 1

Last week was, I think, one of the easier weeks of C25K because your longest run is 3 minutes and it was followed by an equivalent recovery period.  Week 4 it all changes and could quickly become an uphill battle.  This week you run for 3 minutes then walk for 90 seconds, then run for 5 minutes and recover for 2.5 minutes, then repeat.  So we are at the tipping point where the runs are becoming longer than the recovery walks.

I hit the course at the Y and set out to keep up with my goal of being sub 10 for these short runs.  Then after the first 3 minute interval right when the first 5 minute run was starting I glanced down and my poor Garmin was dead!  Oops, I guess I should remember to put that thing on the charger from time to time.  So I can't tell you how I did on my pace nor can I give you a definite distance.  But I can say that I felt strong through the run and I made it between 2.25 and 2.5 miles from warm up (5 min walk) to the end of the 2nd 5 minute interval.  So that's pretty good for me!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

C25K: Week 3 Day 2

So I skipped W2D3 and W3D1 while I waited to see what the doctor said about my knees.  Since he didn't say I couldn't run I headed out today after an AMAZING yoga class (more on that later) to run W3D2.  I must say that this week's runs seem to be an easier time frame than some of the others.  This week is 2 sets of the following: run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes.  However, 30 seconds into the first run set my knees were screaming in pain.  I told myself to suck it up and pushed through and got done with all of the runs with out any cardio problems.  I even kept my pace at a sub 10 which is what I am really trying to do in these early and short runs.  I felt good after the second 3 minute run and really could have done another round of those.

I love the C25K program!  If you are a beginner runner you really need to try it.  It's a great way to slowly  build in without getting discouraged.  It's great to complete the run, and finish strong and feel successful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Knee Check Up 1

Well, after my knees hurting still on Friday I decided to skip running until after I got the all clear from the Ortho doctor.  So I missed W2D3 and W3D1.

So I met with Dr. Miller today one of the knee specialists at Campbell's Clinic.  They took xrays and poked me in my knees and asked me when and where things hurt.  I have going to the doctor.  I'm just really bad about articulating problems to them and I immediately switch over into my standard suck it up mode and down play things that probably shouldn't be down played.  So he pretty much implied that I don't have a body built for long distance running and sent me out with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medicine, told me to get some glucosomine, and wants me to go to physical therapy for the next 4 weeks.

The good news is that it's not arthritis and he didn't say not to run.  So tomorrow I'll do W3D2.  If I have a hard time with that I'll back down to W2 and do that again this week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

C25K: Week 2 Day 2

Well, nothing really eventful happened during today run.  Except afterwards my knees were in a fair bit of pain.  In fact, they still kind of hurt.  I've always known I have bad knees and usually hide behind them as an excuse not to do things but this half marathon goal is really important to me so I guess I'll call the doctor and make an appointment to get it checked out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Committed: St Jude Half

Today is a big day.  I've been counting down to this day for a couple of weeks now.  So much anxiety has already built up in my mind about it that I wondered if I was going to actually do it.  But today, May 1st, the registration for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend opened and first thing this morning I logged on and registered for the Half Marathon.  There is no turning back now.  I mean, I guess there technically is since the race allows for registration transfers but that's not the point.  I've paid my money and I'm committed to doing it.

I cannot tell you how completely intimidated I am by the very thought of doing this race.  13.1 miles!  That means that if I run my hardest for the ENTIRE time the best I can hope for is a time of 2 hours and 37 minutes.  That sounds like an eternity considered my farthest distance to date was a little over 4 miles almost a year ago, and it took me about 50 minutes.  I was pretty sure I had been running for forever when I was coming up on that finish line.

I know that when I started this process my thought was I'm going to run the Disney Princess Half so you might be confused why I signed up for this one.  Well, the more I thought about the Disney race the more I realized that I wanted to go down there and have a good time, not run and get a good time.  The Disney race looks so unique with all the various characters and places I'll want to stop and snap a picture and I didn't want to miss out on doing those things because of the stress of falling behind the balloon walkers. So I decided to sign up and train for this St. Jude half and try my hand at getting placed into a better corral.  So that's why I'm doing this.  Now this also changes my training plans in that I need to figure out my training plans!  I was planning on following Disney's Jeff Galloway plan: found here and just modifying it to fit the calendar for this year.  So now I think I may back it up and train with that but adjust the dates so that it gets me ready for the St. Jude Half.  But then my runner friend Travis and a mommy blogger I follow Mama Laughlin both recommend using Hal Higdon.

So, have you ever trained for a Half Marathon before?  What program do you recommend? 

Monday, April 30, 2012

C25K: Week 2 Day 1

It was the first day of week 2 today.  I made it to the gym later than I wanted to because Lil' Joe was napping so it was already 83 degrees outside when I hit the pavement.  But it wasn't that bad and I felt a bit a of a breeze for a little while so again it was pleasant weather.  However, I'm starting to wonder if the weather really isn't that bad or if I just have a good attitude because once again, I know I'm only going to have to run for 1:30 at a time.  I remember from training last year in the heat of May that I have a tendency to get a pretty defeatist attitude pretty fast when the heat and humidity are high.

Anyway, I made it through all 6-90 second run intervals without a problem.  I kept my pace around a 9 min/mile.  I did feel some sharp pain in my inner left quad but I'm hoping with a little bit of good stretching and yoga class for the next 2 days that it will clear out before my run Wednesday evening.

In other news my Prince Charming started his C25K adventure this evening.  He got out and ran W1D1 after the kids went to bed.  So I sat outside and cheered him on as he ran past our house a couple of times.  I really love that we can support each other by talking about the runs but not running together so neither has to feel bad about their pace.  For the record right now, I'm pretty sure I'm faster.  =)  But that won't last for long.  I think by week 3 his long legs start to beat my short stubby ones.

See you Wednesday for W2D2!

Friday, April 27, 2012

C25K: Week 1 Day 3

Well, week one is done!  You know, I'm a little sad about that because week one is obviously the easiest week.  I feel good about how I did this week.  I got out and ran my 3 days without much internal struggle.  I might actually say that I was a little excited to get out there and hit the pavement.  But of course, that's probably because I knew I'd only be running for 60 seconds at a time, 8 times.

It was easier to do it this time then it was last time I did C25K.  So it seems like my overactive imagination is already trying to stress my body out about the ultimate goal of the Disney Princess Half 2013.  By the 6th running interval, a side stitch had set in and my mean imagination started saying cruel things to me about how if I can't run for 6 non consecutive minutes how on earth was I going to run for 3 hours.  Thankfully because the running intervals were so short this week by the time my brain started getting ugly with me the interval was over and I was on my recovery walk.

Eventually my drive started fighting with my negative self image and it was quite the conversation.  I know others who enter a state of running bliss or nirvana.  Instead, I think I enter a state of mental breakdown.  Ha!  I'm not looking forward to longer runs when my drive and negative self image really have time to go at it.  But one thing I heard my drive say today was, "You know, the one thing I like about you is that failure is never an option."  And that's true about me.  When I set my mind to something I'm going to get it done.  It may not be pretty but come hell or high water I am RUNNING the St. Jude Half Marathon this year.  Why?  Because that's what I want to do.  So even though my negative self image is saying rude things to me because I'm having to start back at the most basic of beginners running programs, my drive doesn't care.  My drive is already envisioning me crossing that finish line and having my husband, kids, and a few friends there cheering me in the home stretch.  This long term goal is something that is going to be SO incredibly hard.  And so worth it to.  I just need to make sure I keep cheering for my drive instead of my negative self image when those two start fighting about it.

Now I just need to pick a celebratory 5K that's 8 weeks away to reward myself for finishing this program again.

C25K: 1 week down, 8 to go!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

C25K: W1D2

Wednesdays are a tricky day for my running.  I like to run when I go to the Y so the kids can be in the nursery, but on Wednesdays Jen teaches yoga.  It's the only day of the week that she teaches at the Y and she's absolutely amazing so I pretty much move heaven and earth to make sure I don't miss her class.  I get 2 hours in the kid care, but class is 1 hour, and then I spend about 15 minutes kibitzing so that only leaves 45 minutes to change, get out and do the 30 minute workout and then get the kids.  I mean, it can be done but it'd be a bit tight and then we cut into when Lil' Joe needs to eat and getting Sassy to story hour at the library on time.

Anyway, so for now until Lil' Joe switches his schedule again I'm going to run on Wednesdays in the evening after we put the kids to bed.  So at 7:30 I changed into my shoes and grabbed the iPod only to realize that I apparently didn't turn it off and it was dead!  Bluh!  I've never run without music.  Luckily the Garmin was still charged so I was able to use it to time my intervals.  I thought it was going to be horrible having to watch my watch to time my intervals but it wasn't that bad.  I kept all my runs to a sub 10 which is my goal right now.  I know I won't be able to keep that up as the time gets longer but for now I'm pushing myself and doing alright.

Monday, April 23, 2012

C25K: Week 1 Day 1

Here we go again!  It's time to start training.  Actually, I'm not quite sure if it's time as in if I don't start now I won't be ready to run the St. Jude Half in December, but I feel like it's time.  If that makes any sense.  The weather has been beautiful and that's part of what's made me want to get out and get running. I know it's going to be a hot summer now so maybe if I can get the early training out of the way while it's still nice I should be so far into the program by the time the sweltering heat and humidity kicks in that my drive should keep me going to race day.

So today I dusted off my running shoes, got out the SPI belt, and found the iPod that has my Couch to 5K podcasts downloaded on it.  And man was it tough!  I haven't run in almost a year.  The last race I did was the Zoom through the Zoo in May 2011!  I was completely delusional as to how out of shape I am when it comes to running.  The first week of the program is 8-60 second runs with 90 second walk recoveries.  So I figured I go all out and sprint those 60 seconds because after all, it's just a minute.  BWAHAHAHA!  The first run I kept it around 6 min/mile pace.  Then it was 6:30.  Then it was a 7.  Then it was an 8.  Then it was a 9.  Then for the love of all that was holy I just tried to keep it below a 10 for the last 3 runs.  By the 6th set I had a side stitch and just felt pretty pathetic.

But I have to remember, it's a process.  I haven't run in a year and I'm not really a natural runner.  This is something that I push myself to do because I want to do it.  I want to say that I've run a half marathon.  I want to feel that overwhelming pride of accomplishing a goal that seems insurmountable.  I remember doing the C25K program back in 2010 and it was hard then so it's not going to be any different this time around.  What's great is it's going to be just as worth it!

Day 1 down.  Day 2 Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

I'm not a great cook and can get easily overwhelmed when the ingredient list is longer than my attention span.  So I have a general rule of 5 ingredients (+/- a couple) and 30 minutes or less.  The one has 6 ingredients so it was a winner from the start.  Plus once again, they are perfectly portion controlled already and each pocket is only 155 calories each.  Super win!  

I found these over at The Dashing Dish.  You can go straight to the recipe here.  I love that she gives great directions and a picture at each step so that if you easily get confused like me you can follow along.  

On her instructions she says to use Enchilada sauce and enchilada seasoning but in the side she says you can also sub in salsa.  I would recommend using the salsa instead of the enchilada sauce.  I've done it both ways now and I think the salsa was better.  It made it a little chunkier in a good way.  =)

Another plus is these reheat well!  We just pop them in the toaster oven the next day to warm them up so the crescent rolls don't get soggy.  

I guess my only complaint is that mine don't turn out near as pretty as hers.  I just can't get them all tucked in and wind up having some of the yummy goodness inside leak out.  

Add these great Chicken Enchilada Pockets to your meal calendar sometime soon.  You won't regret it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Fit Week #2 (50 more to go)

Regular week for me.  Here's what I did:

Monday: 55 minute ride on the stationary bike
Tuesday: Yoga at the Y
Wednesday: YogaLifeWay Yoga class where she made us do crazy breathing exercises that almost made me pass out.  It was pretty awesome.
Thursday: Yoga at the Y
Friday: 55 minute ride on the recumbent stationary bike (Don't judge me, I was trying to finish the last book of the Hunger Games.  I need to focus on that and get my sweat on!)
Saturday: crawling, climbing, swinging, chasing, and playing with my 2 year old at the City Museum in St. Louis.  (It totally counts as a work out since I was sweating and sore the next day.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Healthy and Yummy Chicken Pot Pies

Who doesn't love a good comfort food like Chicken Pot Pie?  Yum!  What I love about these is not only are they skinny, but they are already perfectly portion controlled.  They bake up nice and individually in biscuits that you smoosh into one of those big muffin tins.

The recipe comes from Between 3 Sisters and can be found here.  If you follow their directions exactly each pot pie is ONLY 144 calories!  How awesome is that?  And as I was writing this I checked back and they've included a nutritional break down as well as direction now on how to make your own homemade low calorie biscuits to make them even skinnier.  But in my opinion, that takes away the wonderful convenience and how easy these things are.

I pretty much follow their instructions.  The only thing I change is instead of dried parsley and onion powder I add Weber Kickin' Chicken.  That stuff is delicious!

Give these Chicken Pot Pies a chance.  I promise you'll love them!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Fit Week #1

Well, I must say there is a certain power that comes with putting your goal down on virtual paper for the whole world to see.  I'm acutely aware that really no one is reading this blog (thanks google stats) and that is ok.  This blog is doing exactly what I wanted; it's giving me a sense of obligation.  I knew when I started this, that each week I would report to any one who read it and myself what I had done this week to work out.  So on Thursday when Lil' Joe wasn't feeling good and we had already had to change his clothes 3 times and done 2 loads of wash and Sassy was in full 2 year old tantrum mode, I really did not want to go work out.  I had missed my yoga class and it was dangerously close to lunch time and then nap time.  But knowing I didn't want to report a miss on here, I quickly got the kids loaded up and headed to the gym to at least ride the stationary bike for a little bit.

So thank you for keeping me accountable!

Here's my report for my fit week.  (1 down, 51 more weeks until the Princess Half 2013!)

Monday: Pilates class
Tuesday: Yoga class
Wednesday: Yoga class (with a strong emphasis on stretching out my IT band.  It hurt so good.)
Thursday: Short but hard stationary bike ride for 25 minutes.  Since I knew it wouldn't be long I upped the effort level.
Friday: Pilates class

The weather was beautiful and I'm itching to get out and start running, but I still haven't been cleared because of my back problems.  I'm thinking of taking another month of resting and going to the chiropractor before I head to a sports medicine doctor to try something else.  Or I was thinking about trying some pool training that my runner friend Travis has talked about.  Has anyone else tried that?  What are some other low/no impact training activities I could add in while I wait to get cleared for real outside running?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Inspiring Reads

There's nothing quite like that runners high at the end of a run.  Whether it's short distance run that you didn't want to do, a long distance run that you push through, or a race day run, there is an undeniable high when you get to the finish line.  It's a euphoric moment of accomplishment that can't really be described only experienced.  And I want nothing more than to experience that glorious feeling at the end of the Princess Half in 2013.

But this race is big deal for a number of reasons.  One, I've been dreaming of this race since 2010.  Two,  I've only ever ran in 2 organized races (the Grizzlies House 5K in 2010 and the Zoom through the Zoo in 2011).  Three, the furthest distance I've ever ran was the 4.2 miles that was the Zoom through the Zoo.  And four, I'm still on a low impact only restriction so I can't even start training yet.

At times the thought of getting ready for this half marathon almost terrifies me.  I find myself slipping into all the old excuses and fears that kept me for running before I started the C25K in 2010.  I wonder if I can even do this.  13.1 miles is a long distance to run, but it's not just that, it's the thought of all the miles I'll have to log to get my body ready for that.

So I thought, since the 2012 Princess Half was just last weekend, that I should find some of my favorite race recaps from people who've done it and compile them here.  Anytime I need a little motivation and inspiration I can quickly visit this page and be reminded of how awesome it's going to feel when I cross that finish line.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Run Faster Mommy: This is her race recap from the 2010 Princess Half Marathon weekend.  It was the first race recap I ever read and found it when I immediately googled Disney's Princess Half Marathon when I got home from the St. Jude race expo and saw those gorgeous medals.

FitFluential Compilation: Fit Fluential has to be one of the coolest things I've discovered since joining Twitter to help me on this journey.  It's this whole community of people talking about being fit and healthy.  They post recipes, work out ideas, and this post is a list of recaps from the FitFluential Abassadors they sent to the race.  It's a cool link because it also talks about the other parts of the Marathon weekend like the Expo, 5K, pasta party, and even a blogger meet up.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to talk any of my friends into going and running this race with me so it feels good to know that even if I go "alone" I'll still have a whole community with me.

Running Jenn(ie): This is one of my newest twitter buddies!  She just finished doing her first 5K and 10K in 2011 and her first half marathon ever was the Princess Half just last weekend!  I love reading about how she tracked her training online and everything just like what I'm planning to do here.  It's great to read it because 1) it reminds me about how hard training for this half is going to be, but also 2) how obtainable it is.  Definitely check this out if you're thinking about training for your first half.

Amanda's Weekly Zen: This is a great resource sight that has a bunch of tips and links.

And of course don't forget about RunDisney's site.  And you can also follow them on Facebook.  Speaking of facebook, I think I saw in their status recently that 2013 will be the 5th annual Princess Half Marathon.  So very exciting!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Daring to Dream--Setting My Intentions

I love to work out!  In the words of the great Elle Woods: "Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." (Legally Blonde, 2001)  Or in my case, they don't shoot their husbands, their ridiculously "busy" and loud 2 year old, or their colicky 5 month old, they just don't!  Needless to say I really cherish my me time every day when I hit the local Y to work out.

In 2010, about 9 months after I had my Sassy daughter, a lot of my friends were posting on facebook about how they were doing Couch to 5K.  I was intrigued and looked it up.  About that same time I was also watching a lot of The Biggest Loser and that season they started with a competition to make it on the ranch by having the wanna-be contestants run a mile.  The first 2 from each city that made it across the finish line earned their place on the ranch.  There were so many of them that just could not run a mile!  Some fainted, a few vomited.  I was really shocked.  Sure those people were morbidly obese, and at that time I was working out an average of 4 times a week for 2 hours a day.  But seeing those people struggle really made me think.  And I decided that if Jillian Michaels showed up at my door and asked me to go run a mile, at that point in my life, I didn't think I could have.

So I started C25K.  The program takes you in 9 weeks from not being able to run at all, to running 3 miles continuously.  I looked at the local running calendar in my area and picked a race that was 9 weeks away and registered for it.  It happened to be the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K that is apart of the St. Jude Marathon Weekend.  I added running 3 days a week to my normal Y class routine.  I was so amazed at how I went from really struggling to finish those first week workouts to running in that first 5K.  As I came up the home stretch and saw the Autozone Stadium, I remember almost crying because I was so proud of what I had accomplished.  (For the race recap I wrote on my family blog go here.)

That first race was the beginning of this crazy dream of mine that brings you to this blog.  When I went to pick up my race packet it was the first time I've ever been to a pre-race expo and it was amazing!  As I walked around all the various vendors I stumbled across the Run Disney booth where they had all their race bling on display and were handing out princess crowns to advertise for the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon.  In 2 days I was going to run 3.1 miles for the first time EVER in my life and all of a sudden I was dying to go to Disney World and run 13.1 miles!  I have no idea what had gotten into me.  I even tried to convince one of my friends to sign up so we could go.  I was googling all kinds of running plans to see if I had enough time to train for that race.

We couldn't make it in 2011, but thought about trying to go in 2012.  However, that didn't happen because of this:

(36 Weeks Pregnant with Lil'Joe) 

I had a pretty fit pregnancy.  I worked out 4-5 days a week.  But it was still a difficult pregnancy that took it's toll on my body.  I ran for the first half of the pregnancy.  However, after running in a local 4 miler, the Zoom through the Zoo, my sciatica was so inflamed that I was told to stop running.  I had to go to the chiropractor for the rest of the pregnancy 3 days a week just to be able to walk and do what I needed to do each day.  However, that didn't stop me and I continued to walk, go to Zumba class, and do yoga and pilates the rest of the pregnancy.  The morning that I went into labor I had gone to Zumba, waddled 2 miles, and done a pretty intense yoga class.  Of course, 15 hours later I gave birth in my car since we didn't make it to the hospital in time.  (Whooops!)

Since then my sciatica is still bothering me, and I still have not been cleared to do high intensity or high impact cardio.  So no running yet for me.  But that hasn't stop me, I was back to the gym 2 weeks after giving having Lil' Joe!  I started back easy, just walking a couple of miles while pushing the stroller.  Then I added back yoga and pilates.  A few weeks ago, I added riding the stationary bike twice a week to my routine to add some cardio and conditioning back in to my routine.

I'm putting my goal out there right here, right now so I can join the community of fit bloggers (and tweeters) to help keep me motivated.  This time next year, I will be in Orlando, FL at Disney World and I will be running in the Princess Half Marathon!  Who's with me?!?

Follow me here and join the conversation on Twitter  @fit2beaprincess !  I'm 52 weeks away from my dream race.

This is the story of how after having 2 kids, I'll get fit to be a princess again!