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I'm back!

So I finally went back to the gym last night. I did 11 minutes on the elliptical, and then I had to go pick Troy up from class. Then I went back to the gym with the idea that I would run on the treadmill, but I decided I wanted to get back on the e-machine.

So second time around, 50 minutes; 316 calories; 4.55 miles with an average pace of 10:58/mi.

I feel a lot better and slept much better last night. Hopefully tonight I can get back to the gym, but I may need to start running around the neighborhood.

Here's why:

On my way to work this morning, I noticed that every time I came to a crawl or stop and tried to accelerate again, my car lurched a bit before kicking into gear. So when I get to Scottsdale and Curry (about 3.5 miles from my house, when work is 7.6 miles from the house), I decide to call Troy and ask him if he knows why it's lurching. Well, right as I start to explain it to him, the light turns green, I go to drive and my car doesn't move. Doesn't crawl, doesn't move when I accelerate. I start flipping out.

Turn on the hazards, try to explain it to Troy while telling other cars to go around and figure out how to make my car move (because, of course, I was first in line in the middle lane at the light) and try not to cry.

Troy tells me to throw it down into first gear and alas, it starts to move. I get to the nearest parking lot and tell him to call AAA.

While we're still talking, I try 3rd and 2nd gears... 3rd doesn't move at all, 2nd lurches a lot. 1st is smooth but so low that it's a damn crawl. Reverse, oddly enough, works perfectly.

In short: My transmission is shot. I called my mother and she's so sick of dealing with this car that she's contemplating selling it for parts.

So I will be riding my bike to work from now on. It should only take about 45 minutes to an hour; driving takes 30, so it's not too bad. I'll just need to bring baby wipes, makeup and a change of clothes to work.

A whole week.

So, it's literally been a week since I last updated. And I've run every day this week! It's been quite the adventure, but I ran 22 miles in the past 7 days. I am impressed with myself. Last week, I ran 16 miles.

It's getting easier for me to run. At least, run the same distances. I hit the 4 mile run mark one week ago, and I ran 4 miles again yesterday. I'm just afraid to go farther. I don't want to hurt my knees again and it's becoming a psychological thing. I see my times going down and I can physically tell I am in better shape. Yesterday I ran 15 minutes without a break. I wouldn't have been able to do that two weeks ago. So I know I'm getting better. I hope I can just increase my distances. I am going to do 5 miles this coming week.

Also, today I went to the track and calibrated my Sportsband to my run. The track I found (after 20 minutes) had the first four lanes blocked off to "even the track." So I had to run the fifth lane, which was kind of tricky. I started at the stagger start, ran a lap (.25 miles) and then went for another lap. The farther you run, to a point, the more accurate your calibration will be. But once I was toward the end of the second lap I thought, "Well, crap. I need to stop early to keep it an even half mile." The fifth lane is longer than the first one, so I stopped a bit short of the finish line. So even my calibration marker was just a bit off, but it was the best I could do for now. My Nike+ log today was just a little bit over what the treadmill said, so I adjusted the calibration and I should be set.

My Nike+ public profile
It didn't record the first three runs accurately, so don't really pay attention to those numbers. But it's kind of cool to see it all.

Here's this week's log. It's going to be long.Collapse )

I weighed myself when I got here ... I think on June 13 or 14. I was at about 146.5. I was terrified. Earlier in the year, according to the LA Fitness scale in Tempe, I was just under 140. Needless to say, I was upset to see such a huge jump. I had figured I gained weight, but 7 pounds? Really? I was not happy. In fact, I became really unmotivated and down.

But I weighed myself again on the 25th and I was at 144. After breakfast! So that's 2.5 - 3 pounds in less than two weeks. I've definitely never seen results like this.

This week I burned over 4,100 calories. I should be seeing a steady weight loss if I can keep this up. Now I can see why it was easy for me to maintain a low 130s (and sometimes high 120s) weight while I was running track and cross-country. In addition to exercising more, I've just been doing more. If Jo and I go anywhere, we end up walking around town (usually up and down hills). I know little stuff like that helps too.

I'm really enjoying a life where the gym is my only commitment.

Longest entry ever.

So I may be crazy.

I haven't been to the gym in a week due to a heinous case of combination sinus infection/tonsillitis/bronchitis.

Interestingly, I feel relatively fine, save for a small headache right now.

So I got antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine yesterday and now I'm feeling well enough that I am seriously itching to go run, which I will.

But I've been considering this half-marathon on Sunday Oct. 5 in San Jose (until, that is, I realized how far away San Jose is). It's the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon.

Celeste, if you're interested at all in doing this with me, it's 75 for the race entry. I would consider staying from Oct. 3 to Oct. 6 to do a bit of sightseeing on Friday the 3rd and pick up race packets at the expo, rest on Saturday the 4th, race on Sunday the 5th and sight-see a bit on Monday the 6th (although we could also bounce out early if you have classes on Monday).

There's a few official hotels, including the San Jose Fairmont and the San Jose Hilton. The Fairmont is 3 blocks from the starting line and is right in front of the finish line. It's 179/night. The Hilton is 3.5 blocks from the starting line and a block from the finish line, but the pre-race convention is there. It's also 179/night.

There's also a San Jose Holiday Inn, which is 109/night, but it's 3 miles from the starting line and 4 miles from the finish line.

Round trip flights on Southwest are 250 at the cheapest, but I just remembered that you get buddy passes, so, that's cheaper for you.

Altogether, hotel and race entry are about $375/person for the Fairmont or Hilton and $280 for the Holiday Inn.

If you're interested, let me know. I'd be down with doing this.


I set a goal for myself today: four miles.

So after reading "Runners' World" for an hour, Josiah and I set off to the gym. He doesn't like the gym (he only went to weigh himself), so I knew I had to be quick.

I rode the bike for 10 minutes to warm up then hopped on the treadmill.

I ran, and ran and then ran some more. Watching the Olympic gymnastics trials made me want to burn more calories. I want their legs! Well, like half of their legs, hahah.

I ran three intervals of 10 minues running, 1 walking. Then I did 5 running, 1 walking and 4 running, 1 walking. I felt amazing. I was just so incredibly proud of myself I didn't even notice my lack of breathing toward the end. It was great.

Then Jo and I went in the hot tub for about 20 minutes. It was the perfect ending to my workout. My legs feel great and so do I.

Sunday, June 22
Biked 2 miles, 10 min, 75 cal
Ran 4 mi, 44 min, 430 cal, 11:00 pace, 5.45 mph
10/1- 5.5, 5.6, 5.7; 5/1- 5.8; 4/1- 5.9

Also, according to my log this is my fifth week of running. Granted, two weeks of that ... I didn't actually run because of my knee. But here is my mileage so far.

Week 5 total: 16.28 mi
Year to date: 49.16 mi

Also, this week I burned 2,400 calories. And last week was 2,100 ... so hopefully I'm a pound lighter. Or else I'll be pissed.


So I received my Nike+ Sportband.

I tried to rig it to my shoes. I slid it underneath the bottom laces and taped the sucker in. I bought a Marware Sport Sensor Kit, which should arrive in a few days.

But in the meantime, I had to ghettape it on there. And the reading was terribly, horribly off. I'm not sure if it was because of the rig or the treadmill ... but after the first mile on the treadmill, it said i had only gone .6 miles on the Sportband. Guh. I ran for a bit longer, then stopped so I could calibrate it. You are supposed to run for over .25 miles, and compare the actual distance with the Sportband measurement. Ideally I will go to a track to do this, but I don't exactly know where one is. Anyway, I ran for .3 miles and the Sportband measured .21. It also said my pace was 14ish minutes, when I was going 5.8 mph so it should have been just over 10 minute miles. So...pretty off. I know a treadmill isn't the most accurate thing on earth ever, but the readings shouldn't be that different.

Here's to hoping that the pouch will help make it more accurate.

My run today wasn't long at all because my knees were kinda sore from yesterday (I ran my longest one yet!).

Wednesday, June 18
Ran/walked about a mile with Josiah. Worst run ever. It was around my grandparents' house and I couldn't bring myself to go up or down any of the hills. Eff that. Then I rode the bike trainer for abour 3 minutes before it smelled like burned rubber and I hated it anyway.

Thursday, June 19
Biked 6.75 miles, 36 minutes, 160 calories
Ran 2.52 mi, 28 min, 271 cal, 11:07 pace, 5.4 mph
5/1-5.5, 5.6; 4/1-5.7, 5.8; 5/1-5.9, 6; 4/1-6.1

Friday, June 20
Biked 7 mi, 40 min, 200 cal
Ran 3.35 mi, 37 min, 357 cal, 11:02 pace, 5.43 mph
5/1-5.5; 6/1-5.7, 5.8; 5/1-5.9,6; 4/1-6.1

Saturday, June 21
Ran 1.76 mi, 20 min, 185 cal, 11:22 pace, 4.28 mph
4/1-5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8


I got a job! At the Scottsdale Running Company! I start Thursday! I get discounts!

Also, I haven't been to the gym since my spin class on Friday. I decided I needed a day off on Sunday and then last night I felt like hell. I still do. My tonsils feel like someone replaced them with big sharp rocks in the middle of the night.

I hurt. But I am gainfully employed and I'll get discounts on running shoes, shorts and sports bras now.


As an aside, Troy and I went to Sole Sports last night (formerly the Scottsdale Running Company, but then the owners had a falling out and they split). We had his gait analyzed and he got running shoes. Some sweet Mizunos, but I don't know exactly what they are and I'm too achy to get out of bed and check.

I am too close to the sun.

I am 6,800 feet above sea level. Phoenix is at about 1,100 feet. This means: my lungs are on fire.

The first ran I took here (my last blog), I could not breathe. I didn't really think about it at the time ... I assumed I was just out of shape from my two weeks "off." But after taking multiple more runs and lots of cycling, I know it's the altitude.

Yowza. Other than that though, I feel great. I've been waking up every morning around 9ish and going to the gym for an hour or so. It's a nice way to start off the day. I don't imagine this schedule will work when I return back to Tempe. I really don't have three hours to spare to workout, shower and get ready in the beginning of my day. Oh well.

My Nike+ Sportband shipped today. Hopefully it will be here by the end of the week. I can't wait to get off the treadmill.

As for my actual running, it's going slowly. I haven't gone much farther than 2.5 miles, and it's not very fast. Before my knee was hurting, I was running a lot faster with less breaks. Now I'm mostly doing 3.5 minutes of running, 1.5 minutes of walking. My breathing is labored and I really don't want to hurt my knee again.

Saturday, June 14
Cycled about 12 miles through downtown CO Springs in about 1.5 hours. Did some small hills that made my thighs cringe. Approximately 575 calories.

Sunday, June 15
Ran 2.55 miles, 30 minutes, 260 calories, 11:45 miles, 5.1 mph
4/1-5.5, 3.5/1.5-5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 6
Walked down to the Broadmoor, around the lake and back up the mountain
6 miles, 1.75 hours, 650 calories

Monday, June 16
Cycled level 11 hill climb, 3 miles, 15 minutes, 100 calories
Ran 2.15 miles, 25 minutes, 230 calories, 11:37 miles, 5.16 mph
4/1-5.5, 3.5/1.5-5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9

Tuesday, June 17
Ran 2.5 miles, 29 minutes, 265 calories, 11:36 miles, 5.17 mph
4/1-5.5, 5.6, 3.5/1.5-5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 2/2-6

Since Friday, I've burned around 2700 calories. Hopefully I can lose some weight now.

I have motivation pants.

I have these brand new jeans that are my motivation pants. Like, so new that I haven't even worn them out of my bedroom... because every time I put them on and successfully button and zip them, I look like a cupcakeThe with a Barbie stuck halfway in -- seriously gross muffin-top.

I tried again, fruitlessly, to put them on and look good. However, I can already tell that I'm getting a little bit smaller, which makes the aching in my quads acceptable.

This morning, Troy and I went to a spin class at the Y. 45 minutes of insane cycling, with resistance, ups, downs, sprints, etc. My God. All I could think was, "I wish I hadn't run last night." I was seriously sweating buckets. Like, there was a small puddle of my sweat on the floor beneath my bike -- and that paled in comparison to my t-shirt.

When we left, the people waiting outside of the studio for a yoga class stared at Troy and I like we each had two heads.

I nearly offered him a hair tie while we were spinning but decided not to. Next time, I will -- I'll bet he'd take it.

The instructor was insane. She was such a good cyclist. She said that Troy and I did well, but I don't know if that was to encourage us to come back because I think I sucked.

Last night, I ran for 30 minutes, plus a 4 minute warm-up and 4 minute cool-down, for a total of 38 minutes.

1% incline, 2 minute run by 1 minute walk intervals (minus about 4 intervals where I did 2x2; 1x2; 1x1; and 1:30x1). I was feeling a little worse for wear, I think because I worked just as hard the night before and it was the first time in a long time that I had worked out two days consecutively.
-- 268 calories burned; 2.58 miles ran (incl. warm up and cool down); average pace 14:46/mi

Tomorrow, I'm going to try and up it to 3x1 run/walk intervals, depending how I'm feeling. I may take the day off.

Monday's goal: cross train by taking a cardio box class and then weights afterward.

As an aside: I tried the Espresso Love flavor of Gu today. It didn't taste too bad, but feeling it slide down to my stomach and sit there while I waited for water and stomach acid to wash it down was less than pleasant. I'd be willing to bet that I'd puke it back up on a run. Btw -- don't look at the Gu as you eat it. That was really gross.

Back in the game.

I ran, I ran, I ran, I ran.

I last ran on May 29. Which was 15 days ago. I figured that was ample time to let me knee heal, so I went for it.

I am so happy. Seriously. My knee doesn't hurt this morning!!!

I warmed up with about 30 minutes of weights. I did leg presses (at 145 lbs, Josiah was stunned when he struggled pressing himself off of the platform), leg extensions, a bunch of difficult arm maches and some free weights. I just wanted to feel the situation out and see if my knees were going to put up with the treadmill.

To start off, I walked 2 minutes. In the past weeks, I have been able to tell if they were going to hurt just by walking for 30 seconds. Good to go here. Then I started in running. I did 8 minutes at 5.5 mph, then walked 1.5 minutes and ran 3.5 for the remainder of the time, gradually upping my speed.

When Jo and I got home, I timed his intervals on the bike trainer while we watched TV. He went for 40 minutes, and I took that time to round out my workout with some Pilates 100s, crunches and tons of leg exercises. I also used Jo's workout drink powder as a weight to do those things where you use both arms to raise and lower weights behind you head.

And oh yeah, yesterday Jo and I rode our bikes in Old Town Colorado Springs for about 10 miles. It was windy as hell too.

I am just really proud of myself. I was getting worried that my "running career" would be cut short to the two weeks last month, but it looks like I am OK.

Today I am going to buy the Nike+ Sportband. I really wanted the iPod one, but I don't have a Nano. So I'm stoked about this one. I can't wait to start running around the lake at The Broadmoor.

Friday, June 13
25 minutes, 2.2 miles, 235 calories, 11:23 pace, 5.3 mph
8 min run/2 min walk- 5.5 mph, 3.5/1.5 - 5.7, 3.5/1.5 - 6, 3.5, 3.5/1.5 - 6.2

I think I'm getting stronger.

Y again last night, after a day off due to stupidity-induced soreness.

Since I didn't eat soon enough after my workout on Tuesday, I was insanely sore on Wednesday and Thursday. Seriously, I could barely walk if I sat or lay down for more than a few minutes.

Also, the day got away from me on Wednesday and I didn't get the chance to force myself in to the Y. Probably for the best, however, since my lower back was screaming at me all damn day.

So yeah, last night. I finished reading Runner's World's Complete Guide To Women's Running by Dagny Scott Barrios and the Runner's World cover story on Gabe Jennings, so I was feeling pretty motivated to rock.

So I get to the Y and decide that I'm going to start adding weight/circuit training into my training. But I was scared of looking like a fool, so I hopped on the treadmill for a 5-minute warm up walk while I mustered the courage to get on the machines.

I go over to the leg extension, and after asking the guy that just got off of it to help me set it, I set the weight too high and barely made it through one set. In fact, I'm sure I lost form. My quads were on fiiiiiirre. So I decided not to try a second set because I still wanted to run. Went through and did the abductor, adductor, hamstrings curl and seated calf press machines with little difficulty and much experimentation and then went to run.

So I did 40 minutes of 2 minute run by 2 minute walk intervals on the treadmill at a 1% incline. There was some time in the middle where I went 2 walk by 1 run because I thought I was pushing it too hard. Now I realize that I wasn't listening to how my body felt and just how much I was sweating (a metric fuckton).

When I realized that, I went back to 2x2 and finished feeling a little wiped, but strong after 2-3 minutes of walking during my cooldown.

Finished my time at the gym with the back extension (too little weight, didn't feel anything), triceps extension and butterfly chest press (ow).

Also, after my workout I tried those Luna Sport Moons. They're these gummy chews filled with electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep people fueled during and after long workouts. So I had the pomegranate ones and they're good. Sort of like less-sweet gummy fruit chews. They were in my car and warm, however, so a bit sticky.

Btw -- That women's running book by Dagny Scott Barrios is a really good resource. It covers everything from beginners to elites, running while pregnant, eating disorders, how to eat healthy as a runner, running through the stages of life, etc. I've flipped through some more broad running books and they do seem tailored to men without even appearing to consider the specific needs of women (esp. concerning body image and nutrition).
Plus, Barrios adds her experiences in parts of the chapter in a sidebar section called "Training Log". It's pretty interesting. Long, though.

Celeste: It occurred to me yesterday that when you get back to the Valley, we'll both look so different due to our training. That kind of blows my mind.