January…is DONE

Wow, where did time go? I guess time pass really fast when you’re having fun (or really busy). On the very last day of January, I looked over the workout spreadsheet that I’ve been keeping. I’m happy to report that I’ve ran 15 out of the 31 days!! And combined with yoga (and a couple other gym sessions), I’ve worked out a total of 22 days in January!! I think that’s the most active month I’ve ever had! Anyways, I’m really excited to make this change in my life 😀

As I head into February, things are gonna get hectic at work. But hopefully the good habits that I’ve built in January will help me push through the days when it seems easier to not workout (and take the wasy way out). Looking back, I think there are definitely health benefits of working out constantly and being active  — I’ve consumed less caffeine in the past month and I am less sluggish in general. I can hardly remember any days in January where I suffered from the mid-afternoon dip in energy (but this could also be attributed to me getting 8 hours of sleep almost every night…)! My productivity at work has gone up and I’m overall, a happier person!

I’m excited to see what February brings! Oh, and I’m running my first half-marathon of the year is less than a week! Wish me luck!!

 

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Adjustments

One of the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the past couple years of my life is the art of being “flexible.” This was a winning trait to have, especially if one is married to a military man 🙂 Now I also have to be flexible in my road to fitness in 2014. After a couple days back at work, I’ve realized that my schedule makes it REALLY difficult to accomodate the workout schedule I had originally envisioned for myself. This doesn’t mean that I won’t workout but that I should reconfigure the schedule. I’m still keepng with the yoga and running (yin & yang) theme but just with a different schedule. Here’s what’s new:

Mon: 6am Yoga

Tues: REST

Wed: 6am Yoga; Run

Thurs: Run

Fri: 6am Yoga; Run

Sat: Run

Sun: Run

Since my goal is to train for a marathon, running 5 times a week is important. I might consider adding a yoga day on the weekends after I’ve mastered this schedule. As you can probably tell, my week is loaded in the beginning of the week – Tuesday is especially hectic :/ I love the idea of the 6am yoga (and I love the energy of the class I went to this week) so that’s what I’m going to stick to.

Will this schedule change again? Maybe. But at least, it’s currently tailored a little better to what my week looks like for the next 3 months or so and I’ll have a better chance of succeeding in my fitness plan! Alright, back to work.

It’s a new year!

This will have to be a short post because there’s lots going on. But I’m happy to report that I’m making decent progress in my training. I’ve been able to run 4-5 times a week in the last two weeks with an additional of 1-2 days of yoga. Now that I’m back at school, I’ll need a period to readjust but I’m hoping to hang on to a similar schedule.

I was able to go to yoga today (at a new studio) and it felt great. It’s always harder to get started but once you get going, it gets more habitual (easier) and much easier to stick to a workout regimen.

Here’s an example of my progress from before the new year:

12/23/2013 3.2 miles
12/24/2013 3.1 miles and yoga
12/26/2013 3.1 miles
12/27/2013 4.2 miles
12/28/2013 the Incline!!!
12/29/2013 x

Happy National Running Day!

I have no photos for you all today, but I would like to share something I read this morning:

Running…it’s everyone’s sport. Whether you’re fast, slow, a marathoner, or leisurely one-mile jogger, you’re a runner.
And the benefits don’t extend solely to the elite. Each time you lace up your sneakers you’re making a commitment to your health. And each time you start your stride you’re opening your mind to a world free of the stress we encounter each and every day. And those who have crossed the finish line of any length race know the feeling of accomplishment that washes over you — and know it can’t be replaced.

— Tara (Charity Miles)

Today is National Running Day and I celebrated by going on a run (of course!). When I was with my friend today, she told me about her aborted attempt to do the Couch to 10K program despite the fact that she seems to have an innate running abilities (running a 8 minute/mile on her first try – I am beyond jealous). This and the quote really reminded me what it means to run and be a runner – while I have a lot of goals and dreams about running, I still have to remember to take one day (one run) at a time. My goals can only be realized if I continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Running for life!

GOG 10 Miler Week 8 Update

Holy moly…the race is this week!!! I don’t feel ready at all!

So last week has been OK in training, although I never got around to the super long run I had planned on Sunday. So I’ll have to just go with a longer/longish one tomorrow and then rest/short runs for the rest of the week. Also, I’m going to drink lots and lots and lots of water.

Fitness-wise, I’ve been feeling OK but I don’t think I’ve been managing my diet as well as I should 😦 I’ve been having a really sweet tooth lately and it doesn’t help that the spouse is always requesting my (famous) key-lime pie now it’s summer. How much pie can two relatively fit adults eat? You don’t want to know! Sometimes, life and fitness can be so frustrating, especially if you fall short of your goals. Sigh.

So what else is going on? Oh yes, the spouse is leaving home for work again. It’s always the WORST right before he leaves. Like right now, he’s packing his gear and whatever else he needs and you can just feel stress radiating from him. The energy around home is tense because we are both dealing (in our own way) with his departure. I know I should have pressed on with my schedule, but I allowed myself to take today off from working out (except now I’m regretful because I could have really used it). Tomorrow is the big day; we already have plans for his drop off…and then he’ll be on his way for work and I’ll be able to settle into my “lonely lady” routine. OK, I’m not really lonely during those times when he’s away (I actually fare really well on my own – it’s a part of my charm) but I get to hit the gym at night…and I really love that.

Anyways, I think I fared OK (but definitely not my best) in my training so this week is my last chance to figure things out for the race on Sunday. I guess, race and whatnot, it’s all a part of life. Hopefully I’ll have a satisfactory race report next Monday for all of you!

Happy Running!

GOG 10 Miler Week 7 Update

Oh my gosh, I’m late…on this blog post and life in general (haha). Let me quickly send out this update before I have to run off to the gym and officially start my day. So remember the soreness I had to endure at the end of week 6 due to overexerting myself during the “fun” and “pretend” PT test? Well, that baby lasted the whole damn week! I can’t say that my lower abs have returned to normal because I do feel some strain during the “upward dog” in yoga. Anyhow, this last week really wasn’t my best effort in training and fitness. First, the soreness (and SUNBURN) made it just absolutely bleh to do any kind of work out for a couple of days (although I did take some walks, tried to stretch…etc). Second, it was a whirlwind kind of week, both physically and emotionally (let me elaborate about that in a later post).

Despite the break from yoga and not doing as much running as I should, I did manage to squeeze in some speed work. I had mentioned that I’ve been trying to crank up my speed at the end part of my runs…and so far I’ve really enjoyed doing that. I was only able to run twice last week but both I felt were solid training sessions. And the rest of the time, I was just trying to recover physically with light cardio and some stretching.

Honestly, I’m not too happy about how I did last week but I really have to accept that it is what it is. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who can run 4-5 miles everyday and keep up with it for weeks and months on that same regimented schedule. Ugh. A friend once told me that sometimes, we just can’t allow life to get in the way of training…but I really also believe that for an amateur like myself, it is all about balance. I run because I want to be healthy. I also enjoy running very much so it’s my hobby. In a strange way, because it’s so enjoyable for me, I don’t want to feel trapped by all the constraints that could come along with training for races – I just want to do what I feel! I want every moment that I’m either out on a trail or  pounding the treadmill to be times that I enjoy in its totality. There are enough guilt and shame in our lives associate with being in a relationship (whether you’re a husband, wife, parent, girlfriend…etc) or in our jobs…I really don’t need my hobby to turn into something of a chore. As you can see, I am still trying to find that balance between how much do I make time for running and when do I just have to prioritize life and work. I may have to struggle with this one for a long while…but much like running, as long as you keep moving, you are getting somewhere.

Alrighty, more posts later this week about how life/work took over my last week but also some gorgeous photos from my short visit to the Rocky Mountains National Park!

GOG 10 Week 5 Update

My gosh, it’s Monday again…once again so pooped! Last week’s gotta be the best training week for me to date! I logged about 11 miles in 3 training runs, did yoga one day, and cardio on two others! I was pretty regular with going to the gym (one of the perks with the spouse being not home is I get to go to the gym in the evenings) 😀

One of my highlights from last week was I did a 5K on Saturday. It was a small local run and I wanted to do it. My husband had just returned home in the wee hours of that morning/night…but he was sweet enough to wake up and took me the event in the morning. It was a 5k trek around part of an airforce base. The weather was awesome (finally!!) and it feels good to go out and run first thing on a Saturday morning! Since the run was for our Armed Forces (and our surrounding community), I thought it was especially touching that my running route took me through the airfield and the terminal where our soldiers deploy out of and come home to. Looking at the C130s sitting on the tarmac as I run by just brings a tear to my eyes!

Another thing I want to mention is I finally did some hill trainings last week! Boy, was it hard! This is really something I have to work on :/ There’re a bunch of smaller hills on this trail near my house but there’s also this one very big (and long) hill – it’s one of those where your car would shift gears (if you drive an automatic like me) trying to get the top. So far, I’ve not been able to take that hill in one run. I’ve always had to stop mid-way and walk up the rest of it (grrrr). My goal is to be able to run up that hill without walking or feeling like I will pass out before my training is finished for this race.

It’s a gonna have to be a shorter post today because I’m so tired! Mondays are just kinda crazy for me, especially today, since I had to prep and teach/brief a military formals class this morning. Hope my training continues nicely this week…

Happy Running!!

GOG 10 Week 4 Update

Oh my gosh, I’m so tired! My eyelids are literally drooping as I type… 🙂

So this last week hasn’t been too bad…I guess I’m improving and I can start to feel my running groove coming back!! Last week, I got the new Inov8 shoes and I’ve been trying them out. The first time I ran on them, I only went for 2 miles but oh boy, were my calves sore! Last week was kind of a frantic week and my schedule was all mixed up because the spouse was in the field for 3 days and then immediately left for a week-long work-related trip. During the week, I ran between 2-3 miles to get used to the new shoes. After a day or two of rest coupled with yoga, I finally decided I was gonna do my longer run on the weekend in the Inov 8s! I gotta say those were the best 5 miles I’ve done in a long while! My legs were a little tired when I was done but not particularly sore on the calves and my feet felt great! No strange soreness on the ankles or anything…of course, I’ve also been more conscientious of my running form and these shoes do force me to pay more attention. Anyways, I could use a couple more  overall miles but I feel a lot more motivated about running! That’s an awesome feeling, especially at about 1 month out from the race!

In other training news, I found out that my yoga studio is adding additional 6am yoga classes! The studio used to only offer 6am classes on Tues and Thurs but starting next week, there’ll also be classes on Mon, Wed, and Fri. I’m really excited and my inclination is to dive into it…but I really have a lot going on this month so we’ll see if I can make it to all these extra yoga classes.

I’m really looking forward to my long run this weekend. I’m planning to do 6 miles. Last week, my friend B and I couldn’t coordinate to go on our training run together at the GoG because her husband is also away from home (in fact, on the same work-related trip as my hubby). Hopefully we can get together this week to run. She told me about the crazy hills on the race route that she checked out last week and my heart is just full of trepidition about it…but I guess there’s no other way to deal with it but to practice, practice, practice!

Besides all the fun stuff with my running motivation on an upswing, I also realized something last week on the treadmill. One of the lessons of running is acceptance. I saw this great quote on the internet that sums up my revelation pretty well:

There are two primary choices in life – to accept conditions as they exist or accept responsibility for changing them.

–Denis Waitley

For me, both types of acceptance is necessary. For one, I need and want to accept my body, my abilities, and my limitations. I acknowledge that at altitude, I might never run as fast as I can at sea-level but what’s important is my acceptance of the responsility to do something…including my attempt to become stronger and faster. I think this is something that I will continue to ponder on in the coming days and months.

I think that’s all for now. Happy running!