Hey, how’s that Iron Horse Half training going?

I’ve been excited about the Iron Horse Half Marathon since I found out about it earlier this year. It’s in a new location for me and is my first trail run. Now that it’s less than a week away, I’ve discovered that excited does not always equal preparedness.

After the RnR Half, I wanted a bit of a break from training as always happens for me. Then I went through a break up, I moved, it got really hot, one time I went out for a long run and my Spotify playlist just kept playing all the sad songs (re: see first excuse).

Basically, life happened.

One of my resolutions this year was to work out through transitions. See, I’m aware of this particular weakness of mine, this tendency to let exercise be the first thing to fall away when things get busy or I’m feeling all the feelings. You know, precisely when I need the endorphins in my life.

And I have gotten better. This transition took me down to a few workouts a week but I was still getting some miles in, along with yoga, biking, and golf (okay, I played a par three course once, but it’s still active fun).

For my last pre-race long run, I did 10 miles yesterday! Not at a pace I loved, but at a decent pace for a Sunday run and I felt like I could have kept going. For not feeling prepared I’d say the ability to crank that one out deserves a big old, HEY THANKS BODY!

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Want to run the Iron Horse? Get 10% off with PRETTYACTIVE16 at check out! Online registration is open for two more days or you can register at packet pick up or day of.

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A Week WITH Workouts

Since I last posted, lamenting about not being able to get my butt in gear, it’s been just about a month and I’m very happy to say I’m back on track.

Call it a combination of considering a triathlon this spring + the already 80 degree weather reminding me that, as a friend said, “spring training and shorts season is in like five minutes and swimsuit season is in like ten” + support/accountability partner + momentum. Whatever it is, I’ll take it! This is how my workouts went last week:

Monday: 4 mile tempo run + strength
Tuesday: hot vinyasa class
Wednesday: strength + 30-min (1200 meter) swim
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: hot slow flow yoga class
Saturday: 3 mile increasing pace run + strength + 2 mile steady run
Sunday: hot vinyasa class

Sean came with me to the gym on four of those trips! Making a plan to go after work and having someone hold me to that is huge for my motivation, which usually peaks at about 3pm and then heads straight down, sometimes not making it to 5pm.

Notes from the week:

1. All of my runs were treadmill, which I normally don’t like and it’s gorgeous weather and there’s really no excuse, except that those were days I went to the gym with the boyfriend and just as he encourages me, I want to encourage him.

2. Mentally I’m having trouble with increasing mileage, particularly on a treadmill when I can just hop off and call it good, which is why on Saturday I split up my 5 miles (of COURSE I’m still stubborn enough to get them all done)!

3. I used to consider yoga strength training and it certainly gave me definition in places I had been missing it, but I’m back to lifting, and for that, I blame a picture that Mama Laughlin posted showing her basically at the same weight, but looking fantastic when she added in strength. I can’t for the life of me find that damn picture.

4. Some days I’ll walk to the weights section and be like, “I got this.” Some days, I’ll be like, “what’s this heavy thing?” On those days I hide in the women’s section (at Gold’s) or an empty fitness studio (at Lifetime) and try to remember exercises I saw on blogs, in magazines or just make up some stupid ones myself.

5. I have been way too inconsistent with my yoga in the past few months and the classes this week were TOUGH, but I went and I know they’ll get easier.

6. I hoped to swim closer to a full mile (1600) in my 30 minutes, but that’s also something I know will improve.

7. Working out makes me a much happier person and makes it easier to get everything else on track. I ate better this week and my house was in a much better state than it had been. Sean is weighing the benefits of happy Megan v. the drawbacks type-A Megan. You can’t have one without the other!

A Week Without Workouts

Last week was one of those weeks. Going way back, I was rocking my training and two Saturdays ago did my first long run – 8 miles without too much build up to it and it felt pretty good. But that night and the next day I was hobbling a bit and since it was my fourth day running in a row, I decided to skip the next day’s shake out run.

And I haven’t worked out since! Oh no! When last week started, I felt overwhelmed by having to host a jewelry party on Thursday and then go to Flagstaff for a bachelorette party on Friday. Why is it when you’re going away for the weekend, the whole week feels extra short and busy and stressed?

Seriously, though…a jewelry party (a girls’ night in, really) and a girls’ weekend in a relaxing mountain town? Yeah, not all that stressful, but they were looming over my head and I felt too busy to workout. I totally wasn’t! I just had to clean a little and pack a little (and have a fun date night with Sean).  Each day still had 24 hours and that’s more than enough time.

4%

 

I think it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed after returning from a trip. Unfortunately I don’t have today off, so after getting back from Flag and showing a few houses to a potential buyer yesterday afternoon, I caught Bridesmaids on TV last night for a little unwinding and now it’s right back to the grind.

BUT I don’t want to spend the whole week feeling like I’m playing catch up, so I’m not going to let that mentality take over again. My training sessions for the week are actually pretty manageable and I was having a lot of fun with my workouts before I apparently decided to quit cold turkey. It’s time to have some fun again.

How long do you go off track before you shake some sense back into yourself?

Professional Underwear

Okay, first we talk underwear, then we talk professional. My good friend, Rachel, who motivates me to do lots of fun things, running and otherwise, made this happen last weekend:

UNdy5000

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Yep, in undies in downtown Phoenix at the Undy 5000, a 5K to benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance and celebrate survivors.

I started off feeling good, but too strong because I had to pull back. I didn’t finish near where I would have liked at 32:03, but it was a gorgeous day and I ran in my underwear downtown (okay, not MY underwear).

The good news this month is…I started a new job! I am the marketing director for a top luxury real estate team in North Scottsdale. Remember way back when when I got my real estate license? Well, that came in handy, so now I’m helping the team market their listings and build their business and I can still sell houses too!

It was very hard to leave my last company I’d been with for three years and the people I worked with. On a more selfish level, one thing I always knew would be particularly hard would be giving up my morning bird hours.

In financial services, I worked the stock market hours, which in Arizona is 6 or 7 (depending on the time of the year because we don’t do daylight savings, shutupdontjudgeus) to 3 or 4. How wonderful is it to be done with work by 4 and have all late afternoon and evening for myself? Very wonderful.

The new job? 9 to 5! When I first learned that, I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with the first two hours of my day. Even on the weekends, I’m up by 7, but apparently, during my first week, I decided to sleep with the first two hours of my day!

I didn’t know I’d have to set an alarm to go to work by 9, but a. learning a new position is mentally exhausting, so I was tired and b. my bed is so comfy and I actually ended up sleeping in.

Today, though, I decided it was time. I was adjusted to the new routine and I was ready to add another layer to it. I got 5 tempo-y miles in. Still getting used to the tempo runs, but I know it’s the only way to improve my times. Morning runs are awesome, btw. Great weather, great views and a great feeling of accomplishment before my first cup of coffee!

Next up? Tackling adding new yoga classes in, since the schedule doesn’t really work with my much-loved 4:30 classes 😦

Next up tonight? Eating the chicken enchiladas that are cooking (a hot mess of about three different recipes) and catching up on this week’s Walking Dead.

Three Years


easy

I had to tell myself that little cheesy gem a few times on my run yesterday, but I got in six decent miles. My motivation was feeling great about having done it and being able to enjoy the rest of the day without the undone run hanging over my head and… success!

With no other must-dos yesterday, I was browsing social media and saw two friends were doing the Shun the Sun half-marathon. The Shun the Sun 10K was the first race I did three years ago and it gave me the bug big time! I did a 5K last weekend and have two more this month!

The Women’s Running Series 5K last weekend was kind of a bummer for me because it was actually supposed to be a half-marathon! Yeah, that’s a bit of a difference. I can blame a knee injury, the Indian summer, but I didn’t train how I would have liked and the day before I just realized it wasn’t worth it and dropped to the shorter race and ran it in 29:18.

I have my eyes on another half, but am holding off on registering this time! If my mantra-filled run is an indicator, though, I think I’ll be ready to do it right!

Training (and Complaining)

Okay, weather. This is the last time I want to talk about this. Cool your jets.

Of COURSE it’s time to start my half-marathon training as we are in what had better be the last heat wave of the summer – like extreme heat warnings for temps above 110. I’ll take highs of 100 through October, just get us out of highs in the teens, lows in the 90s!

It’s pretty easy when I’m inside to create my training plan to be all, I don’t care, it’s what needs to be done, I’ll just suck it up and run. And then I don’t because I didn’t wake up early enough, it didn’t cool down enough at night and I hate running on the treadmill for much longer than three miles.

I have a week to suck it up before I get to run in glorious Idaho. People generally don’t understand why I’m excited about Idaho, but when I say Idaho I don’t mean Boise. I’ve never been to Boise, I don’t know Boise (although I have considered moving there…hello quarter-life crisis). I’m going to Coeur d’Alene, which has a lake and is gorgeous and looks like this:

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Even better, it looks like this:

Water weather in the day, sweater weather at night…ahhh. Then when I get back to the desert, it better freakin’ be cooler!

I have a few four-milers on my training plan for recovery, but mostly fives or longer. I managed to get through my first on the treadmill today, but my shoes are longing for asphalt! Heat or no heat, as I sit here with ice on my knee, I’m pretty excited to get back to training; it’s been too long!

Moving to Seattle, kthanksbye!

PinnacleWe had a rainy Pacific Northwest-type weekend here in the Valley of the Sun and it was pretty spectacular! I got in an overcast hike at Pinnacle Peak on Thursday and was supposed to hike again with a long-lost friend on Friday evening, but she got called in to work an extra night shift, so when I got off work at 3:00, I ran six miles – two and a half with the wonder dog then three and a half on my own – before the rain started, so I suppose the canceled hike was for the best anyway!

On Saturday, I went to my regular yoga class, but it was my first time there since it got switched from Vinyasa Flow to Slow Burn, which focuses on slowing down the traditional vinyasa flow in an unheated room. I enjoyed the format and it just flew by!

TKMy planned open house was canceled because of the rain, so on the way home from the gym, I stopped at Target to get a Blu Ray player for my Netflix account.  Holy life-changing. That’s sad, right? Oh well, I stand by it. I got very cozy with Blair, Serena, Chuck, Nate and Lonely Boy this weekend. Don’t worry, I still got a lot of work done too and I even had some fun with real friends!

sleevesOn Sunday the rain eased up so I took off for a morning run, two miles with Rigo (he’s a monster), then three on my own. I got to wear my new running sleeves – a stocking stuffer from my now-a-runner Momma (she gets it). They were pretty great. Like being all cuddled up in bed with your foot sticking out. Ahhh.

The run was perfection, which is why I’m moving to Seattle. Obviously my running mojo comes from clouds and cool weather. Whenever it rains, my music of choice is chill singer-songwriter type stuff, so I switched on Matt White Pandora, which I thought would be too slow, but it was pretty perfect and just allowed me to zone out and go. It was my fastest run in a long time – just over 46 minutes and a 9:13 pace!

The clear day was perfect for a second attempt at an open house and it was a success! Desert dwellers don’t do well with rain, so everyone who felt cooped up on Saturday came out to play on Sunday! I actually stayed an hour longer than I expected because the traffic was just so consistent!

When I wrapped up and ran around picking up my signs – maybe my least favorite part of the job! – I gave myself a half hour and a few Shot Blocks before heading out for…RUN #2. Can you believe it?! I barely can.

I’ve heard that mimicking the Ragnar schedule with two-a-days, even followed by a morning run the next day, is very important to help you prepare. With the race less than a month away now, it’s time to get serious! I was about 60% feeling it, but I’m sure it will be a lot easier with 11 awesome women cheering me on. I planned for another five miles, but with a slightly tweaked ankle, some knotty knees and ominous dark skies, I opted for three and they felt great too! By the time I showered and dressed, it was pouring again!

I’m so glad it cleared up for a great Sunday and then that the rain came back for a lazy Sunday night of more Gossip Girl with a break for Downton Abbey —-> OMG.

How did you sweat this weekend? What’s your ideal running weather? Do you change your music mood based on the weather?

January (10th) Joiner

Sometimes I do loads of laundry that are just workout clothes, but for the most part, I just throw them in with everything else (regardless of color even, shh, don’t tell my mom). Then, when I fold, at least 1/3 of the load gets put in my workout drawer. Yesterday, though? There was one outfit (minus socks) and the shirt, actually, is a super soft Crossfit tee I got as a gift that I wore to bed instead of actually to Crossfit.

I think I’m doing 2013 wrong.

I got in some yoga and swimming and spinning last week, but for the most part, I was busy and then I got a touch of death on Saturday. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I never get sick and I got sick and even took my first sick day on Tuesday. Fortunately since then, I’ve been sleeping though the night and can mostly breathe out of my nose again!

I’m certain having a generally healthy lifestyle not only helped me not get sick for most of the season, but it helped me get better faster!

I’m itching to get back to training, so this morning  I packed up my lonely, little, clean workout outfit and headed to the gym after work to spend a little time with the treadmill to sweat out the rest of the death.

Confession: Before today, I hadn’t run since IronGirl. I’ve been keeping this on the DL because the only 2013 race on my calendar is RAGNAR! I am so excited about joining a team with fellow Arizona bloggers and getting to experience the race. We’re in it to finish and have fun, so I wasn’t scared to admit if I was just being lazy, but I wasn’t just being lazy.

I stopped running because after IronGirl, my foot (pinky toe side, middle, underneath) HURT! So much so that I didn’t want to run on it, so much so that it interfered with my everyday life, which is my signal to get it checked out.

So, I went to Dr. Dean at the Arizona Sports Medicine Center (he’s a runner, he gets it) and he suggested it was either tendonitis or…dun dun dun…a stress fracture, which was my big concern. It was still too early to tell from x-rays, so I was told to do everything under the sun that wasn’t running and come back in two weeks.

After a week, it actually started to feel better, only flaring up once after too much shopping (can you imagine such a thing?) and once after playing with my pup.

The second x-rays looked the same as the first, so Dr. Dean diagnosed peroneal tendonitis, likely caused from the slope of the road in Fountain Hills and said that I could go to physical therapy or just amp up my running and see how it goes. Since it was already feeling better, I opted for just going for it. Then the touch of death thing happened and that brings us again to today.

I ran two miles and the sweat was definitely a sweating out the death sweat, but I felt good and kept a good stride and my Taylor Swift dance party Pandora station lasted on just 10% battery. My foot? Currently being iced, so we’ll see how it goes. My mental block from the intimidation of not running for so long? Gone.

And now I’m ready to do 2013 right.

Naked Commitment

This sums it up…tea, Steelers, crocheting.

I spent a wonderful weekend in Pittsburgh visiting my 88-year-old grandmother, Mimi if you will. I needed a vacation, she needed a visitor, so off I went to the land of cold (30s!) and no sun, but beautiful fall landscapes.

We played cards, went shopping, ate pie and got dressed up in fur and diamonds to go to an old school businessman’s club for dinner in downtown. We also watched the Steelers beat the Giants while eating pizza. On that day, I left the house all of six inches to scoot out the garage, pick up the newspaper and scoot back in.

After my five-hour flight on Monday evening, I was tired and needed to organize myself for the week and play with my puppy (who celebrated his one-year adoption anniversary at his own grandma’s while I was gone, puppymom guilt!), but I NEEDED TO RUN. I really felt like if I didn’t run, I would just die. Dramatic much?

Fortunately, I was already wearing my new lulu wunder under crops and hot pink Asics on the plane, so a quick bra change, but no shirt – how’s THAT for a climate change?! – and I was out the door. I NEEDED TO RUN.

And then, at that moment, I felt like a runner. It was a good naked run (I didn’t even take the time to find my headphones or let my Garmin find a signal). I only ran two miles and was home, showered and in bed before 10, snuggled with my pup who was totally pooped from his play weekend.

I made the decision to focus on training up until my third half marathon, that’s actually less than a month away at this point, and I wasn’t waiting any longer. I was doing it and making it a priority to get it in regardless of how late or early it is.

Granted, I kinda always get this fired up when I make a training plan (I had redone it on the plane) or sign up for a race and sometimes it fizzles, but the naked commitment run was pretty great and I’ve stayed fired with enthusiasm all week.

And now for my bitter rant about commitment…I belong to Lifetime Fitness and they as of recently have joined forces with Red Rock Co. that does a lot of the triathlons in the Valley. I think they’re both great organizations and I’ve applied to various jobs with both since moving back to Arizona, but I obviously do not work for either, thus the bitter part.

There are no REAL hard feelings though, as I said, I think they’re great, so I follow both and other associated groups and people on social media. A few months ago they collectively launched this campaign about Commitment Day, which is apparently January 1.

While I like the idea and plan ahead like a champ, I just can’t get over the concept of signing up for the movement and the New Year’s Day race in August and committing to commit to your wellness…in four months. What kind of permission does that grant for the rest of the year?!

Now, I don’t think anyone who they’ve rallied is all like, “Sweet, I’m gonna get fit in 2013, but I’m gonna get FAT for the rest of 2012! Honey, stock up on the Cheetos and get some mayo for dipping!”  But, potentially, participants are opting out of an entire quarter of a year and a quarter-year of their lives! Imagine the change that could happen in 120 days!

Obviously my stance is that the perfect day to adopt positive change in your life is the day you decide you want it…I did it with this blog, I did it with this commitment run…if you’re waiting for your life to start, you’re going to miss it!

Do you like to plan ahead or make changes as soon as you make the decision? What are you committed to this fall/winter?