Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shaking things up...

A couple of weeks ago I saw this really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about a man who uses a 20 sided Dungeons and Dragons die to decide what his workout for the day will be.  He rolls twice and gets to do two types of exercise.  He does this so as not to become bored with his workouts. (You really should go read the whole thing.  I can't do this article justice!)

Amazing I thought.  Having the choice of twenty different forms of exercise you would literally shake things up everyday!

Then I got to thinking more about it.  While it would work really well for some people, I don't think it would work all that well for me.  I love to run too much.  I think I would quickly become resentful of the dice that told me to do boxing or kettlebells on days I just want to get out and run.  I don't have a thing against boxing, kettlebells, or any other form of non-running exercise, but I think until I don't have kids and a job get more time in my life to do more of what I want, I should focus the time I have by doing things I really like. 

I do try to do a couple of cross training things so I can make sure I don't injure myself.  And one of these days I will take a BodyWorks class without being insanely sore for two days afterwards.  At least this week I kept quiet and didn't whine to my family about it!  A step in the right direction - right?

What do you think?  Are you ready to go out and buy your own D&D die to shake up your workouts or are you a person that does best on focusing on one thing at a time?

BTW... there was no running for me this weekend.  Those family & work gigs of mine both needed my attention... for a yard sale (Son FINALLY cleaned out his room), a job event (schools were giving away free backpacks & I had to be on hand to check kids in), and grocery store and Office Max trips (we desperately needed something besides bread and peanut butter to eat and filler paper was 10¢ each - I couldn't resist!).  I'm jonsin' to get out there in the morning and run!  I need someone to build an extra hour into MY day... that no one else knows about.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fitness Friday... More Excitement in a Week Than I'm Used To

Fitness Friday Blog Hop
Welcome to yet another Fitness Friday.  Thanks again to Jill at Life As I See It for hosting.  I'm thoroughly enjoying visiting lots of blogs I would have never found without the blog hop!

It's been a fun, but exhausting week.  It's been my first full week at my new job.  It's been my first week "back on track" with my running & my fitness plan.  It was also my first week to try my meal plan... not only to help myself eat a little cleaner, but to help things run smoothly around my home after work when my kids and cute husband think that they will soon die if they don't have something to eat within the next 10 minutes.  I have decided that I follow written plans so much better than having mental plans that I can't look at and be reminded with.  If I ever have another doubt, this week should be my example.  I need to remember to read this post when things get out of control again!

Backcountry Burros.  They may not be glamorous but they did get me $50 worth of gear richer!
A couple of other fun things happened as well.  I was chosen as a contestant in the local outdoor outfitter's "Extreme Picnicker" competition.  I got to compete against 3 other people making a backpacking type meal.  I didn't win.  But that's OK.  It was fun to have family & friends cheering me on.  Mine was the only one I would have wanted to carry into the wilderness for any distance anyway (the rest looked *heavy*!!).  And I did get a $50 gift card for competing (how much Strawberry Lemonade Nuun will that buy me??). 

Then, I found out yesterday that I actually *won* a blog giveaway from Sara at Words to Run By... a month of personal training!  I'm pretty excited seeing as I a) don't win things and b) won something really useful!  I've always wondered what it would be like to have a personal trainer to ask questions and get me going in a good direction... now I don't have to wonder any longer!

Have you ever had a personal training/trainer experience?  Or are you the type to plan your own training?  Do you use a magazine to plan your workouts... or something else?  I'm curious as I am about to dive into having my own trainer... what has worked for you?

 Also, if you are looking for a virtual race.... Carrie over at Family Fitness Food is hosting one for her birthday.  It must include at least one hill and is between August 7-13.  And she has prizes too. Go check it out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In My Mailbox...

Sport bottle and 4 pack of great
Nuun flavors!
If you remember back in June, I threw caution to the wind and entered to run with the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Team.  I didn't get picked... not the end of the world... it was fun to do it... and besides, I have already gotten some strange looks from my new coworkers when they found out that I get up insanely very early to run... imagine what they would think if I told them I was doing this??  Good thing it won't be a problem.

But, they did send out a fun care package as a Thank You for entering.  What a nice treat to come home to!  Especially when the package included Strawberry Lemonade Nuun.  I haven't tried Tropical or Grape... Fruit Punch is in there as well.  Can't wait!  I need to find a long run to do so I can justify using these!  Thank YOU Nuun, for sending the nice thank you!  It made for a bright spot at the end of a long day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting Back on Track

Where did this summer go?  I started out by thinking that I had all the time in the world.  Now I am back to work AND school starts for my kiddos in less than two weeks.  I'm not sure who thought that school should start on August 4th, but I would like to find them and make them sit in my car... in Tucson... at 3pm... the hour before a building monsoon thunderstorm peeters out... and let them think about it.  That is how miserable it is starting school so early in August is.  I think this person must live in Alaska or something.

I digress.

Needless to say, I didn't get in all the running I thought I was going to do this summer.  Neither did the Daily Mile or RunKeeper.... during my vacationing absence, they both sent me emails about how much they missed me and to make sure I came back to visit so that they could help motivate me! 

Time to recommit.  I have the meal plan made for the week... and attached to that is the exercise/run plan for the week.  If they are both in writing there (hopefully) won't be so many days that I am not sure what I should be doing (besides running around in circles!). 

And if I needed more motivation, it comes in the form of another virtual race - with prizes!  This is a virtual half marathon.  No, you don't have to run the whole distance at once.  Though I probably should.  Sign up and get your 13.1 miles in before August 15th and not only do you get the satisfaction of feeling great, but you get entered to win a bunch of cool stuff.  One of these days I will win something.  I just know I will!

Go sign up!  And good luck!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fitness Friday - I Was Gone, Did You Miss Me?

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]
If you are visiting for Fitness Friday - welcome!  Leave a comment so I can make sure I go and visit your blog and visit with you as well!  Thanks again to Jill at Life As I See It for sponsoring this blog hop! 

Well, life got in the way.  I meant to hang an "On Vacation" sign up so you wouldn't think I just disappeared, but the couple of days leading up to leaving got, well, crazy.  Really crazy.  And then we were gone.  To Utah.  We went on a family backpacking adventure in the Uinta Mountains east of Salt Lake City.  There was not any internet service, so the vacation post didn't happen!  Needless to say, I didn't run while we were doing that either.  I did walk a bunch.  With a heavy backpack.  We stayed with my friend Ann in Salt Lake City when we were done with that.  The lucky girl lives in Big Cottonwood Canyon, just minutes away from world class skiing, hiking, and moose.  I had planned on running while we were at her house, but we were so busy, it didn't happen either.  (Actually, the one morning I planned on trying, I woke up with a stomach bug and spent the day in bed instead - yuck!)  My cute husband did go out and run the canyon... and said it was painfully hard at the 8000+ feet in elevation she lives at.  Maybe it's good I *didn't* get to try!

How do you manage your exercise routine while on vacation? While I did get in some excercise hiking and such while I was gone, I didn't get a run in. Do things like this drive you nuts - or do you enjoy the break?

This riverbed is dry about 350 days out of the year. 
What a treat to see it with water in it!
I was back to work today.  I celebrated my new job by going out for a run beforehand.  I watched the sun start to rise as I was running along a normally dry riverbed.  We have been having our summer rainy season so the dry riverbeds are running a little more often.  It was totally worth getting up so early for!

While I was gone, my smoothie recipe was featured on Foot Forward Strides ... make sure you stop by her blog and check out all the smoothie recipes that she has been featuring.  They are really very inspiring!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fitness Friday... New Running Shoes

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

If you're joining in for the Fitness Friday blog hop - welcome!  Make sure you comment so I can go visit you as well!

Let's talk running shoes.  I love mine.  I am currently running in the Saucony Pro Grid Triumph.  It's like running with pillows strapped to your feet.  I suppose this does not make me a minimalist runner?   Chris McDougall and Barefoot Ted would hang their heads in shame. 

I have been running in a pink pair for months now.  I've loved my pink pair most of all because they matched my outfits on race day.  Silly reason, but most of the time, I just end up with the pair that was the least expensive.  The last time, it turns out that the pink ones were.  This time, the pink ones were not.  These lovely teal blue ones were.
Smell that new shoe rubber!

I didn't even realize how long I'd been in the pink pair until I got to adding up the mileage... I was nearing 700 miles in those shoes!  No wonder they were looking a little dingy!  I know, I shouldn't run 700 miles in any pair of shoes.  Are they hurting me somehow if I don't feel hurt?  Or will running in old shoes make me more prone to being hurt?  I'm going to say the answer is probably yes to both of my questions and I really need to be better about buying new shoes.  After all, new running shoe rubber is one of my most favorite smells in the world.

Too bad there is always something the kids/house/life need that seems to get put on the priority list higher than running shoes.  I even have a running shoe fund in our family budget, but it always seems to deplete quickly because my cute husband really goes through shoes fast.  He's lucky if he can get 300 miles out of a pair before they start hurting his body somehow.

Ready for a run... they will never look this new again!
Do you switch out running shoes like you should?  Or are you bad like me and remember when your shoes are starting to look road weary and realize they are probably long past their expiration date?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

First Annual Mouthy Kid Race Up the Hill... the race report!

As you may remember, I challenged my dear son to a race up the "Hill" on the morning of the 4th of July.  And believe it or not, he got out of bed at 5:30am when I went to let him know we had to get going.  I was shocked.  Maybe I should make him do this every morning before school as well?  Not only was it going to be miserable and horrible hot and humid, the hill path closes at 7:30am because it is part of a research facility and not really a public walking trail.  They are really nice to let the public use it while the facility is not open.  Lucky for us, it was only 77ºF out when we got there.  Too bad the humidity was at about a million 84 percent since it had tried to rain the night before.

I was also making sure I got my Independence Day 5K in as well... (still time to enter at Lets Move It Mommas )... so I made my son take my photo in the parking lot with the hill behind me. 
How come that hill looks so much bigger when I'm half way up?
I was trying to treat this with the enthusiasm that I would a real race, so I even put on matchy matchy clothes (I love my Skirt Sports skirt... I thought I had comfortable running skirts, but this one tops them all!).  Too bad it wasn't red, white, or blue, but, hot pink and black is the next best thing!

My family wanted to know how I got Bib #1... um, I had the option to write my own number in... and since I had never been #1 in any race ever, why not?

Well, son and I started out.  And he did make it to the top faster than I did.  By about 2 minutes.  The funny thing was, he didn't want to run down.  I thought for him that would be the best part.  Nope.  He walked.  I ran and had to wait at least 5 minutes for him. 
Staged photo.  He really didn't want me to take any photo at all.
I finished my 5K in 34:13... not my fastest 5K time by a long shot, but in most 5Ks I'm not getting the elevation gain like I did here.  I know, I should just roll down the hill to make up for it on the other end.

After our run was over, we went right across the street to the Safeway and I let him pick out whichever ice cream suited him.  He picked out the gallon plastic tub with the handle that most people get for birthday parties.  And he had it for breakfast.  Right out of the tub.  The sweet taste of victory!

I mentioned doing this again next 4th of July and he was open to the idea.  I think a tradition may have been born. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Race Up the Hill... and More!

My 13 year old son has a mouth.  Not a bad mouth, just a talking big kind of mouth.  We were at the rock climbing gym on Friday after I had run the "Hill".  He couldn't understand why I wasn't trying to do harder routes.  After all, he said, he's out of shape and was doing much harder stuff.  I decided to challenge him to a race up the hill... not even down... only 1.5 miles... he's so much faster than me... even on his worst day.  I even offered him ice cream if he won.  A whole half gallon.  On the way home.  Eat it all for yourself right out of the carton.

He's cute... and what 13 year old kid *doesn't* think he can beat his mom?
He wavered.  He hemmed and hawed.  He said he's consider it.  He knows how slow I am.  He finally said he'd do it. 

Now before you think I'm a mean mom, I mostly did it to get him out of bed and running because he's supposed to be training this summer for cross country. At the rate he's been training, he's going to die the first week back to school.  And he's going to high school this year.  He just doesn't know what he's in for!

So you see, I did it out of love.

I'm calling it the First Annual Mouthy Kid Race Up the Hill.

We're doing it tomorrow for the 4th of July.  I think it could be a fun annual tradition.

And, I'm adding on this fun virtual race as well.  You can sign up for it as well.  You just have to run a 5K sometime between now and July 9th.  She has lots of prizes involved and they aren't given on times, just that you participated.  It's something to motivate you to get out there this summer!

While I'm racing my son up the hill, when I get to the top, I will turn around and continue on down so that I can finish my 5K.  Two birds, one stone! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Fitness Friday!

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]
I love the idea of participating in the Fitness Friday Blog Hop - go visit Life As I See It if you would like to participate!  She has all the great details!
Fitness Friday thoughts from me?  Mostly shopping and clothes related (how shallow is that?).  But we all want to look great when we are out there - right?  I'm just as guilty as the next runner, but don't care quite so much most of the time when I'm out in the pre dawn hours for my runs.  Though, come a race, I have been known to be quite worried about what I should wear.  It must be cute, comfortable, and lightweight.  I want to look like I just stepped out of a magazine.. or a catalog... or a website... I'm not picky!
It's very tempting when places like keep sending me emails with tempting offers of "free shipping" and "new product lines"... Happy Fourth of July they said!  Then I decided to do an inventory of what sort of running clothes I really do have....
Picture quality is low... but you get the idea
This picture was taken with three complete running outfits taken out of the mix since they are dirty.. and it still appears that I could go for quite a while without washing a thing if I wanted too.  Do I really *need* the cute new running skirt?  Will I be able to squeeze my exercise apparel drawer shut if I did?  I did managed to take one pair of shorts out after looking at this mess.  They never fit right to begin with.  The drawer still really didn't shut that much better.

How much is too much for you?  Do you regularly wear all the running clothes you have - or do you just wear what's on top of the pile (not that I would know anything about doing that!)?  Or maybe you are one of the lucky ones that could use a few new pairs of shorts?  I'm curious what is in your fitness closet!

PS - Good News!  Something that actually does have to do with fitness.  I ran the "Hill" again today, felt like jelly while doing it, but don't hurt now that its done and has been a few hours!  Yay!  Better yet, it's finally the first day I'm not sore from Monday's gym workout!  Double Yay!