Lisa's fit lifestyle

Fit is not a destination. It's a way of life.

Boston Tragedy

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of joy and celebration for the city of Boston.  It’s amazing how it turned tragic in just a few seconds.  I happened to turn on my TV about 3:10 and saw the breaking news.  They were showing the initial footage of the explosions and didn’t even know how many people were killed or injured.   I could not believe my eyes.  How could this have happened?  How dare someone do this?  My heart goes out to all the victims who were injured or affected by this senseless tragedy.   So many lives will be changed forever because of this.  It is truly a tragedy.

I felt terrible for those who were injured or killed or lost loved ones.  But as a runner, I couldn’t help be wonder about those runners who didn’t get to see their dreams to the end.  Their “moment ” was taken away from them.  So many runners had trained for months-spent 100s of hours of running for that one special moment:  to cross that finish line.  For 7,000 runners that moment didn’t come.   For the runners who were lucky enough to finish, they will forever remember that the day they ran the Boston Marathon was the day that a terrorist struck the city of Boston.

I ran today.  I was scheduled to run my long run for the week-6.5 miles.  I ran with Boston on my mind and in my heart.  God bless Boston.Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 7.04.46 PM

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Week of workouts in Review

Since I had hard time finding time to finish a full post this week, I will just run down my workouts for the week in one post.

Monday was back to boot camp.  Love that darn class-lots of abs and squats!  Am I crazy?

Tuesday was my day off and I ran my long run in the morning.  I was scheduled to go 5 1/2 miles this week.  I have to say it was probably one of the best runs I’ve had in a while.  The temperature was very comfortable.  It was about 54 degrees with some sun and clouds and a little breezy.  I always have my best runs in the morning.   I tried to keep a steady pace and not be obsessed with my time and pace.  I just enjoyed the run.  I felt strong and never felt tired.   These are the runs I like the best.  I hate when I get caught up with worrying about my speed.  Long runs are not meant to be fast during training.  I took my usual route through the neighborhood to the local bike path.  It’s such a peaceful place to run.  I am so lucky to have it so close to where I live.

Wednesday- Back to boot camp.  More abs, circuit training and a little running and jump rope for cardio.  A nice mix!

Thursday-I usually have Thursday’s off but since we were anticipating a crazy day at work, I went in to help out.  I got home in the afternoon and was able to get a 3 mile training run in.  It was a rainy day and I was lucky that it held off  during my run.  I had a pretty good ave. pace of 10:01.  (Just where I am supposed to be.)  The wind was bit nippy and I was glad I was wearing gloves.

Friday-  I don’t usually have Fridays off but switched to work Thursday instead.  I slept in late (which I rarely ever do) and went to the gym at 11AM.  After a 7 minute warmup on the arc trainer, I worked arms/shoulders/back/chest and then worked legs and glutes.  Wrapped it up in 50 minutes.

Today I waited until the afternoon to work out.  I was waiting for it to warm up outside.  I was hoping for a little sunshine but it was having a tough time making an appearance today.  I just got back from a 3 mile run.  I would have to say it was the best run of the week.  I wore my New Balance Minimus shoes and they just felt so light on my feet.  (I haven’t been wearing them since I started running outside again.)  Once I got past the first 1.5 miles, I felt like I was floating.  I was focusing on my cadence and trying to keep my feet light on the ground.  I almost felt like I was dancing.  My best pace during the run ended up to be 5:25 which I have never done in my life!  Mile 3 was an ave. pace of 9:18.  My ave. pace over the 3 mile ended up to be 9:55 but if I can get back into that rhythm again when I run, I could really make some improvements in my time.  It was a great way to end the week!

Now it’s time to take a rest day tomorrow.

How was your week?  

 

 

 

 

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Reality isn’t so bad

Yesterday I spent most of the day catching up on laundry and getting my house back in order.  The suitcases are empty and put away and the laundry is just about complete.  It’s nice to get back from a trip and have the weekend to recuperate and get back on track before the first day back to school and work.  We had friends over last night and caught up on what’s been happening around town.

This morning I got up and went to the gym for my strength training and cross-training work out.  I did 30 minutes of strength training (just stuck to the weight machines) and 20 minutes of cardio (10 on the elliptical and 10 walking on the treadmill).  I haven’t been to the gym in weeks so it felt good to lift a little heavier than what we normally do at boot camp.

Speaking of boot camp, I have changed my mind (again) and have decided to continue doing boot camp but dropping down to two classes for the next month.  I will re-evaluate again at the end of the month.  I think I’m a little addicted to boot camp.  I love the variety that it provides and I always get a good ab workout there.  (I’m so lazy about doing abs on my own for some reason.)  Anyways, my miles are still low enough that I think I can handle 2 days a week of boot camp without feeling like I am “overtraining”.  I should be getting my new training schedule for the month from my running coach sometime this week.  We will see what she has in store for me in the next month.

About a month ago I signed up for a 15K on a whim.  It’s called the Mastodon Challenge-Founders’ Day Race.  It is being held on May 19th.

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Mastodon 15K  Challenge Course

Mastodon 15K Challenge Course

I hope I am ready by then!  I know this 15K course is going to be pretty hilly. What was I thinking?  I have to admit that I have been avoiding hills during the majority of my runs so far this year so I guess I need to start introducing more hills into my training.  I love downhills but I absolutely hate uphills, especially long ones.  I will need to make a point to run the long uphill to my house from now on during neighborhood runs instead running a little further on the way out and walking the hill at the end.  (Yes, I’ve been cheating.)  Looking at the calendar I have 6 weeks to prepare for the 15K.  This will be my first 15K.  I am not going to worry about my time.  I’m just doing it to get some experience with a longer distance race.  It is a fairly new race.   This is only the second year that it’s been held.  Right now, it’s not very well known and I read that only about 250 runners participated in it last year.  I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Anyways,  I need to get that last load of laundry into the dryer.  I am definitely falling back into my usual routine and it feels good!  Back to reality: ).

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Aruba Rewind

Wow! It seems like forever since I last blogged. Aruba was a blast! Hot and sunny and very windy! It was a rough start since we ended up having a 3 hour delay in Charlotte on the way down. We got into Aruba at 6:30 in the evening instead of 3:30 last Friday. The rest of the trip turned out great!  We had no rain the whole week and it was 85 degrees everyday.

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I was able to get 3 training runs in while I was away. That is what I had planned, so I’m happy that I stuck to it! I was running much slower than I have been (average paces were between 10:30 and 10:50) so the only thing that I can attribute that to is the heat, humidity and windy conditions.

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My 5 mile run in Aruba

I went running around 8 AM each time but the temps. were already 80-82 degrees by that time of the day. I’m definitely not used to those temps coming from running in 30-45 degree weather in New York! (I ran back at home today and froze my butt off and it was only 31 degrees! Funny thing is, today I had my best 3-mile time outside so far this year!)

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During our trip we did some snorkeling at a reef that we could swim to from the beach and we saw lots of fish. The most fun I had during our trip was riding an ATV on a tour of the island! The tour guide took us on some back streets to some famous sites on the island and then we ended up on a dirt road that lead to a park that has rough,rocky trails. The park was on the back side of the Island where no one lives and the shore is rocky and the ocean is very rough.

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View of the rocky coast

I was a little bit of a spaz on the ATV when I first started out but handled the rough terrain without a problem. Who knew I would like something like that?

One of the highlights of the trip was having dinner at a restaurant on the beach at sunset with my family. The setting and view were just breath-taking!

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Dinner at Passions on the Beach

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Sunset at Passions

I was a little distracted by what looked like a honeymoon couple who were all over each other at the table in front of us, but I did my best to just ignore them and enjoy the company of my family. My husband told me I was obsessed with them but my seat was facing right toward them, so it was hard to ignore them. Maybe I was jealous?

We returned back to the states Thursday night. I was happy to get back home to see my dogs and get back to our regular routine. Back to counting calories and tracking workouts. Back to cooking and laundry. Wait, am I really happy to be back?….
Yes!

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Tracking runs with my Garmin

I just got back from a short training run.  I know I’ve mentioned it before when I first got it, but the more I use it, the more I love my Garmin FR10!  I use it for tracking all my outside runs.  It has a GPS so I know my pace and distance are always accurate.  When I’m done with a run I can review all my results right on the watch or upload them onto my Mac. On my Garmin Connect Dashboard I can see all the details of the run such as total distance, time, average pace, best pace, calories burned and elevation changes.  There’s also a section to document personal notes such as how you’re feeling during and after a run, the weather conditions etc.   It’s also nice to be able compare similar runs side by side.

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It’s funny how some days my pace is all over the place and other days I am pretty consistent.  I’m sure there are many factors that affect how we run each time out (time of day, how we slept, weather conditions, nutrition etc.).  I really like it when I am able to maintain a steady pace or run negative splits throughout my runs.  I will probably be able to see more of a trend as I do more long runs.

Today was the best run I’ve had outside this year (only 6 runs recorded on my Garmin so far).  My average pace was 9:50.  Midway through my run I started focusing on my running cadence.  (Cadence is how often your feet touch the ground.)  I have been reading a lot lately that increasing your running cadence to about 180 strides per minute (90 strides per foot) can help prevent impact injuries.  A faster cadence creates a reduction in over-striding and less impact force on the shins. Taking shorter strides with an increased cadence helps keep feet below the center mass of your body which generates less force.  At first I felt a little like Fred Flintstone with my feet moving so fast below me, but after a minute or so I really started to pick up my pace as well as feeling lighter on my feet.  Hey, I’ll do whatever it takes to get me to the finish line!

That’s it for now.  I am off to Aruba bright and early tomorrow morning.  I don’t know if I’ll be posting while I am away (not sure what the internet access will be like at the hotel).  I’ll be sure to fill you in with all the fun as soon as I can.

Do you use a GPS accessory to track your runs?

Do you ever focus on your cadence while running?

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Restaurant dining choices

Do you live in a city or county where chain restaurants having 20 or more locations are required, by law, to post the calorie counts for all their menu items? If so, does that influence your decision on what you order?  I live in a county in NY state that put this law into effect about two years ago and I believe that it was a good decision.

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My family is in the habit of going out for dinner on most Saturday and Sunday nights. Since I cook Monday through Friday, it gives me a chance to get a break from cooking (and from coming up with ideas for something to cook for dinner 7 days a week). We don’t always choose to go to a chain restaurant but probably 50% of the time we do. We have our favorite places that we rotate through with some on a heavier rotation than others. We tend to order our favorite entrees at each restaurant and rarely stray from those choices. We stick with them because we know that we are going to like them and we know how many calories we are eating.

I don’t know about you, but  if I am going to try a new restaurant or just go to a place I don’t frequent very often, the first thing I do is go online to check out their menu.  The second thing I do is see if there is a website that posts the nutritional content of their menu items.  Am I a little crazy? I find that, for me, being able to walk into a restaurant and know what’s on the menu is helpful. Being able to know the calorie count is even more helpful. Having this knowledge definitely influences my choices. I may not always choose the lowest calorie item on the menu but some menu items have calorie counts so high I wouldn’t even consider eating them. There are certainly those times when I’m in the mood for something more high calorie, like fries, or a burger. For the most part if the calories are listed, I try to stick with something that is 500-700 calories or lower. Anything over 1000 calories wouldn’t even be considered unless I was sharing.  I’m shocked when I see the number of calories of some entrees and appetizers in restaurants where items can be upwards of 2000 calories or more.  That’s more than I would want to eat in a day!

I don’t always agree when government gets involved in personal choices, but with obesity on the rise I am grateful that many restaurants are required to post their calorie counts. It gives people the option to make informed decisions about what they are putting into their bodies.  For me personally, it helps me stay within my calorie goals for the day and ultimately keeps me on the right track toward better health.

Do you like to be informed of the calorie content of meals?    Does knowing the calories of meals at a restaurant influence your choices?

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End of Week One

I just finished my last workout of week 1 of my half marathon training program.

As I sit here wearing my compression socks (sleeves)

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and eating my after workout snack (I love Chobani)

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I am reflecting on my week…

I started out with cross training on Sunday on the spin bike for 30 minutes.  I went to boot camp 2 days this week (in place of my scheduled strength training days) and ran 3 days. My “long run” was only 4 miles.  Jenn wants me to start “slow and low” and with my history I am certainly not going to rush things.  My other two runs were 2 and 3 miles running at a 10 min/mile pace.  My “default” run is usually around 3 miles so it was strange only doing 2 miles on Thursday.  It was even harder because I finally updated my iPod with new running tunes and I felt like I could have gone forever.   My coach suggests that I do stretching and icing after all my runs so I am trying to get in the habit of doing that as well.  My training scheduled called for two rest days but I only took one because I broke down my strength training and short run into two days.  Overall, I think it was a great week.

Next week is my last week of boot camp for a while. I’m going to miss getting up at 5:45am (not really, but I will miss working out with the other women in my boot camp.) I really do look forward to getting my workouts done before the day starts. It makes me feel strong and energized for the day. My schedule calls for strength training and cross training in addition to my runs and, since I never know what we will be doing in boot camp, I need to get to the gym to do my strength training workouts.

Next Friday I leave for vacation for 6 days. Yea! Can’t wait! Aruba here we come. I’ve already got my summer clothes pulled out. I just need to iron them and put them in the suitcase. Of course I am bringing my running shoes and workout attire. I am hoping to get at least three days of workouts in while I’m away. I am scheduled to run 5 miles that week for my long run so I am hoping that I can convince my husband to join me on that run. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable running alone for that distance by myself in Aruba (makes me think about Natalie Holloway). My husband is a biker, not a runner but he’s thinking about doing a tri this year so maybe he’ll want to go. It kills me that he never runs but he can go out and run with me and kick my butt! It’s not fair : (

Anyways, lots to look forward to next week. Now it’s time to enjoy my Saturday.

Have a great weekend!  What are your plans?

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OMG!

I received the training plan from my coach, Jenn, and now I am a bit in a panic.  She gave me a set schedule of workouts to follow each week for the next month.  I am usually a very regimented person. I have a set schedule that I follow each week for my workouts.  But now someone else is telling me what I should do and when.  And 2 complete rest days?  OMG!  It’s a little bit scary.  I don’t know why I feel like this- I guess I feel as though I have lost a little bit of control.  I am putting my fate in someone else’s hands in a way.  Does that make sense?  Anyhow, I need to try it and see how it goes.  I’m sure there may be a little bit of an adjustment period and it may need to be tweaked a little.  This is what I wanted, right?  Someone to help me get to that finish line.   I need be willing to try new things and to do things differently in order to succeed.  I need to trust in someone who has more experience and has been educated in running.   It will all work out fine.  I just need to trust the process.

Anyways, I am all set to do my first “long” run tomorrow- only 4 miles per my schedule- and don’t you know we are expecting 6-8 inches of snow here overnight and into tomorrow.   So I guess it’s back to my good ol’ treadmill for my first training run.  Spring has to be coming soon, right?  At least I have vacation to look forward to in 11 days.  Yup, taking off to Aruba for a few days over my son’s school break.  Looking forward to some warm sunny days!  I can’t wait to go running down there.  I’ve already got my summer clothes pulled out for the trip so I guess you’d say I am anxious to get there.  I’m hoping once I get back we will really be starting to see signs of spring here.  Then the real training will begin.

Have you had a hard time following someone else’s workout schedule?

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Those darn Girl Scouts!

No, I really don’t have anything against the Girl Scouts.  They are a wonderful organization.  It’s just their cookies I have a problem with.  You see, one of the mom’s in my office was selling Girl Scout cookies for her daughter.  I ordered one box of Thin Mints, my favorite Girl Scout cookies.  She brought them in today.  And I proceeded to eat an entire sleeve this afternoon.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  I didn’t even want to check the calories but I had to.  One serving is 4 cookies (160 calories).  I had 16 cookies.  That’s 640 calories!  That’s pretty gross!  Okay, so it’s done.  There’s no changing it.

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So what am I going to do?

  • First, forgive myself.  Sh*t happens.  We all have done things we regret.
  • Second, re-think dinner…I guess I am only having a chicken breast and broccoli for dinner tonight.
  • Third, add a few extra minutes to my run tomorrow.

Do you ever binge and regret it after?

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Proud Mom

This past Sunday was a huge day in our household.  My 11-year-old son took his black belt test.  He’s been training in Karate for 6 years (since he was in first grade).  Taking Karate, or any martial arts, is a very big commitment.  It is a sport that runs year round, unlike most kids’ sports.  It can be very challenging, but very rewarding.  It is a mental and physical sport.  There were so many times that he wanted to quit.  My husband and I felt it was important for him to finish what he had started, so we pushed him to continue.   He has a slight frame and I guess I’d say he’s not a “physical” kind of kid.  Put it this way, he’s not going to be signing up for the football team.  He is the shy, quiet type of kid who has been the subject of bullying at times.  He’s also a boy who lacks self-confidence and doesn’t like to do things out of his comfort zone.  Actually,he’s exactly like I was when I was his age.  But something has changed in him since he knew he was testing for his black belt.  He was scared that he wasn’t ready but he stepped up to the challenge.  He became more focused.   He put extra time into training.  And he succeeded.  He is now a junior black belt at 11 years old.  How many 11 year olds can say that?  This experience seems to have matured him in some way.  He seems more confident.  And I am such a proud mama!

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